You read that right. I teach my children to be Rude.
These little angels? Rude?
If you hadn’t noticed, I have FOUR daughters. Four girls. Four female children. And I am compelled to protect them.
Many years ago when I was barely twenty I traveled around the Middle East with friends. In Egypt, I traveled with two girlfriends. Two of us were Caucasian Americans and one of us was an Asian American. The two of us who were easily identified by Egyptian men as “White American” were targeted constantly. Men would walk up to us in a museum and grab our hands or brush against our bodies. In tight spaces or taxis men surreptitiously put their hands on us attempting to touch our breasts or bottoms.
Yet our Asian friend, as much American as us two white girls, was relatively untouched. The sleazy men didn’t identify her immediately as “American” and seemed somewhat in awe of her.
Here’s a fact, Middle Eastern men do not treat their own women this way in public. They did not treat my Asian friend this way. I’ve noticed the same phenomenon all over the world.
What is it about American women that make us targets?
Here is what I think. Women in other parts of the world are raised to be RUDE. If a man “accidently” bumps in to her, she hauls off and lets him have it with a verbal tirade. I’ve seen it – and the sleazy man slinks off. These non-American women have no internal restrictions that keep them from acting rude in order to let a creepy man know to Back Off.
American girls/women have been taught: Don’t make a scene. Don’t disrespect our elders. And because someone is a friend or relative of a friend that we need to listen to and respect them.
I say NO. And so I teach my daughters to be RUDE.
This has become more crucial in recent years because my girls are getting older. They go places – Without Me. Birthday parties, sleepovers, camping trips, etc.
Nowadays our conversations go something like this:
Me: “If a friend or relative of so-in-so is bothering you in the pool or keeps talking to you and picking you up and throwing you around, what do you do?”
Daughter: “I say, ‘Get off me. Stop doing that. I’m going to tell my mom.'”
I let my kids know that there will be NO negative consequences for being Rude to a person who is making them uncomfortable, harassing them (even jokingly) or bothering them.
They have been taught their entire lives to be kind to others. I know, I was taught the same thing. I didn’t know I could or should open my mouth and make a scene.
This world is full of predators; to keep my daughters safe, I teach them to be Rude.
Don’t get me wrong, I do want my children to be kind as well, I’ve written about it here.
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