The little girl is 15

My daughter, Clementine, completed her 15th trip around the sun this morning at 8:23 AM. I’d like to say how proud I am of her, how much my heart swells whenever I think about her, and how confident I am that she’ll grow up to do great things, but, as I know that she’d absolutely hate it if I did any of those things, I’ll instead just share a few family photos. [While I have a policy against showing my kids on this site in real time, I’ve decided that it’s OK to share photos of what they looked like a while a go, before they morphed into who they are today. So, with that in mind, the most recent of these shots is from about three years ago. You’ll have to take my word for it when I tell you that her evolution has continued since then with the speed of an alien xenomorph.]

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49 Comments

  1. Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I should add that I got her OK before posting this.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Was she held upside down for the first several years of her life?

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    She’s the same age my kid was when you asked my child her feelings about pornography and it’s influence on youth sexuality and published it in this forum (in a piece about school dress codes ). I admit I didn’t monitor the process because I never thought anything like that would come up. Luckily Ada was equipped to handle it. And well.

    At the time I remember thinking he’ll understand how messed up that is when his daughter is her age.
    So happy birthday dear girl. I won’t ask you about your relationship to porn in a public forum.

  4. John Brown
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Mark, there is a Medicare for All Town hall at EMU Saturday in case she’s politically engaged already. The next generation always has the most at stake in politically turbulent times.

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/medicare-for-all-town-hall-with-reps-dingell-jayapal-tickets-64638050148

  5. Jcp2
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Driver’s ed is the next big hurdle, unless she has plans to move to NYC. Mine has switched coastal preferences.

  6. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Aloha MM, Remember the two most dangerous things your daughter will do in the near future is 1) Drive 2) Have sex. Teach her about the dangers of both.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Countdown to the local trolls making this post about themselves….3. 2. 1….

  8. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    “Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink
    She’s the same age my kid was when you asked my child her feelings about pornography and it’s influence on youth sexuality and published it in this forum (in a piece about school dress codes ). I admit I didn’t monitor the process because I never thought anything like that would come up. Luckily Ada was equipped to handle it. And well.
    At the time I remember thinking he’ll understand how messed up that is when his daughter is her age.
    So happy birthday dear girl. I won’t ask you about your relationship to porn in a public forum.”

    Haha, what???

  9. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    This should be a pretty good test if Mark actually reads the comments.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Allow me to rephrase for Digmatic Dolt:
    ’Aloha MM, Remember the two most wonderful things your daughter will do in the near future is 1) Drive 2) Have sex. Teach her about the pleasures and responsibilities of both.

    My daughter returned from NYC last summer for a break and learned to drive at 20, then drove across the country with a friend. It was a great experience and I don’t think she’d have learned otherwise. Amazing how unnecessary driving is in densely populated places with good public transport. Amazing also how great road trips are for getting out of ones comfort zone and deeper into the world.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The most dangerous thing a young woman can do IS spend time alone with men, young or old. Statistically, she’s at greatest risk from male violence. I don’t recommend avoiding men however. That’s unreasonable and aces responsibility from abuse on the victims. I recommend that men fix their shit and demand that others do the same.

  12. Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Jean Henry wrote the following in a comment earlier in this thread.

    She’s the same age my kid was when you asked my child her feelings about pornography and it’s influence on youth sexuality and published it in this forum (in a piece about school dress codes ). I admit I didn’t monitor the process because I never thought anything like that would come up. Luckily Ada was equipped to handle it. And well.

    At the time I remember thinking he’ll understand how messed up that is when his daughter is her age. So happy birthday dear girl. I won’t ask you about your relationship to porn in a public forum.

    OK, so here’s my response.

    First, for what it’s worth, her daughter was not the same age. My daughter turned 15 yesterday, and, as least as I understand it, her daughter was 16 when she and I did our interview over email. At least the interview, which she approved, begins with me identifying her as “a sixteen year old student at Community High”. So, she was at least a year older than my daughter.

    Second, I think it’s worth pointing out that Jean requested that I talk with her daughter for the site, as her daughter at the time was embroiled in a bit of local controversy around the subject of school dress codes. On May 9, 2014, I received an email from Jean, asking, “Do you think, as this thing grows, if it does, that you would be willing to do a quick interview with some of them to give them full voice somewhere on the inter web?” So, lest anyone think that I just reached out to a child on my own to ask about their “feelings about pornography,” I did not.

    And third, and most importantly, as noted earlier, it was not a conversation about “porn”. Toward the end of a long interview about dress codes and girls’ fashion, I asked about our culture’s hyper-sexualization of girls. And, yes, in that conversation, we did talk a bit about how the internet, and the pornography it makes readily-available, has changed things for young people coming of age. I just re-read the conversation — which I’d encourage all fo you to read — and I don’t find anything about it salacious or inappropriate.

