What Has Happened to the Innocence of Childhood?
When I went to bed last night I felt worried, when I woke up this morning I still could not shake the feeling. You see I am worried about my children, I’m worried about their future. To be frank the news worries me, lately all I have seen is stories or rape and gun violence. Articles around consent and how to talk to our kids about terrorism. I have to say as a parent I am a little spooked.
I have two small children, they are 3 and 6. Generally I am worried about whether or not my three year old will wet the bed, and if my six year old will pass her spelling test this week. But last night it hit me like a ton of bricks, our world at the moment is not a safe place. I should never have to talk to my daughters about how they can avoid being raped, or explain why bad people do bad things. But sadly that is the world we live in today.
How do I start that conversation? I cannot even bring myself to think about such an awful thing happening to one of my children. I work hard to provide them with a good life, I second guess every parenting decision I make. The thought that at some point they will have to go out into our world on their own where I can protect them leaves me feeling sick with worry.
Look at the US, Brock Turner raped a woman who was just out to have a little fun with her sister. She expected to wake up with a hangover the next morning, not to wake up in a hospital and have her life changed forever. And if that is not bad enough the court system seems to be blaming the victim, not the low life who committed the crime.
“So baby, when you go out tonight make sure that you wear something that does not scream rape me. Please be careful and only have a drink or two if you have to, you are not carefree; you are not safe. Please don’t leave your friends side even for a minute, please call me to pick you up”
Actually FUCK that. You can just stay at home, every night for the rest of your life and be safe.
I used to wander the neighbourhood as a child, walk down to the shops alone. Go to discos and drink in the park beforehand. I got myself into many awkward situations, but no one ever took advantage of me. At this point I don’t even like my kids to play out the front of my house for fear that someone will drive by and grab them, for fear some hoon will speed into our street and hit them with a car. I need to know that they are safe at all times.
And let’s not even talk about the school shooting over in the US. I cannot even begin to process how the parents of the small children at Sandy Hook School are coping with their loss. It’s just not right. No parent should worry about the safety of their child when they drop them off to class in the morning. No parent should ever get that phone call, or worse see their school on the news. It’s just heart breaking.
“If you hear the emergency alarm today baby don’t be scared, don’t think that it is just a practice run. Chances are it probably isn’t. Hide under your desk, or in a cupboard if you can find one be safe. If a bad man comes into your class then listen and do exactly what he says.”
As one parent I don’t have the answer, I don’t know how we can fix this world that we live in. But I can say that we have a huge task ahead of us. Not only do we have to stamp out the rape culture in our communities, we need to get the US to lay down their arms. We need to put a stop to terrorism, we need to save our health care system before we lose it. We need to stop domestic violence. We make sure that our daughters have access to paid maternity leave, we need to beak that glass ceiling for them. So it’s time to get on with the job. I spend a lot of time living in my own bubble trying to ignore all the bad stuff, but if we all do that than none of this is going to change. Think about it…