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Mom advice can touch on all kinds of life lessons: from what brand of period product to buy to how to deal with street harassment. So this Mother’s Day, we wanted to celebrate moms’ badass, real-talk side — #metoo style.
Youth Radio’s newsroom interns decided to share the ways their mothers have advised them on how to handle sexual assault and harassment.
“She got me a rape whistle and told me not to walk through the parking lot at BART to avoid people jumping from their cars and kidnapping me.” — Mila De La Torre, 16
“When I went into high school, my parents knew that I’d have to take the bus sometimes, so they ended up giving me a taser. I expressed that I was kind of worried about my safety, especially since I was taking public transportation alone for the first time.” — Mali Dandridge, 17
“When I turned 14, I started using BART, my mom, stepmom, and grandmother all gave me pepper spray without telling each other.” — Malia Disney, 17
“The most important thing my mom told me about sexual assault is if someone ever tries to hurt you in any way, is that you always prioritize your own safety and comfort.” — Sierra Fang-Horvath, 18
“My mom said to always be aware of your surroundings while walking home. She also gave me a pink bottle of pepper spray that I could never imagine myself using. She told me to always watch my drink at parties.” — Vanessa Rasmussen, 16
”My mom has told me not to be on my phone or listening to loud music when I walk alone in public because I need to be aware of my surroundings. My mom signed up to a text alert system from the Berkeley Police Department and sends me texts notifying me about streets to avoid and things to look out for (like shady white vans or men in sunglasses and trench coats).” — Olivia Monforte, 17
Rachel Swinehart, 18, has commandeered her family’s living room in Cedar Rapids Iowa, filling it with large, plastic tubs containing stuff like pink bedding and a coffee maker. She’s about to head off to Shenandoah College, a small arts school in Virginia. In many ways, organizing her stuff is the easy part. Talking about the risks of college life — that’s a bit harder.
Teenagers can have a reputation for rejecting family time… but when we asked our youth reporters how they wanted to celebrate this Mother’s Day, they said they wanted to recreate classic childhood photos with their moms.
I came into this thinking that feminism is only about making women equal to men. But after talking with my mom and great grandma, I realized it’s much more complicated than that.
If my mom was deported and didn’t come home one day, it would be the hardest day of my life…I can’t imagine my life without my mom, she is the center of my universe.
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