    One last thing. And I guess this is actually the most important thing… Jean suggested that I steer the conversation in this direction. Here is an excerpt from a later email, sent on May 10.

    So I am hoping these conversation get to this:

    1) Do school dress codes work at all to improve student achievement and behavior? What is the proof?

    2) Does how a young woman dresses impact her risk of assault? If it does, is it our job to police that?

    3) Do dress codes that target female dress encourage thought patterns (in males and females) that increase sexual misconduct and excuses for the same? If so, can they be written so as not to do so?

    4) How do parents and teachers concerned about the early sexualization of children address their concerns without exacerbating the situation?
    4a) If a child acts out sexual imagery she sees in the media is she working through her response to those images or actually becoming sexualized earlier?
    4b) Are kids more or less sexually active earlier now?

    5) Is early childhood sexualization worse now? (I contend that my generation– the freaked out parents & teachers of these kids– had it much worse on all counts. And I think that’s why we freak out. Just google Playboy’s “Sugar & Spice” if you want a dose of very new and unfettered sexual freedom wrought in the 70’s. But sit down first.)
    5a) Do teen girls have better or worse body self-image now? Does comfort in scanty dress reflect self respect or lack of it? Or does it just affect how outsiders feel about them? (I don’t think answers here are one size fits all but I do think our generation can’t even imagine that these girls feel good about themselves. )

    6) Is sexual assault (self-reported) rising or falling? (I know the answer to this one– It’s falling. But still too high and empowered women is part of why tolerance for the status quo of “rape culture” has decreased even as numbers have dropped. A big chunk of this is owed to young men growing in awareness and advocacy as well.)

    7) Does it work better to let kids have freedom (ideally tied to responsibility) in high school while under some parental supervision or is it better to control behavior on all fronts before the considerable personal freedom that comes after graduation?
    7a) Really big question: do natural consequences engender personal responsibility (Internal regulation) or does outside regulation engender personal responsibility via establishing patterns of internal regulation?

    8) Porn and boys? Is exposure to porn, harder, earlier, more easily, and more often making these kids more sexually aggressive or not? Do they exhaust their interest? Has anyone asked the boys how they feel about sexual expression in young women and the pervasive idea that they can not control their own behavior?

    Lastly, this interview was posted five years ago, and this is the first time I’ve heard that Jean had any issue with it. Why she would bring it up here, in this context, given the recent incidents of men acting inappropriately with young women, I have not idea. I consider her a friend, and I can’t begin to fathom why she would suggest that I was out, on my own, asking girls about porn. It’s wrong. It’s offensive. And I’m sorry that I had to respond publicly in this way. It’s not the way I like to do business… especially in a thread about my daughter.

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    This should be a good test to see if Jean is capable of apologizing.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The lesson of the day: Save your emails.

  15. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Another lesson for the day: If people tell you that your memory is poor take them seriously.

    Your memory sucks, Jean! You should take your poor memory into consideration the next time you have an impulse to re-present *anything* that you believe may have happened in the past because it usually just ends up being a mis-representation of what actually happened.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Well, that didn’t take long.

  17. site admin
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, I’m sure Mark would not like to see this turn into a prolonged attack on Jean.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Your blog is a place where people can attack each other whenever they like. How would this be any different than normal? It might be a public service, otherwise lonely and jobless people might feel some kind of catharsis from interacting here. It is really sad that a great post about your family turned into a shitshow of people leveling accusations against each other. I would suggest that you turn off the comments entirely. This place has really turned vile. Bring back the ball shaving and all the talk of the happenings in our great town.

  19. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    It wasn’t supposed to be about porn but it got around to that. Question number 8. It’s a topic Mark has written about quite a bit. Interesting it would find its way into an interview with Jean’s daughter about dress codes.

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Prior to the dresscode article Jean sent Mark an email asking for Mark to ask question 8. It was Jean’s original question which she wanted Mark to ask her daughter. He did. Five years later, in this thread, she insinuated that Mark, on his own accord, asked “messed up” questions about pornography to her teenage daughter. It was her idea.

  21. Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Memory is a weird thing. I know I don’t always remember things correctly, and that’s why I try not to make definitive statements about the past. I’ll say things like “I think you once told me,” or “I’m pretty sure I once heard….” I’m not mad that Jean misremembered this incident. It’s part of life. It just bothered me that she said this publicly, giving an opening to someone like HW to start making ridiculous assertions about my talking with kids about porn. Again (for the benefit of HW), the interview was Jean’s idea, and she urged me to ask those particular questions. [Please read my previous comment, in which I lay everything out, quoting Jean’s 2014 emails.] And, really, I don’t see anything wrong with the questions that Jean suggested, and that I asked. [If I didn’t think the questions were good, or that her daughter could respond to them, I wouldn’t have asked them.] It was a good conversation on a difficult subject, and I stand by it.

