Why Didn’t I Say Something?

I was in a great mood, a friend wanted to get together to have coffee so I left work a little early on a Friday afternoon. I went to pick up my oldest from school before heading off to meet and while I was waiting in the parking lot I received a very exciting email which put me in an even better mood.

That changed very shortly after, and even though I’ve been thinking a lot about that email, I also keep coming back to what happened between getting the email and leaving the parking lot.

As I’ve mentioned before, this year is my daughters first year at high school so this is really my first time spending even a little bit of time near a high school since I graduated, and that is getting to be a longer and longer time ago.

It really shouldn’t have shocked me, especially after the things in even our local news, but it still did.

Here was this young man walking with what appeared to be his girl friend and another guy. As they got close to his car the other guy continued on. I didn’t hear any of the conversation before this, but as they separated the guy with his girl friend yelled to the other guy something about how he was going to rape his mother. All three of them laughed.

How in their right minds can anyone think this is an appropriate thing to say or joke about.

I wanted to say something to him, to all of them, but I didn’t. Someone needs to give them a reality check that this is simply not a joking matter, why didn’t I do it?

I’ve regretted it ever since the situation passed.

My first reaction was to get out and yell about respecting women and what an awful thing to joke about, especially a friends mother, but any woman. Immediately I thought of my daughter and how it might affect her if I did this. It could cause her to be labeled the girl with the crazy dad and make her start of school harder than it is already going to be for her.

She didn’t hear the comments at all thankfully, but my internal dilemma was still focused around her. I try to show her through actions how women need to be treated so that when she picks a boyfriend she will choose someone who will show her that respect, but by letting that pass I didn’t help anything. Even if she wasn’t there to see or hear, what if she had been, would I have reacted different?

When I was a teenager “Yo Momma” jokes were a big thing. Looking back those were horrible things to joke about, but I don’t recall any of them being a vulgar or as offensive as talking about raping someones mother.

My hope is that my children grow up to be stronger than what I displayed yesterday. I want them to feel secure enough to stand up for what’s right and let someone know, in an appropriate manner, when they say something that is simply not right. How can I expect them to do that if I don’t demonstrate it myself.

For now I am going to mention it to the Principal of the school so that he can at least be aware and pay attention for this in the future. I’m also going to make a firm resolve with myself to not let anything like that just slip by again.

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