So this afternoon I’m wandering aimlessly down 48th Street towards 6th Ave, having been deterred from crossing 5th Ave due to the Veterans Day parade, thus rendering me unable to lunch at Cosi (tear). I’m slightly spacing out until I walk by an ad on the side of a telephone booth. I glance over but kept walking, let it sink in for a few seconds, and then did the most un-New Yorker thing I can possibly imagine–I turned around, walked back to the sign and took a picture with my phone. But this is why:
“Eat your vegetables. Finish your homework. Respect women.” it says, while the young boy wears a sweatshirt that says “Awaiting Instruction.” Teach your children to respect women! How simple and yet how awesome! Don’t just shame your daughters into not wearing short skirts cuz they’ll be asking for it! Teach your sons to respect women and not take advantage of them! This was a day after I read this story that cites my hometown newspaper (woot Minneapolis!) which profiles college activists’ attempts to focus sexual assault education towards men:
Instead of teaching women not to walk alone at night or to carry Mace, some colleges are trying something much harder — changing college men.
…”The fact of the matter is that prevention comes down to, largely, males. Because males are primarily the ones perpetrating these crimes,” said Lauren Pilnick, sexual violence education coordinator at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Having men vocalize and work against violence against women is in my mind an integral part in combating domestic violence and sexual assault. The ad was posted by New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, as part of their Coaching Boys Into Men campaign, a yearlong campaign launched last October…yet this is the first I’m hearing of it. I’m hoping that it made some sort of impact around the state–it certainly made me stop in my tracks and turn around, in the best of ways.