  22. Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    And, yes, I do not want this thread to a become a big pile-on against Jean, who has proven over time to be one of the more consistently thoughtful commenters on this site. I get how some of you might relish the fact that I responded the way that I did, but this exchange of ours has absolutely no bearing on the various quarrels that others among you may have with her. So don’t try to spin this as evidence of “Jean always being wrong,” or whatever.

    One more thing. Had this happened several years ago, I would have probably contacted Jean by way of email, reminded her of the facts outlined above, and then offered to remove the comment for her. Unfortunately, however, that just doesn’t work in our current era of lunacy, in which some readers of this site would, I have no doubt, grab onto my removal of a comment about how I prowl around town, asking kids about porn, and then go on to create some kind of ridiculous conspiracy theory about me. So, even though I knew this would all turn to shit, I felt as though I had no choice but to publicly post the above response.

    And, yeah, it does kind of suck that this is always going to be tied to a post about my daughter’s birthday… one that I suspect she’ll look back on later in life, etc. The modern world just sucks, doesn’t it?

  23. John Brown
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Nobody’s perfect. But some are downright evil. Being able to tell the difference and react appropriately is what new recruits to Citizenship like Clementine need to learn. Otherwise, Agent Orange….

  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    “Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink
    Prior to the dresscode article Jean sent Mark an email asking for Mark to ask question 8. It was Jean’s original question which she wanted Mark to ask her daughter. He did. Five years later, in this thread, she insinuated that Mark, on his own accord, asked “messed up” questions about pornography to her teenage daughter. It was her idea.”

    What in the actual fuck is going on in these people’s minds?

  25. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    “ridiculous assertions about my talking with kids about porn.’

    What did I say that’s ridiculous? Pretty sure what I said is factual. If you want to parse my quotes give it a shot.

  26. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I find this whole thing fascinating!

    I have a lot to say but I can’t right now because my mom has me on the roof fixing the antennae for the upstairs TV because she does not want to miss the next Jerry Springer episode.

    Anyway, hopefully we can all recognize it ultimately does not matter how the idea of question 8 originated. The important thing, for the conversation to move forward, is that Jean explain what exactly, in her opinion, is “messed up” about Mark talking about porn with her daughter? Or did her opinion, untethered from memory, change already?

  27. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Mark, do yourself and the world a favor and shut down commenting on your blog. It’s just time.

  28. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    “this exchange of ours has absolutely no bearing on the various quarrels that others among you may have with her. So don’t try to spin this as evidence of “Jean always being wrong,” or whatever.”–Mark

    By what sense of authority do you feel justified in making that statement, Mark? This little situation Jean created here fits perfectly into a pattern of her own weaving. It is in fact a piece of evidence that she has a bad memory and that her bad memory, among other things, leads to constant misrepresentations and accusations against others. You did not bother to involve yourself in any of the quarrels I have had with Jean so why do you think you have the authority to make such a blanket statement about things you have chosen to stay out of and things which you know little about?

    Don’t blame this all on the nature of the internet. You are to some extent feeling the consequences or your own choices to stay above the fray. The consequences of your choice to put narrative above Truth. I don’t relish Jean’s downfall. I hope she can learn from this. I wish more people were willing to put a spotlight on other people’s lies as well as their own. I wish more people were willing to call out people within their own party when they are guilty of misrepresenting others and when they express baseless smears. I don’t think we should only show basic respect for truth when the lies have an averse effect on us, our friends, or allies directly.

    Things to think about as we grow as individuals…

  29. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Aloha JH, many dangerous activities are also wonderful, one does not preclude the other. As a dad, my primary responsibility is protection. And I’m sorry its mom’s job to explain how sex is wonderful, not dads.

  30. Sad
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure anyone reading this in the future will think the same thing most of us are now.

    What’s wrong with FF and HW?

    And why were they talking about a Jean Henry when they could have been talking about Mayor Pete?

  31. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    It would suck to be so glib you can never turn it off..

  32. Sad
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I would reply but in deference to the child I will refrain.

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    DD — that’s done paternalistic shit right there. Why can’t a father be sex positive with his daughter? What exactly are you afraid of? And how fucked up us that? If you teach your daughter sex is dangerous (and is it, really? No.) rather than normal healthy behavior that’s good for her, you are going to fuck her up.

