Our latest podcast, On Girls’ Rights, is hot off the press, if you will and full of information on how to get the best out of life. You have a right to, you know!
Actually, when I was a teenager, I am not sure I did know my rights, such as the right to reject sexualisation, for example. From boys to men, I have had more than my fair share of unwarranted and unwanted comments about my clothes, my body, etc… And though I might have felt uncomfortable, I have often chosen to ignore the unnecessary nonsense and let the offender off the hook.
Make no mistake about it, I’m not talking about compliments. Those I love! I am talking about cat calls done with a smile. Nowadays, I’m likely to call a spade a spade but as a teen girl, I kept quiet more times than not.
Of course, every situation doesn’t call for action but when it comes to protecting your rights, sometimes you do have to step outside of your comfort zone—you have to set boundaries and honour them.
As our guest, Lindsey Turnbull, founder of Miss Heard Media, points out: boundaries are very important, not only for protecting your own space but they’re about respecting other people’s space, too. Sometimes the lack of boundaries puts people off. I can relate to that. Once I had a friendly neighbour who loved paying compliments and then one day, he referred to a certain dress I was wearing as delicious. Immediately, I stepped back and put up a physical boundary, refusing to make further small talk in any way, shape or form.
No, I didn’t call him out so to speak, rightly or wrongly, but I broke off our informal relationship, if you will. He got the message. His comment not only put me off, it did not serve me at all. Thankfully, at that stage in my life, I was confident enough to understand that he had no right to make such a comment about my clothing. No hemming and hawing or guilt to be felt about extracting myself from an uncomfortable situation. I was out of there.
But when I was younger, I often had similar things said to me or one of my peers as if it was the most normal, healthy thing to say.
The key, says Lindsey, is to really like yourself. The more you like yourself, the easier it is to say no to things that don’t serve you, whether it is a seemingly small thing like accepting a salacious comment or a big thing, like going further in a sexual relationship than comfortable with.
You do have a right to grow-up without so many uncalled for pressures. Check out the podcast for teen girls’ On Girls’ Rights for more advice and hot tips on how to exercise your rights. As usual, the podcast is full of info on how to get the best out of your situation. Listen on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or wherever you listen to podcasts.