I am disheartened by the state of the world.
When I find myself explaining to 11 year olds why rape is not funny, or why it worries me that they are joking about drunkenness and drug use, I begin to truly wonder what on earth we are doing? How do children think these serious issues are things to laugh about?
Our young people are exposed to so much ‘stuff’ it is unreal. Too much of what they see and hear is adult in nature. They have the world at their fingertips and we have little control over what they are exposed to; but we do have control over what we put out there. So who is putting this out there?
We all have a friend who is a funny drunk and probably many stories of our own or others experience that make drunkenness amusing. We all have our own opinions about drugs and drug culture; what should be legal and what should not? The merits and risks of trying something ‘for the experience’. However surely it can’t be denied that whatever positives or amusement can be derived from these things, there are risks and damage that go along with them. If our children are growing up only believing in the ‘funny’ side of these things then we are putting them at risk of harm.
If a child is exposed to the word ‘rape’, I can think of no possible circumstance in which that child should walk away thinking of it as something funny. Terrifying? Yes. Horrendous? Yes. Criminal? Yes. Funny? No. Flipping. Way. How can anyone think this is funny? There are just no words to describe how atrocious this crime is, to convey how much is stolen from the victims. If we allow our children to think that violent acts such as this are funny then I fear for our future and the harm that will be tolerated or perpetrated.
So seriously, what are we doing?
I feel like there are a million more things to say about this; like I should have some sort of solution or talk more poignantly about how we could protect our children without smothering them. It’s a tough one and there’s definitely a lot to say on the subject (and all the many others that connect to it), but right now I can’t. Because, honestly, it just makes me too sad.
2 thoughts on “What Are We Doing?”
Jenny, again such powerful writing about an enormously important topic. Sadly, I don’t think we will fully stop the exposure of (young) people to inappropriate content, nor will we fully stop them from sometimes reacting in an inappropriate manner (sadly). What we can do, and people like you do do is to check these behaviours when we discover them and to try to inform and educate. Education is the key – for all of us as members of our societies as adults, as parents, scout leaders, community leaders. I’m extremely proud of you and of your ability and willingness to call out these horrendous issues. Please remember there are many good people in the world – and you are one of the best 🙂 x
Well I think you are certainly over generous in your assessment of me! I’m aware that there is plenty more I could say and do to call out these issues. I know there are plenty of good people out there, in fact I believe they make up the majority, it’s just a shame that the negative minority has such influence. I agree that education is key and not just education around the issues themselves; people need to be taught that it’s ok to call out harmful representations of such issues, and that it is not ok to perpetrate them. Thanks for reading and responding 😊 x