Teaching Boys to Respect Women Despite our Current Culture

This morning I had an interesting conversation with Grand Master D. I’ve been wanting to have it for a while now but there’s never a ‘right’ time to bring it up. It’s not like it’s dinner conversation, you know … how was school and oh yeah don’t rape girls. So I always find myself wanting to discuss limits and respect and all the things a boy should know but never finding the right time. Well it just presented itself today.We were discussing our nights sleep over breakfast, he was not grumpy and got up early, so it was a nice conversation time. I mentioned that the King watched The Wolf of Wall Street in bed last night and I had a disturbed sleep. It’s a sunday night thing, he can’t let the weekend go and always stays up late even though I need to get up early, it’s a thing, whatever. Grand Master D knows he can’t watch The Wolf of Wall St… dubbed the closed thing to porn that’s not porn to come out this year. He watches R rated movies, he’s a movie maker, he looks at them differently. He’s seen many, I only object when they are graphic sexually. He’s 13, just learning about sex and let’s face it movie sex can be violent and misogynistic and very bad for women. Women are objectified way too much, used and abused and thrown away. Some movie sex is wonderful but that seems to be fading. None of it is real, it’s not what sex is about. It’s not how most of the world is doing it. It’s also not the image I want my son to have imprinted in his brain before he experiences it for himself. He needs to learn that it’s give and take, that it must always be consensual and if there is ever any doubt then you don’t. We’ll talk more about that later when he goes to college or begins to go out in the world more. No always means no, even if you feel like yes. If anyone says no at any time then it’s game over. Alcohol will play a part in these decisions and I briefly mentioned this too. I told him that sometimes girls will have too much to drink and want to have sex and give all the signals and  then they realise that it’s not in their best interests and they’ll say no mid-foreplay. It happens. It’s uncomfortable, it sucks when its all hot and heavy and then someone slams on the brakes but you must. I told him, innocent boys get accused of rape because sometimes girls have sex then feel ashamed or get found out by a parent and accuse the boy and then his life is ruined. Or girls are so incapacitated by drugs or alcohol they have no idea what’s happening and they do get raped. There is no excuse for this. If a girl can’t stand up then she can’t consent to sex. End of story.teen sex

It’s been in the news a lot with high school and college kids, some high profile ones too. It’s a hard time but it’s very important  to be extra careful. We should be teaching our boys how to honour women, how to respect them, not take advantage of them just to get sex but we also need to teach our girls how to behave safely, how to not go looking for trouble or give off  the wrong signal which can lead to bad situations for all involved. Crying rape because you wished you hadn’t got smashed and had sex with a guy is not ok. Raping a girl because she was too drunk to stop it is also not ok. We need to teach both genders how to stay safe and respect each other and themselves.

It’s sure going to be an interesting few years with a teenage son and a daughter coming up behind him.

Can you be a liberal prude? Is that a thing? Can you be open and honest about all things but still wish sex wasn’t in our faces ALL the time, at every turn tempting our young people before they’re ready? It’s something I’m certainly about to discover. What I wish for all my children is safe, happy, healthy sexual encounters and relationships. They’ll make mistakes but hopefully, mistakes that do not have long lasting ramifications on their lives.

 

 

Comments 21

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  1. I have 3 boys, two of whom are teenagers (16 and 14) and we have these types of conversations a lot now. I like the term you used, “liberal prude” because I think that perfectly fits my attitude about this. I want to be open and teach them respect, but I also want them to think before acting, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Thought provoking post!

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      Thank you! I worry because although girls should be able to wear what they want and they are never ‘asking for it’ if they dress provocatively, they still kind of are. It’s really tough. I feel bad for boys. It’s a skin fest everywhere! It’s all about the girls and empowerment and they never deserve it but it takes two to tango and there are ways to behave and ways to not. I’m gonna sure teach my daughter to respect herself and not dress like a slut. I guess that’s the prude part coming out. 🙂

      1. Seriously, you feel bad for boys because it is “a skin fest” ? All you are teaching your daughter there is that it is her fault if she gets raped. What women wear has nothing to do with their chances of getting raped, more women are raped in Muslim countries where they have to cover up all the time. You are just buying into a culture that blames women and takes blame away from the actual rapist.

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          No I am also teaching my daughter to be modest and smart. It is never a woman’s fault for being raped, however girls need to learn how to be safe too and if that means not walking around half naked and getting so drunk they can’t move then I’m ok with that. As for women being raped in Muslim countries, isn’t that because they’re also NOT RESPECTED? I’m not buying into anything.Just being realistic. We live in a culture that uses sex to sell everything. It doesn’t make it right but we need to teach our young people how to navigate it in a way that is decent, safe and respectful for all.

  2. As the mom of three daughters, let me start by saying THANK YOU!! My girls are only 11, 9, & 6. I’ve begun to have some of these conversations with the oldest, but it is hard. I am doing my best to teach them to be “ladies” and not give mixed signals, but I cannot control what the boys they will encounter are being taught. (In fact, I once wrote a post called “What Parents of Daughters Want You to Teach Your Sons” and I got SLAMMED!) Anyway, it is nice to know that parents of boys are doing their best as well to teach that respect is a two-way street and I am grateful to you for having the difficult conversation with him.

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      Thanks, I want him to be a respectful,loving,caring husband someday and in the meantime a respectful boy/young man.The next step is to discuss how he’d feel if someone disrespected his sisters and to treat all women how he’d want his mother and sisters to be treated by other men. It’s an ongoing conversation but an important one. I’d love to read your post.

  3. YES!! I am a liberal prude. Dance reinforced much of what I talked to the boys about sex. Also respecting and getting along with their sister kind of sealed the deal. Well done.

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  4. There used to be a time when it was deemed easy to be a parent of a boy ‘coz boys were never held accountable! I’m glad that view point has changed! Loved that you had such a clear and honest conversation with him!

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  5. I’ve got a fifteen year old boy and a thirteen year old daughter. I consider it my job to ensure that he respects all girls and she behaves in a way that deserves respect. The thought that sex could be part of their lives soon (if not already for him) breaks this mom’s heart a little but, for their sakes, I can’t afford to hide from it either. It was very smart of you to sieze a quiet moment when you were both relaxed to let the subject come up naturally. It’s the only time they’ll really hear you.

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      I’ve read a lot of stuff over the years and although the thought of our children being sexually active adults is icky, they will in fact become that at some point and the more information we can give them the better equipped they’ll be to make the tough decisions and stay safe and healthy

  6. So, so, so important. And you’re right, it’s hard. IT’S HARD. Society and media have made this so hard on us mothers with boys to even . . .I don’t. . .

    Blah. When it’s time- you wanna come talk to the Tinys? I don’t wanna.

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  7. I have a teenage daughter and a pre-teen son. I have always made a policy to be open and honest and approachable to my children, my daughter and I have had a lot of conversations about boys, sex, and teen pregnancy. We are definitely on the same page!

  8. Great idea to use a movie to bring up sensitive subjects and good principles to teach boys – hopefully they remember what we teach them in the heat of the moment.

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