Dear Teenaged Girls,
This time in your life is a beautiful one: one that will find you paving new roads, finding new adventures and forging new pathways. You will try new things, meet new people, make new choices and discover new possibilities. And along the way, you will make a few mistakes. There will be a few errors to be had, misjudgments and miscalculations to mark the new territory you discover -- and that's okay. That's part of living... it's part of learning.
There will be places you will stumble and fall. There will be falters and slip ups along the way. But please, girls, whatever else happens: don't let sexual harassment be one of those dangers you allow yourself to be caught up in unaware.
There will be guys -- seemingly decent guys -- who will want to be with you. Hook up with you. They will text you, message you, Facetime and SnapChat you. You will be on their radar.
Because look at you: you're beautiful, inside and out. You're amazing. And you will get caught up in the rush of emotions and feelings this experience will bring; you will most definitely enjoy the ride. But sooner or later, there will come a time when something highly inappropriate will show up on your screen. Something that will be so degrading and demeaning to your dignity and sense of integrity. So beneath your standards. Something gross and disgusting -- let's just cut to the chase here. Something vile. And you will think you have to laugh it off -- because that's what everyone does, right? This happens to everyone.
And so you will do just that: you will laugh about it because you want that certain someone on the other end of the conversation to still think you are pretty/beautiful/hot. You want to still be liked and accepted.
You want to be wanted.
But all the while, you will think to yourself: why did he do this/say this/send this/show this/ask this? What just happened and why?
And in your heart of hearts you will know: THIS IS NOT RIGHT. I DON'T NEED THIS. I WON'T TAKE THIS. ENOUGH.
I am asking you, girls, to then run. Run away and fast from this kind of offending behaviour. Run away from this kind of guy. Stop the conversation. Tell someone you trust. Do not think for one little second that you need to entertain this rude and ignorant conduct. End it. And do so because of your own sense of pride. Because you know that you deserve so much better. Because you know you are worth so much more.
Because you are better than this.
And even if they say (your friends/their friends/his friends/anyone) "this is just part of the experience": don't take that line for a second. You are worth more than all the gold in the world. Your soul is of the rarest perfection. You are pure beauty. And you do not need to take this kind of garbage from anyone.
Especially from a guy who says you are beautiful one minute and then asks you to do something ugly the next.
From One Who Cares