With all that has happened and is happening in politics and in real everyday life. I’ve scrolled past numerous headlines and tonight I finally thought to myself, “Am I scared to raise a boy in today’s world?”
Because I will teach him respect. That women deserve it, men deserve it, people deserve it no matter their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity... humans deserve respect because they are humans.
Because I will teach him that women’s clothes do not speak. They do not ask for anything.
Because I will teach him boundaries. That yes means yes but, “eh” does not mean yes, silence does not mean yes, drunkenness does not mean yes, flirting does not mean yes, kissing does not mean yes, sleeping does not mean yes, passing out does not mean yes, and even the lack of a definite “no” does not mean yes.
Because I will teach him that what his drunk girl friend needs is for him to give her water, make sure she’s safe, and walk her home. Or sometimes even let her sleep on his bed while he takes the couch or the floor for the night.
Because I will teach him to compliment others on their intelligence, their ideas, their compassion, and their creativity before their physical beauty.
Because I will teach him that drinking alcohol is a choice and does not excuse you from your actions or the consequence of your actions.
Because I will teach him what safe sex is and if he’s not prepared to talk about it with his partners or be prepared for it, then he probably isn’t ready to be having it.
Because I will teach him that if he’s uncomfortable asking for a definite “yes” then the answer is “no.”
Because I will teach him to always be the nice guy and that nice guys don’t “always finish last.”
Because I will teach him how to treat women. Not because he has a mother, grandmother, cousin, aunt, or (someday) sister. But, because they are humans who deserve respect and fair treatment.
Because I will teach him that women and men are equal. Never underestimate anyone’s abilities or intelligence.
Because I will teach him that just because others haven’t learned these same lessons, does not make them less valuable.
Because I will teach him that no matter what message our leaders and lawmakers send, being a sexual predator is never ever to be condoned or excused.
And because I’ll teach him that the world isn’t a scary place for boys. It’s a scary place for rapists and sexual predators.
Because like hundreds of thousands of other women in America, me too.