I owe Donald Trump a debt of gratitude.
During the presidential campaign when we all found out about his p***y-grabbing antics, my heart sank. For many reasons. As the father of a 2-year-old girl I found his comments about women abhorrent, but quickly I realised that I am not much better; I have been setting my daughter a pretty poor example about what it is to seek, and give, consent.
a kiss and a cuddle
I’m a cuddly dad. I work long hours, and often when I leave for work in the morning, I won’t see my kids until the following day. That can be really hard. Before I go I always ask my daughter for a kiss and a cuddle, but, being a strong-willed two-year-old, her answer is most often ‘no’. However this never deterred me, and despite her protestations I would scoop her up, and I would get my kiss and cuddle.
Now I realise that I have been conditioning her to think that if she doesn’t give me permission, I’m just going to do it anyway. And if that’s what Daddy does, then it must be OK when someone else does that too, mustn’t it?
when she says no, it means NO
My behaviour has been influencing my daughter’s view of who is in control of her body, and what happens to it. Of course if she tries to run out into the road I’ll still grab her and keep her safe, but when it comes to normal physical contact I need her to understand that when she says no, it means NO, and the sooner she understands and feels empowered by that, the better.
For the last six weeks or so, I haven’t often had a kiss and a cuddle as I leave the house. However, when I do, I know it’s on her terms, and I know that she WANTS to show me that affection. And because that is such a wonderful feeling, it makes it well worth the wait.
So thank you Mr President-elect for teaching me this lesson. I hope and pray that your presidency is one of tolerance, compassion, and respect.
God bless America!
By Phil Reed