Saturday, October 8, 2016

As a mother of daughters, to all mothers of sons:

As a mother of daughters, to all mothers of sons:

I respectfully ask that you please, please take this moment, in light of the most recent political news, to speak to your boys and young men about how to treat women.

Talk to them about how you grew up being told that you needed to watch what you wore so you wouldn't be assaulted.

Talk to them about how at every party you've ever been to, you had to remember to keep your drink with you, with your hand over it, and not to accept drinks from anyone, regardless of how well you knew them, so that you wouldn't be drugged and raped.

Talk to them about how you don't walk the dog or run alone before dawn or after dark without pepper spray or a weapon of some sort.

Talk to them about how you're always on guard in a room full of men, even in professional settings where you should feel safe.
Talk to them about how you've laughed at jokes that weren't funny because to speak out would've labeled you a trouble maker.

Talk to them about the times you were touched in ways that weren't okay, but you allowed it because you didn't feel safe saying no.

Please, tell your sons that it is never okay to grab a woman by the...anything. Tell them it's not okay to touch women, ever, unless they're being explicitly invited. Talk to them about how consent is absolutely necessary and required before each and every sexual act. Teach them that locker room banter describing sexual assault is disgusting. Teach them that a "boys will be boys" attitude assumes all men and boys are predators. Teach them that not all men are predators; teach them to not be predators. Teach them to respect women. Teach them to treat every woman they meet with the same respect they'd give you, or your mother, or your daughter.

Brock Turner's mom wishes she'd had an opportunity like this. Don't pass it up. You may think you've done a fabulous job with your young man, and you probably have, but talk to them about this anyhow. Make sure you've said the words that need to be said, not just implied them. Leave no doubt in his mind about what the expectations are. This is really important.

Please. Do this for my girls, for your daughters, for your mothers, for yourselves. Do this for your sons. This is really important.

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