    Plus side, She’ll have lots of company in this country.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Mark. You may be right.

    So my recollection was that email was about the many issues the dress code petition brought up. There were many. I was obviously going a little deep. I don’t have any editor when thinking through things, clearly. Did you ask Asa about boys and porn and sexual aggression or young people and porn? Because those are different questions. (haven’t looked; front have tome now) Because I don’t think I expected you to ask my daughter about porn. I remember being surprised by the question when I read it but pleased with Ada’s response. It’s entirely possible that it just felt different thinking of my daughter answering that question from a man she doesn’t know and having it published.

    Ada is sturdy and had no problem with it. Luckily 15-16 year olds don’t care much one way or another about adults.

    I didn’t say anything at the time because I didn’t think it possible for a man to understand that a young articulate woman is still a child. It IS different now, post metoo. The difference is many men understand the situation more now. That’s really the only difference.

    I figured I’d talk to you about it when your daughter was the same age. Ada was in 9th grade when she wrote that petition and answered your questions, so 15 unless it was after March that it was published. I assume your daughter is the same age roughly. Or close enough. I mentioned it in public forum because you asked it of her in this public forum. Simple as that.

    I honestly don’t remember writing that list . Or I didn’t until you posted it. I was sorting through my thoughts, especially as informed by the amazing response/comments of so many kids, especially the boys.

    I didn’t think of them as questions as I remember it. More a list of related issues. I understand your confusion though.

    I should have asked to review the thing before it was published, but Ada wanted to do it on her own. Obviously I could have been more vigilant myself on many counts.

    As for why I requested a short interview, Ada was trying to change school policy. So yeah, interviews help.

    I’m sorry of I misrepresented things. It was how I remembered them.

    Please don’t feel you need to defend me to these goons. They expose themselves when they attack me. Doesn’t bother me a bit. I think no one takes them seriously.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I very sorry I didn’t think about Clementine and her birthday and how this might be a place she returns to later when replying here. That was stupid. It’s hard for me to imagine she would read the comments because it’s a cesspool lately. I apparently have become pond scum. I’m going to blame the company I keep here. I know that’s intellectually lazy and convenient.

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Oops Ada was in 10th grade on 2014. (I had the age right) The incident that provoked the Petition happened on her friends first day at Pioneer. I clearly need to do more due diligence.

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm. Just read the interview and that bit is pretty much verbatim from my email. I’m wondering if I reread it later (or even right away) and thought why is Mark asking my kid about porn not remembering my rambling email… As Mark summised. Clearly my memory does suck. Worse my sense of what is and isn’t appropriate is highly variable which must be confusing for my kids and others. I am happy to apologize to Mark and Clementine.

    None if this however is intended nor should validate the crack pot theories espoused by others here. Just because I suck doesn’t mean you lot don’t suck beyond all measure,

    The interview is good. I’m glad it happened.

  38. iRobert
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    Even from a distance, it’s always been clear that you and Linette are loving, attentive, and thoughtful parents. I’m certain that Clementine has benefited emencely from growing up in such an environment. She is blessed, as is Arlo, and in turn you have been blessed and will continue to be. I have no doubt.

  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    “this exchange of ours has absolutely no bearing on the various quarrels that others among you may have with her. So don’t try to spin this as evidence of “Jean always being wrong,” or whatever.”–Mark

    “None if this however is intended nor should validate the crack pot theories espoused by others here. Just because I suck doesn’t mean you lot don’t suck beyond all measure”–Jean

    At bottom, “metoo” was/ is a needed response to counteract an enabling-network-of-power-affiliations which actively seeks to turn a blind eye to the Truth –in an active attempt to preserve the network of power affiliations for the access to power it provides without orientation to the Truth. There is a logical regressivess on display here that a) mirrors the worst aspects of metoo movement which needs to be resisted; as well as b) parallel regressive logic which is the reason metoo is a necessary movement in the first place.

    I have always considered both of you guys very loyal to your causes, if not the truth.

    Something to think about as we all grow in our understanding.

    #goonsquad

  40. Sad
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “ the Truth”

    Ha- ha- ha you’re hilarious FF. Where do you find this stuff? HW has Q , but you?

  41. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The Truth, I was referring to with regard to rape, sexual assault, and molestation is revealed in statistics and the byproduct of listening to personal stories. I had anecdotal evidence, without studying the problem, that something like 1/5 women were victims of sexual assault/ abuse 20 years ago. It turns out that rate was more or less true although not well known and accepted at the time. You wouldn’t believe how many people argued with me–even ridiculed me–on my estimation of the prevalence of rape and molestation twenty years ago.

