I recently came across a blog about public sexual harassment and catcalling in DC. Although some of the stories are clearly not sexual harassment, some are quite appalling. And apparently, it’s quite common.

I have quite a few comical (read: awkward) experiences with catcalling/getting hit on while living in DC. It’s hard to pick a favorite experience… it’s probably a tie between two: the time that a man in the elevator who was carrying his lunch back to his desk offered to trade me his fruit cup for a relationship. And the time that a homeless man asked me for money (I gave him everything I had in my wallet – $0.10) and then asked me out on a date, proudly reporting that sometimes he makes good money on the streets.

The blog and my plethora of experiences with bold (read: creepy) men has made me wonder why men think it’s okay to act this way. Didn’t their mamas teach them better?

Russell and I often discuss how to raise a son that isn’t an asshole and a daughter who isn’t a slut in today’s society. In our very unscientific and purely experience-based opinion, we decided that having really involved parents—especially fathers—is the key to raising respectable kids. (Not that that is the only factor.)

It’s really amazing the impact that fathers can have. They serve as role models for their sons, while showing their daughters their individual worth in the world. The least amount of interest in the kids’ lives can make a father great. In some cases, just having a father that sticks around can be enough to label him a good father.

Whereas an above-average mother—one who is involved, loving, there day in and day out, but maybe not perfect—can still be labeled as a horrible mother, blamed for all issues a kid has later in life.

Even I, as I meet unruly people (like the men who think it’s okay to trade a relationship for a fruit cup), immediately blame their mothers.

It’s an interesting double standard.

I guess all I can say is thank God I have a great father, and thank God Russell is committed to being a good father someday.

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