A few weeks ago our staff held a baby shower for a co-worker who is expecting. We’re still waiting for the announcement of the official welcome, but while we wait I thought I’d share a message of hope. In the midst of work that can be sad, scary, charged, or enraging, the chance to celebrate a joyful, life-changing experience with another movement member revives me. At the shower, we set out big pieces of black poster board and some sidewalk chalk. As folks entered the room they had the opportunity to leave a message for Baby.
The things that folks shared inspired awe and wonder at the power and resilience of hope. Messages like, “life is beautiful and so are you,” “You are smart!” “Dream big” and “it really is so much fun…really…” sprinkled the boards. We don’t even know Baby yet, but we still wish for good things, love, happiness, and growth. These wishes can motivate us in our work to achieve a world without sexual violence and oppression.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to know, without a doubt, that Baby will only know these good things? How fantastic would it be to trust that Baby will never experience the trauma of violence or the sting of discrimination? These are the things that we work for every day. These are the things we write vision statements about in our organizations.
I’m excited to welcome Baby when that time comes. Until then, I’m excited about the planning process for the 2013 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Campaign. Sister blogger and SAAM extraordinaire Laura Palumbo has been hard at work developing materials, visuals, resources, and the theme for the upcoming campaign: “It’s time to talk about it! Talk early, talk often. Prevent Sexual Violence.” The theme is about healthy sexuality development as a part of child sexual abuse prevention.
And, you know what? I do want Baby to hear messages about healthy sexuality. I want Baby to be able to say words like “vagina” without giggling. I want a life free of shame, secrecy, doubt, and fear about sex and sexuality. And some day, when Baby is no longer a baby, and if/when Baby decides that he/she/ze is emotionally and physically ready for it, I want No-longer-a-Baby to experience great sex!