business news in context, analysis with attitude

Last week, we had a story about a 37-year-old Spokane man who was banned from a Starbucks there after he hit on a 16-year-old barista, and then complained about ageism and said that he believes in "age gap love" - I said he was a creep and that if he'd hit on my 16-year-old daughter, I would use my baseball bat to persuade him to focus his attentions elsewhere.

Some MNB readers thought I was being hyperbolic in my response, and others thought I was right on. But no email touched me more than this one from an MNB reader:

I want to thank you for your outrage about an older man “hitting” on a young woman. I liked the baseball bat comment more than you will ever be able to appreciate. You see, I was the girl who wasn’t defended.

A talented musician, I was studying with a prominent classical performer at the age of 12, maybe 13. During one lesson, he was teaching me how to breath properly but his hands wandered into very inappropriate areas and I had no idea how to handle the situation. I told my mother, who had her own problems, about what happened and she made me promise that I would never tell my father. I continued to take lessons and the molestation continued but I never mentioned it again. When I finally refused to continue taking lessons from him, she branded me a loser and a quitter – probably out of guilt.

A year later I mentioned a man in his twenties who really liked me and she told me I was a fool. Later that evening I was raped.

I tell you this only because I want you to understand the importance of defending your children in ways they can understand. It’s not about actually hitting someone with a baseball bat, it more about letting them know they can trust and depend on others for their safety. Strange as it might seem, I read your comment and cried. It would have been nice to know that there was at least one person who cared.

I am honored that this reader would share this with me.

I’ve always believed that my kids felt that I cared about them and that they could always count on me. But I'm also sure we cannot say it too much. When the issue of sexual assault came up during the presidential race (which must’ve been enormously painful for people like this reader), I took advantage of the moment to have a long conversation about it with my daughter.  (And my wife, to be honest.)

I feel awful that this reader didn't have someone on whom she could depend.  I fervently hope that she has that in her life now.
KC's View: