This glitter march for consent puts me in a quandary. On the one hand, you can't disagree with the sentiment and you can't argue the premise of the message - no one should be touched without consent, no matter what, full stop.

On the other hand, when I look at it as the mother of a daughter, I do wonder about the wisdom of empowering our children to believe they can and should go half-naked with nothing more than glitter on their boobs to a festival full of half-cut drugged out dropkicks.

We absolutely should be teaching them that their body is theirs alone and no one has the right to come anywhere near it, but we also need to let them in on the harsh reality that the world is actually not a nice place all of the time. And not everyone is going to play nice.

Yes, the turning point it feels like we're at, and the spotlight on inappropriate and offensive behaviour is excellent and hopefully shines a light down a better road for our future generations - but we still have a long way to go.


And in the meantime, is my daughter heading out topless the best course of action for her?

Online trolls threaten 'glitter boob' march organisers
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We're good at putting the spotlight on right and wrong, but are we vigilant enough about the reality of the world we are equipping our kids to live in?

A standard rule in our house is; think about the situations you're putting yourself into. If you knowingly and willingly put yourself into a situation you know contains elements beyond your control - drugs, a wide range of intoxicated randoms - then be aware that you won't be able to control everything that happens in that situation.

No, men shouldn't grope women ever, nor women grope men for that matter. Yes, women should be able to walk around with nothing but glitter on their boobs if they want, in theory.

But the reality is, in spite of all of our hope and optimism of a perfect mutually consenting respectful world, we're not living in one.

Personally, I worry that if I spend too much time teaching my daughter to express herself and to be free and do what she wants when she wants, and that technically everyone around her should behave respectably, then I am actually letting her down.

What we need to be teaching our daughters is the gap between theory and reality. Helping them understand and prepare themselves for these situations, in a way that they are putting their own safety first.


We recently travelled to LA for a holiday. There are parts of LA you can safely walk around, there are parts you may wind up dead. That's just a fact, like it or not.

Did I tell my kids they could walk alone at night anywhere in LA, as they 'should' feel free to? No, I did not. Why? Because the reality is, if they went too far one way they may have wound up in a situation beyond their control, where they would undoubtedly come off second best.

I would never forgive myself no matter how 'wrong' or tragic it was, if I had empowered them to do it. If my daughter said she wanted to go topless to a festival, my second thought after why, would be is that the best decision to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time?

I know and understand the argument that women should and can do whatever they want, and yes that's lovely in theory.

But the reality is, would you rather your daughter was safe? Or that she proved a point?