If you take it really seriously, parenthood is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. The hours are long and the pay stinks. It requires the most emotional investment and the greatest patience. And no matter how well you do it, there will always be that nagging little voice in your head wondering, “Should I have handled that differently?” But parenthood is also the most rewarding and important role you’ll ever play. And the good news is that we're all in this together...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Just the description in a Joanna Weiss’s Globe editorial today brought tears to my eyes. It’s a heartwarming 25-second video called “A Needed Response” by University of Oregon sophomore Samantha Stendahl that beautifully counteracts the “rape culture” of the Steubenville, Ohio tragedy, responding to the assumption that a young girl’s victimization was simply the unfortunate by-product of underage drinking and partying, as much the victim’s fault as the perpetrators. Stendahl’s video, now up to almost a million and a half views, shows a girl sprawled on a couch and a boy with a mischievous grin saying, “Hey, bros, check who passed out on the couch. Guess what I’m going to do to her?” He then puts a pillow under her head, covers her with a blanket, places a cup of tea next to her, and gently pulls her hair out of her face before turning back to the camera to say, “Real men treat women with respect.” This brief vignette with its pithy little tag line encapsulated what I’ve been telling my two daughters since early childhood – treat people with respect, and expect to be treated in kind. It seems so simple, so commonsensical that we instill in our children the basic values of human dignity and kindness. How has that gotten so lost along the way?

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