    If, for example. Some of those type of rape-rate deniers/ skeptics were to read this right now they might even be “gulping” nervously if not for their sucky ability to remember shit.

    Some things to think about as we grow in our understanding…

    #Gaslitgoonsquad
    #Ithinkiheardagulp

  42. Anonymous
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Mark and his family and his blog are great. The people who comment here are gross. Turn off the comments, Mark, you are just enabling them and now your daughter is going to look back and see this vile mess for the rest of her life.

  43. ElsieGal
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    The photos are wonderful! The last one is sublime. I hope Clementine can return that place of obvious bliss over and over throughout her life. Well done and Happy Birthday to her.

  44. Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Apology accepted, Jean.

    Now let’s get back to the fight to defeat Trumpism, save the planet and keep Ypsi awesome.

  45. Anonymous
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    You can fight Trumpism by not providing a form for it.

  46. Dan R.
    Posted July 14, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    This post has reminded me that my Ypsipanties have, with age and regular use, worn out. The color has faded and the elastic’s gone slack. Also, my body has changed quite a bit over the years, and I have to rethink my size choice. Does your clothing business offer an online panty-sizing chart? Would you please revise this post to include a link through which I and my friends could purchase some new, colorful, springy pairs of fresh Ypsipanties, please? Thanks for the memories.

  47. Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    That kid is gorgeous!

  48. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous, calling this blog a “forum” is a bit generous.

  49. Jean Henry
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve taken a week away to think about this away from the noise of this site. I have some conclusions to share. They are my own. You each are welcome to your own.

    Firstly, and most importantly, it was not ok to ask a question about porn use of a barely 16 year old girl. My complicity doesn’t make it ok. Her solid answer didn’t make it ok. One of us, Mark, should have stopped and asked about how it would feel to Ada. Both of us, mostly me, were too caught up in the political resonance and potentiality of what seemed at first glance like a shallow concern to step back and realize that musing about the effects of porn is not the same as asking a child about it.

    Ada’s answer was good and the interview was interesting. She, however, had not nearly enough experience with or distance on either porn or sex, much less boys and porn and sex, to comment knowingly. She answered mimicking what she’d read in the kind of positive sexuality pieces that are now available (thankfully) to politically minded precocious young women.

    Her ability to answer doesn’t change the reality that being asked about porn at that age by an unfamiliar adult man, in the context of trying to get her political position taken seriously, put her in an untenable position she should not have been in.

    I take responsibility for that. It didn’t occur to me when my inattention and political engagement overtook my sense and I suggested the line of inquiry. It became clear it on the first read of the interview though. Her credible answer made it seem like she could handle it. It was a way to handle it. A child should not be asked to handle answering adult questions about their sexuality or their friends to strange men. We fucked up. Her ability to deal with it, doesn’t mean it was ok to ask that of her at that age.

    Like all precocious kids, Ada was sort of overdeveloped in many areas that gave her the appearance of being more adult than she was. She was underdeveloped in many other areas. Smart talented kids learn to hide their areas of under-development (or rather age-appropriate development) especially when they have something they want to accomplish. It’s a front. It has high utility. A less precosious kid would have demured from that question or asked her parent about it. Not my kid. It’s an understandable and unhealthy behavior that it was my job as a parent to guard against.

    Seeming grown up is not the same as being grown up. –That reminder is the only way in which me-too should be related to any of this. Feeling predated on by an awareness and accountability movement is not the ideal response men would have to the movement. No part of me-too ever denied the complicity of many women. My response here is my attempt to acknowledge my own in a way that doesn’t excuse the over-step.

    At the time (and still), most adults dismissed the school dress code issue as petty. Both Ada and I were caught up in trying to convey the depth of the issues. This was apparent to the hundreds of kids who signed the petition and made commentary. If I could do it all over again, I would have just pointed Mark to those comments and let him construct a piece from their answers. I let my analytical side (which is compulsive) take over. I was proud of my kids initiative and failed to show her how to best advocate for a commonly held goal. I pushed my kid to take the lead rather than staying with her pack. I thought she could handle it. She could. I didn’t think that asking a child to handle it alone was inappropriate.

    I screwed up. I wish I could do it over again. I’m grateful for the lessons here, however late.

    Oh re: not remembering, one problem with impulsivity is not remembering what one did at the time. I have always been grateful that my impulsivity was spurred by pretty geeky stimuli like politics and ideas. This episode is ample evidence that cultivating attention and restraint is important no matter how one’s impulsivity manifests.

    I’m not really interested in re-opening discussion here. Do what you will. These are my thoughts. Everybody else gets their own.

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