I've been told that I take things beyond where they need to go.
Getting up from a comfortable position on the sofa -- and living in Wisconsin, that means removing a warm quilt off my lap -- I will walk across a room and without saying a word, pick up the remote to change the channel if a commercial comes on that demeans women.
We won't watch it.
When the few magazines that we subscribe to come to the house, my three boys know I get them first, to check the pages for inappropriate portrayals of women. Sometimes only half the magazine is left when I'm through.
We won't read it.
If lyrics come on the radio while we're driving, screaming about what a woman is for and what to do to her, I'll push the button down on the radio to turn it off like I'm sending it through the dashboard.
We won't listen to it.
My children don't roll their eyes when I do this, because they're used to it. I've been doing it since they can remember, and telling them why. It is my way of showing them what we accept, and what we don't accept, when it comes to respect for women. I read, they read, we all hear things on the radio and we see the same thing on the internet. "This is society and its portrayal of women. This is our culture. This is how it is." The headlines report atrocities like Steubenville as if we're not even to examine this epidemic of toxic attitudes.
I can't control society, the images of violence against women, women being shown as a lesser worth, but I can make a visual statement of what I think about the things I see. I am the first woman my children have ever known. They look to me for what is right and what is wrong, and what I accept. I have always believed that children will watch what we do more than listen to what we say. So I'll keep doing what I'm doing, because it's my job.
Can I manage everything about my three boys, especially as two of them will be leaving our home for college, both within two years? I know I can't. But I am determined to continue with my one- household revolution.
Because there must be a revolution.
A revolution of what our culture accepts in what is right and wrong in the treatment of women. Our house is the first society my children see, and here at home, they will see respect for women and taking responsibility through action for what we allow to enter into our world. I'll keep taking things beyond where they need to go, as people tell me I do, because one day when my children are without me, the memories of my physical actions will ping at their conscience like a snapping rubber band. They'll see me, walking across the living room in search of that remote, tearing the pages out of the magazines, turning off the radio. Taking that stand against females not only in words but in deeds, when women are put in positions that objectify them, and I'll tell them why I do what I do. Because this is not acceptable.
My children may read, hear, and see, "This is how women are portrayed in our culture. Accept it, you can't change it," but in my small big louder than words way and in front of three boys who will one day be men, they will see, that no, we don't have to accept it -- not in this house we don't.
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