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It’s OK To Teach Our Daughters…

November 10th, 2017 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments

So with all the current events about sexual assault and as the father of an almost 12 year old daughter, when I saw this article in the Houston Press by Jeff Rouner, I could only say, ‘Right on brother!’ I include the article for your edification here on my blog, but I suggest clicking the above link if you want to go to the source directly.

Teach Your Daughters to Hit People Who Touch Them
JEF ROUNER | NOVEMBER 2, 2017 | 5:00AM

There’s an old saying that violence never solves anything. I’m going to quote Robert A. Heinlein here; Starship Troopers, if you need to know.

‘Anyone who clings to the historically untrue and thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never settles anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.’

Robert Heinlein

The #MeToo campaign has touched me deeply in many ways. Partly because I was myself the victim of sexual assault by a male relative. Partly because covering rape culture has been a staple of my work for many years. And yes, partly because I have a daughter. No, I didn’t start caring about feminism just because she was born and I had an epiphany that women were people too. However, I do live constantly with the fear of her entering a world that treats her gender as objects and second-class citizens. If you think that’s not the case, would you kindly just call me a cuck in the comments and piss off? The adults who can read graphs are talking.

I used to tell her that when someone was being mean to her she should inform a teacher. That’s what we always tell children. Authority is the answer. It makes sense. We are authority to them. Mother (and by proxy Father) is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children, as James O’Barr once said.

Many victims of sexual assault find the justice system unhelpful at best and a type of re-victimization at worst. Lately, though, I have been wondering. Is it right to teach our daughters that authority is the answer to problems that afflict them, particularly ones that are sexual in nature? Let’s review.

A woman is currently suing the City of Houston over a rape kit that sat untested for five years. More than 6,000 women are in a position to join her suit. Meanwhile, oh, the rapin’ does a-continue. How much rape is going on in the United States? No one really knows. Our recording methods are highly flawed, and rape and sexual assault remain some of the most unreported crimes in the nation.

Why? Because many victims find the justice system unhelpful at best and a type of re-victimization at worst. Contrary to popular belief among the meatheaded part of the population, rape survivors are not automatically showered with riches and praise in this country. Mostly they’re disbelieved, ignored, scrutinized and punished. There is no magical rape fairy dropping rape points onto the women who speak out. Or the men, for that matter. If you want to start naming people who have parlayed a rape accusation into fame and fortune, and have me start naming accused rapists who suffered nothing harsher than a few angry tweets, we can play that game. I’m going to win, though.

This is why I’ve started telling my daughter that if someone touches her chest, her ass or between her legs without her permission, to punch them in the goddamn face. Aim for the nose, Sweetheart. You don’t want to catch their teeth and get a cut. That’s a good way to get an infection. You want nose or eyes, and maybe use that front choke Daddy taught you. Turn your forearms so the bone goes against their carotid and jugular. That’s what makes them pass out.

I have zero confidence in any school district or legal systems to handle sexual assault on the first try. Can she get in trouble for violence at school? Yes, she can, and should. Violence is illegal. Note: I didn’t say wrong. I said illegal. The two are not synonyms. Gays and lesbians getting married was illegal. It was never wrong.

I have zero confidence in any school district or legal systems to handle sexual assault on the first try. I have known a lot of women in my life, and nary a one of them who has been raped or sexually assaulted has ever come up to me and said, “Gee, the legal system sure did knock it out of the park the first time this happened to me.” I’ve been in the room with a freakin’ unicorn (or what the circus said was one), but I have never, ever had this scenario happen. Now, undoubtedly, her punching Handsy McGees in their stupid, rapey faces will necessitate a conference. Schools love conferences like Hollywood producers love desperate women and uncomfortable couches. That’s fine with me. I have no problem talking about the appropriateness of my girl’s kung fu, but we are going to discuss the why. If she punched someone for calling her a name, no, that’s not cool. If she punched someone for deciding her bikini areas were public grounds, then you can go to hell. Sure, put it on her permanent record. Heck, suspend her. Last time a school decided that being needlessly sexist was a good idea, I made it national news. I can always do it again. Is violence the ideal answer to sexual harassment? Of course it isn’t. The ideal answer is living in a world where this sort of thing is swiftly dealt with at all levels of authority with a zero-tolerance policy. Anytime y’all want to make that happen, you let me know. Until then, I’m teaching my daughter the proper way to throw a punch, and if you don’t like it, teach your kids the proper way to act.

