Parents of Sons - You Have To Be In On This Too
As a parent of two girls, I am acutely aware that I can only do so much to give them the strength, courage, and resources to defend themselves against sexual assault. I have to face the disturbing reality that probably at least one of them will face some level of sexual assault at some point in her life. I did. My first time was date rape at age 15. Sure, I was raised to be a victim in an abusive household, but will Peo's karate or STEM knowledge save her when the time comes that some boy decides he's going to have what he wants whether or not she consents? My parenting can only go so far to protect her.
It is vital that those of you with sons raise them not to be perpetrators. You need to raise them not only to respect others, but to respect themselves and have their own inner control mechanisms to realize that their desires don't ever get to trump anyone else's. You need to teach them that body autonomy means they don't get to satisfy themselves without full, clear, articulated consent from partners, and part of that starts at an early age by giving them body autonomy. So if they ask you to stop tickling or tackling, you stop. You don't tell them to toughen up. You don't tell them to stop crying. You don't tell them to bury emotions or fail to express their bodily needs, because when you do that, you're telling them it's okay to demand that of others in the future.
From the article:It would seem imperative then that we, as a nation of dads and moms and parties involved in the childhood business must also, in addition to strengthening the core of our young girls, make a more substantial attempt to soften our boys. Maybe soften isn’t the proper word, not exactly. Does there exist a catchall word for “don’t rape anyone, asshole”? Maybe not. So let’s settle on “soften” for now.
Rape doesn't start when a young woman drinks too much or even gets a drug slipped in her drink. Rape starts when boys are taught that might is right, that power can be pushed over someone else's will, that physicality matters more than emotion, that aggression equals earned dominance.Every time a boy is told to "suck it up and be a man" when he's hurt or sad, it's teaching him to disregard the hurting or sadness of others.
Teach your sons to be decent human beings. Raise your boys to be fully rounded individuals who can then respect other individuals accordingly. And make sure the parents of your boys' friends are doing likewise. Those of you who already know this and are working so hard to raise the next generation of men to be better need to help bring other parents into the fold, or else you end up with your sons being told by other boys that their healthy emotions aren't acceptable on the playground.
Because as much as I am raising my daughters to be willing and able to punch a potential rapist in the face, that's not going to help if they've drugged her, or there are three of them ganging up on her in her college dorm room. #parenting #stoprape
Pass it on.http://goodmenproject.com/families/tmb-raising-strong-girls-enough/