#NotThemToo

At the boxing club I run, I train a 13-year-old girl. She is bright, pleasant, funny, well-adjusted, and shy. She comes from good parents. (And I set that stage, because years of experience tells me I have to.)

The other day at her school, a boy told her that his father said that she “looks like the type to send nudes.”

Let me repeat that: A grown man told his 13yo son that a 13yo girl “looks like the type to send nudes.”

What’s especially galling about this is that it took place during the couple of days that the #MeToo campaign was gaining steam all over social media.

When the girl’s mother (who I’ve been friends with for a few years) told me, I was shocked, gobsmacked, and enraged. (I can only begin to imagine how her parents feel.)

I look at my 10yo daughter and her friends and I see their day coming. And I hate it. With every fibre of my being, I hate it.

Eleven. That’s how old I was the first time a man started sexually harassing me. I had a paper route back in the days when we collected payment door-to-door each week, and he would wait on his porch for me to arrive. And every week, without fail, he would tell me how pretty I was or what a heartbreaker I was going to be or how good my shorts looked on me.

It always made me feel weird and uncomfortable, but when I told my parents, they just told me to ignore him.

I refuse to do that for our daughters.

And I’ve been dealing with this kind of behaviour from men for 30 years now. Before you blame it on an older generation who doesn’t know better, I will tell you that I still get these kinds of comments from men 20 years my junior.

I refuse to stand by and watch our daughters be subjected to this kind of behaviour.


I will confront this kind of behaviour at every turn.

I will ensure that my daughter knows it will not be ignored.

I will stand up for my friends’ daughters when they experience it.

I will make it clear to men that THEY. NEED. TO. STOP.

That man who said that to his son – even if it was the first time – just delivered the message to his son that it is acceptable to speak to and about girls in terms of their bodies, especially their naked bodies.

That is nothing like okay. In fact, it’s dangerous.

We can no longer stand for this.

Our daughters cannot live in a world where they lose count of how many times they are harassed, because they’ve normalized it just as we have.

Loud and clear for everyone in the back: NOT THEM TOO.

Hate does not live on “many sides”

I am the white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cis mother of two children – a boy and a girl – whose ethnic heritage is Chinese, English, Filipino, and German.

I am appalled, disgusted, opposed to, and I unequivocally condemn not only what we’ve seen in Charlottesville these last few days, but also the behaviour and social media activity of one of our local regional councillors, and all racism. Continue reading “Hate does not live on “many sides””

We need to raise the bar on men’s behaviour

I catch myself doing this far too often and then this article about sexist language that hurts women slammed the point home for me the other day, compelling me to write this entry.

In the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of thanking men for doing things that are important to me. You know, things like making an effort to fight against the gender wage gap; for working toward gender parity in their businesses or on their boards; for believing me and other women when we talk about street harassment or sexual assault or rape or domestic violence; for being respectful of what I want or need from a situation; for just ‘getting it.’ Continue reading “We need to raise the bar on men’s behaviour”

Body confidence and fitness

Just about two weeks ago, I posted this video of me working harder than I could have imagined to raise 3lb weights in front of me and to my sides. Rob (my trainer who is also a monster of some sort) and I were having a good laugh about it, because I can’t recall the last time I used 3lb weights for anything and because he and Shirley have had me lifting much heavier weights — albeit for different exercises. Continue reading “Body confidence and fitness”

My feminism and my love of boxing meet

To follow up those last three posts about boxing, indulge me for a few minutes whilst I tell you about a project that I’m working on.

Seven years ago, I tried boxing on a dare. I walked into FightFit in St. Catharines and it wasn’t long before the sport that I’d previously considered barbaric and requiring little skill became the sport I loved precisely because of how much skill is required. Continue reading “My feminism and my love of boxing meet”

Why some people box

I posted this just about a year ago on another blog as I was training for my second fight. I did not write this post. Rather, it is a copy and paste of an article that is also linked to in the first paragraph.

(Please support: Boxing made accessible to everyone.)

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If you’re still trying to wrap your head around why some people box, this is a great read: How Boxing Got Me to Face My Fears

Continue reading “Why some people box”

How boxing is empowering

Last year, at this time, I was training for my second fight. This blog entry talks about that training and also follows up another blog entry I wrote about boxing and violence against women being different.

(Please support: Boxing made accessible to everyone.)

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Training yesterday was all about Irwin’s. Continue reading “How boxing is empowering”

How boxing and violence against women are different

Just shy of a year ago, I was training for my second fight and promoting it on social media. Someone challenged me and told me that I was encouraging violence against women. Here’s what I wrote at that time.

(Please support: Boxing made accessible to everyone.)

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It’s nice to be on vacation. It means I can go to Energy whenever I wake up in the morning and not at obscene o’clock. So, yes, I started yesterday off with an hour on the bike and “travelled” the equivalent of 15.07 km. Seems that’s all I can muster on the bike whilst reading a book. I did increase the intensity, though, so the calorie burn was higher. Continue reading “How boxing and violence against women are different”