Answering physical assault with physical assault is perfectly appropriate, and I have long since stopped caring about the concept of polite when it comes to those who feel boundaries are optional. It is easier to seek forgiveness than live in a world that tolerates the endless sexual assault of women. Tell your daughter it’s okay to punch people who touch her inappropriately and without her consent. It’s the lesson their own parents failed to impart. I’ll take a few bad conduct grades over living another minute with this rape culture any day.

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  1. Richard
    November 10th, 2017 at 12:27 | #1

    Right on, Jorma! Girls and women need to be able to protect themselves, not run off to Daddy, or Big Brother, or some other guy to be safe. I grew up in the 50’s in Texas, and though there’s a lot I’d complain about, the girls I knew could take care of themselves. And they did! BTW, thanks for the music, too!!

  2. JB
    November 10th, 2017 at 12:38 | #2

    Don’t forget the swift kick to the beanbag!

  3. johno
    November 10th, 2017 at 12:47 | #3

    I also have a daughter – she’s 25 and lives in Brooklyn. When she was 14, knowing the rape culture we live in, I took her to the local dojo to learn karate. She loved it. Now she feels more comfortable in case she ever is in an unwanted situation. At least she knows how to punch and kick correctly. And I feel better knowing she knows how to defend herself. Hopefully she won’t have to use it.

  4. Mike Anderson
    November 10th, 2017 at 13:26 | #4

    Jorma, here in the Waterbury area of Connecticut, we have “Jane Doe No More” that was established by a rape victim. She holds self defense classes in which my cousin teaches. They also counsel on the legal system and health, both mental and physical. They are there for all victims of rape or sexual assault and they don’t take any crap. They will assist victims through the legal process and be their advocates.

  5. Andy K
    November 10th, 2017 at 13:42 | #5

    The discussion is quite timely, what with all the assault disclosures in the media. Practically a daily drumbeat of reports of despicable behavior by political, Hollywood and media types for the past year beginning with accusations against the then presidential candidate.
    It opens people’s eyes to the prevalence of this horrific behavior, which was previously not frequently discussed nor thought to often occur.
    Now we know the terrible truth and need to act accordingly.

  6. Joe from VA
    November 10th, 2017 at 13:55 | #6

    Wow–this space got HEAVY real quick. I must say that I underscore Jorma’s clear-eyed sentiments 100%–especially the broader nature of the argument that violence returned when violently provoked is not only justified, but many times the only way to protect ones’ life and limb. No predator can proceed unabated after a violent fist to the Adam’s apple.

    Back to Jorma’s broader argument–I immediately thought of a movie a few years back. It was 31 October 2014. I had been awoken by my sister at 0600 (I was staying in a hotel room visiting because my Dad was gravely ill) calling to tell me my Dad had left this world for the next. After a short coversation, I was alone and alone . . . . What to do that day before the family would gather later that evening for dinner? The movie Fury (think brutal tank battles as the allies advanced into Germany during WW II) was playing a matinee that day down the street. My Dad had served in a heavy tank company in Germany during WW II. I thought to myself–why not honor the memories of my Dad by getting a window into his young life fighting the Nazis?

    I went to the movie and it was as vivid and surreal as it could be–partially because the movie was so realistic, partially because I knew my Dad had lived what I was seeing, and I’m sure because of the emotional rawness of having just lost him. Sorry for the long story, but felt compelled to add this context–here I come to my point.

    Brad Pitt is the tank commander–they take on a rookie soldier who is deathly afraid of visiting violence on the Nazis who are trying to kill them. Pitt’s character goes through a series of steps trying to get the new recruit to understand they were in a “kill or be killed” zone. They end up surviving a tank battle with some Nazi Panzer tanks (more capable than the American tanks at the time). Pitt turns to him and says as compellingly as one could “IDEALS ARE PEACFUL; HISTORY IS VIOLENT!”

