Mansplaining and Consent

A win and a wondering.


I have said again and again and AGAIN, especially in one particular class, that if someone doesn’t ask for help and isn’t obviously struggling, it’s not helping. It’s bad manners. Last week a kid asked another kid if they needed help, kid said no, so the first kid sat back down. People, a month ago this would not have happened. In fact a month ago this didn’t happen. Not that some girls don’t try to boss others, but in this particular group it’s been boys getting up and trying to take over for girls. And I have been shutting it down as kindly as possible and trying to teach them how to be, because no one likes a mansplainer. I just didn’t realize it started so young.


Same group of kids. We had a pretty significant conversation about consent the other day. Kid was blowing on another kid’s hair. When I asked why, the response was ‘I just wanted to have a little fun’. This makes my blood run cold. I know the kid is little, but eventually the kid will be older. And the attitude of ‘having a little fun’ by using someone else’s body makes me want to vomit. (This kid also gets in others’ personal space and touches other kids even past the point of them saying ‘stop’, so I don’t think I’m putting too fine a point on it. And there are several in this group who think it’s hilarious to drop trou for all to see in the bathroom or grab each other’s backsides.)


It baffles me that I have to have this conversation as a teacher. As a parent, yes. I talk to my kids about consent. Is it that the parents of some of these kids haven’t had the conversation? Because some of them don’t seem to understand or respect the need for it. And some of them don’t seem to understand they need to grant it and if they don’t and the other person doesn’t respect that, there’s a problem. Or is it this is just a thing kids need all the adults in their lives to talk to them about?


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