I think it’s because my first daughter has gone off to college. As I was preparing myself and her departure and trying to fit in all the last-minute words of wisdom , I found that the issue of sexual assault on college campuses was a bit of an obsession. We have all become highly aware following the media attention around the discredited Rolling Stone article. But my anxiety was originally triggered by an even older story I read about Erin Cavalier being raped by an acquaintance after she had too much to drink. Her story raised all sorts of issues about responsibility and judgement that get very clouded when alcohol is involved. I shared this story with my daughter as a great example of how easy it is easy to get yourself in a situation where you are vulnerable if you have too much to drink. Erin was asking for help from a friend to get home after a night of partying and she thought she could trust him. My warning to my daughter was to have fun but to stay in control. She should remember she has the right to say “no” at any point but saying “no” only works if the other person is respectful and capable of understanding.
I’m also the mother of a college-age son who spent three years as an RA in freshman dorms. I shared Erin’s story with him as the basis for discussion about the issue of consent. He had been told during RA training workshops on this topic that a person is incapable of consenting after three drinks. Since women don’t wear a tally sign on their forehead, we talked about the responsibility if both parties and how it really comes down to common sense and good judgement. He has told me stories of finding partially dressed, passed-out women in bathroom stalls during his rounds as an RA. I worry about the vulnerable position this puts him in because it again requires that the other person is respectful and capable of understanding what’s going on.
Now, amid all the Bill Cosby accusations, another article caught my attention titled: It should never be too late to tell your story of rape. Abigail Hauslohner’s story was disturbing because she was rendered out of control by something her “good family friend” put in her drink. I was struck because she admitted thinking that this kind of thing didn’t happen to smart, progressive, informed people like her. She was so young when her attack happened and because this was someone she trusted, her first reaction was to question herself. Just like Bill Cosby’s victims did. I empathized because I could absolutely see myself in a similar situation as this young woman when you are finding the
So now what am I telling my son and daughter?
There are no hard-and-fast ground rules
Girls are inventing products like date rape nail polish because drugs are being used on college campuses to incapacitate women and you should never put your drink down
You may find yourself in situations that are not black-and-white and you should trust your gut. We are all born with a sixth sense and you need to trust it. I couldn’t always articulate why something didn’t feel right but when I doubted myself, I regretted it later.
Watch out for those with a sense of entitlement. This is not just an unappealing quality, but a dangerous one too.
Life is messy. Mistakes will be made. Let’s make sure they are mole hills and not mountains.
I’ve been silent for a while because I’ve finalized the name for my company and I’ve been working on a logo. The company name is 3Ways Digital: Communication, Content and Monetization strategies for growing businesses learning to rely on the Web.
I’d really appreciate your help in voting on the final version at 99Designs .
Now I know why I’m not a branding expert. This is hard! Incorporating the word “Digital” into any name limits the choices considerably. Even Digital13.com . . . and every other number from 1 – 100 has been purchased! FYI, you can buy Advance Digital for a premium price of $13,000.
Anyway, upon advice of counsel and due to some issues with GoDaddy processing, my original list needed to be modified. I’d like to get a second round of votes on a new pool of names. Please cast your vote!
Yesterday was filled with mixed emotions. The news of Osama bin Laden’s assassination was shocking to everyone. In my family’s case we found ourselves having to explain America’s reaction to our sixteen year old German exchange student who has been visiting for the last month. This was his second dose of world events seen through the American news media given that Gaddafi’s son and his family had also just been killed by NATO forces .
Our student came home from school yesterday asking why people were chanting and celebrating. He was taken aback by the tone of President Obama’s speech which they watched in history class. He was shocked to see the news footage of the rowdy crowds at Ground Zero and the White House.
I did my best to help him reconcile how Americans got to where we are now but I didn’t feel I convinced him that we aren’t a vengeful country. Then this morning, while reading the Washington Post, I came across Petula Dvorak’s article in which she did an eloquent job of capturing the emotions of those we didn’t see on the news yesterday.
Thanks Petula! Your article is going home with him tomorrow:-).
As a Digital Media person, it’s high time that I started a blog of my own. I’ve done a lot of writing but always on behalf of someone else. Now it’s my turn to share some of my own thoughts with ‘yall. I intend to use this space as a place to share opinions, make observations and keep track of what I’m finding interesting.
But first some context . . .
I’m a mother of three children in the Fairfax County public school system. It’s a great school system and I’m a HUGE fan of the language immersion program. Having grown up in a town-based school system, the model in Fairfax County took some getting used to. I’ve learned to appreciate the breadth of opportunities available to my kids because of the County’s size and diversity. (I like to be involved in my kids’ education so you’ll hear me talking about this).
I’ve been working in digital media since the mid 90’s getting my start with a marketing communications firm that was bought by AOL in 1995. My ten years at AOL was an amazing professional experience that I don’t believe could ever be replicated. I was able to be a part of AOL’s Green House project that brought companies like Motley Fool online. I was also able to be a part of a fledgling start-up organization within AOL called Digital City. I now know how unusual it is to be part of a well-funded start-up in an industry that was in its infancy. We were establishing a business model, getting our arms around user behavior and experimenting with how online content was different from other media. We Digital City folks like to think we taught AOL a thing or two about the importance of user-generated content;-). Consequently, several DCI folks were interested in migrating to AOL’s Community group. As we mined AOL’s forums to capture public sentiment, we found new ways to package this content up for AOL’s “Channels”. (We did some groundbreaking stuff and I’ll be taking note of companies who continue to do this particularly well).
My consulting business and start-up experience lead me to become more intimately involved with the non-profit mindset and resources. I’m told I’m a bleeding heart always looking for my next cause and I guess that’s true. (You’ll hear me expressing opinions about social issues that bug me).
Finally, my extracurricular interests usually revolve around my kids. My son is into Scouting and music. This has led me to an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into becoming proficient in either. One daughter rides horses competitively as a hunter jumper. I have come to adore horses but the horse world is full of interesting but CRAZY people. They are loads of fun to hang around though;-). My youngest daughter is just finding her thing but right now it’s gymnastics. (You’ll see me talking about the life lessons I’m learning from my kids.)