    Veterans’ Day observed today–an interesting confluence. Here’s to us and those like us–damn few!

  7. Ham n Eggs
    November 10th, 2017 at 14:58 | #7

    Bravo! Especially with President Pussy Grabber and his education secretary telling us we need to be understanding of each side in these cases.
    Peace
    Love All Ways

  8. mikie
    November 10th, 2017 at 16:01 | #8

    I’ll give you that anyone who quotes Heinlein can’t be all bad. I think I’d prefer a piercing scream to a physical assault, tho, as being as effective. I’ve got two grand girls, and a good scream from either would likely break glass. jus’ sayin. m

  9. November 10th, 2017 at 16:57 | #9

    The trumpeter of Krakow didn’t defend the city with a horn ,it was the clarion to defend their WALLED CITY,from a persistent and undeterred ivader,The Muslim Tatars( sound familiar),
    They were only deterred,by salvos of polish arrows.
    In the hands of Miles ,Stan Getz or Dizzie ,the trumpet is a wonderfully wielded instrument,however for self defense ,I prefer a 45 ,in the trumpeters time a recurved or long bow on a parapet would provide a more sustained symphony.
    Of particular note is the element of the walled city or citadel,these stones were quarried for size and soundness,
    They were not gathered by farmers ,trying to clear their fields of floaters,that bent their plows.
    As for self defense” If you don’t do it ,somebody else will.
    Societally ,the “trajectory “of history so idealistically embraced by the pre pussy grabber,was pure unbridled delusion.
    I prefer the walled city and self preservation posture.
    To bring this full circle ,nobody ever successfully levitated the pentagon.
    Let’s stick with the lesson from Ecclesiastes,To everything thing there is a season.
    By inference ,there is a time for peace,but I would contend that’s after you provide your own self defense& build your walled city.
    Once inside ,we can listen to Miles,Time after time

  10. November 10th, 2017 at 17:04 | #10

    To wit, all these sexual assaults are fundamentally acts of violence.
    We’ve come a long way baby.
    A few public canings for persistent sex offenders would be a very effective deterrent.
    I don’t think we’ve come as far as we think.

  11. Richu
    November 10th, 2017 at 22:27 | #11

    So glad you are alive and well.A fine musician and a fine man.t.y.

  12. carey georgas
    November 11th, 2017 at 08:49 | #12

    Finally, the antiseptic of light is being shined into this dark corner of our societal dysfunction. For things to change, we have to start thinking differently, and this article is an excellent example of that.

    As an aside, hurricane Harvey blew the Houston Free Press off the newsstands. They announced last week Thayer are laying off nine people and going to an online format only. Progress, I guess. At least we still have the Pacifica radio affiliate still kicking.

  13. Susan
    November 11th, 2017 at 09:03 | #13

    I’d like to add tell your boys too, without any intention of minimizing the numbers of girls and women who have been violated. Always told my children to “tell someone”, but changing that message now after reading this.

  14. carey georgas
    November 11th, 2017 at 09:56 | #14

    Yes. As father of two sons, it has to be easier to teach our sons how to act than have to teach our daughters how to react.

  15. Susan
    November 11th, 2017 at 10:11 | #15

    Yes…boys need to know both how to act respectfully and how to react if victimized. Do unto others…..

  16. Robert Hoke
    November 11th, 2017 at 13:51 | #16

    Thanks Jorma. I will share this with my daughter. Good stuff.

  17. Andrew
    November 11th, 2017 at 14:40 | #17

    Spot on Jorma.Our only child is a daughter.
    Now 28 years old & in the police
    acadamy. She was raised as a little girl
    but in some ways treated almost like a son.
    My wife bought her a shirt that says to the
    effect that we did not raise a princess, we
    raised a valkarie (excuse my spelling). Girls
    Should be taught to defend themselves but they
    Should also know they have backup. On another note are you in deer season yet in your parts.Bet you are thinking of venison.

  18. Jana
    November 11th, 2017 at 18:54 | #18

    As a female fan for 33 years, I want to thank you for this post, but also it comes as no surprise. You hit it right on the money with “Angel of Darkness.” On my own, I survived all the abusive s*** that came my way, and finally having stand-up men in my adult life — personally of course but also in public culture — has been more important than I can say in encouraging me to “find my star” and thrive in today’s rape culture. Izzy’s a lucky girl to have you, so are all the girls with loving fathers.

  19. Mark K
    November 11th, 2017 at 21:07 | #19

    It is just as important to teach our daughters to avoid putting themselves into potential high risk situations and to use good common sense. I agree with the philosophy of their learning how to physically defend themselves as we cant protect them and be with them all the time and especially as they become adults and explore new relationships and situations.
    As I have worked for many years now with addicts in various stages of recovery, many on parole or probation, some who have committed heinous crimes, one thing has become clear to me is how easy it is for predators of all types to take advantage and cause great harm to our children. Yes learn to protect yourself, but also be smart enough to do your best as to avoid high risk situations and high risk individuals

  20. eaglesteve
    November 11th, 2017 at 22:43 | #20

    I know people who can make “Done Somebody Wrong”……right.
    I have a grand daughter.
    G_d help anyone messes with her, as far as this conversation goes.
    For such a scumbag, as my Italian father-in-law says,
    “They shoulda be shota”.
    ‘Nuf said

  21. Steverino
    November 12th, 2017 at 02:09 | #21

    As we age, my brother from an older mother, no matter where we go, there we are.
    I was fortunate enough to shake your hand and share a shot of tequila with you in Miami at the Stephen Talkhouse back in oh I think it was ‘91.(perhaps helped put you on the sobriety road…meh..personal decisions aside) I have always found solace in all you have written or played..and knowing that there is a rider in the background has always been something most will never understand. Thank You Jorma…from a twelve year old in ‘69 up to today and until my last day…

  22. Dan
    November 13th, 2017 at 10:52 | #22

    Based on the horrific stories seems like every day now, everyone needs to be aware and able to take care of themselves. My wife took self defense with the kids. My daughter visiting from school,she was 19 at the time, we went to dinner. We ordered drinks as she did and the waiter asked for her ID. Knowing the age in Florida was 21, we were simply waiting and planning on sharing some of our wine with her. The waiter handed her back her ID and said thank you and took her order. We asked what she gave him and it was a fake ID from one of her sorority sisters. My wife was really angry she had a fake ID, but Diana said, “look I am going to go to bars and wouldnt you rather I get my own drinks, rather than some guy getting one for me ?”While I dont want you guys to think I am a bad parent supporting underage drinking, but we all were legal at 18, I was impressed and offered to pay her what the ID cost.

  23. Brendan Carroll
    November 13th, 2017 at 17:02 | #23

    Points well taken. Your family could also upgrade its drone defences. I’m still shocked by seemingly civilized persons who don’t care how they get what they want. Verbal Judo gleaned from “The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defence” has helped many set boundaries and defuse aggressive behavior.

    “Every time a man interrupts the culture of dominance – and treats both women and men as unique individuals who are valuable for our hearts and minds and actions, not for how we look or where we are in some hierarchy – we are closer to being linked, not ranked”
    – Gloria Steinem

    I’ll be attending your Fairfield, Ct. show in Dec. Please advise venue to amend marquee to reflect HotTuna/BrendanC reunion show, or perhaps HotTuna/Elvis and The Martians.

  24. Andriy
    November 13th, 2017 at 18:08 | #24

    This abuse is about control and the feeling of power that result from this. Here this abuse of women and others should be past not anymore. No more bully boys and no more to allow the bullying.

  25. Richu
    November 13th, 2017 at 19:02 | #25

    No abuse of power in your big apple when a 68 year old man is destroyed by a hockey stick…but heh..just another day.ain’t life grand?

  26. Brendan Carroll
    November 13th, 2017 at 21:53 | #26

    Please ignore any flippancy detected in original post. The matter is no joke.

  27. Kevin
    November 13th, 2017 at 22:55 | #27

    @Barbara Jacobs
    You just don’t get it do you. Jorma was talking to all of us, INCLUDING YOU!!! We all enjoy coming to this place to share in Jormas generosity of word and thought. Let it go so we don’t lose this beautiful place.