This is a quick hit, because lately all I can think is “ao@*&#dg;9760iuehTAE” when I sit down to write. I’m sure this deserves to be fleshed out.
Last week Zerlina Maxwell went on the Hannity show and tilted the world off it’s axis when she said stop telling me how to not be raped, and start telling men not to rape. (The whole linked clip is worth watching, but she speaks at 2:35.) She followed up today with a piece at Ebony, 5 Ways We Can Teach Men Not To Rape.
I think about this a lot. I think about it more since about 2 years ago when I overheard a dad at the park encouraging his 3/4yo son to go give another little girl a hug, and upon hearing said little girl’s mom say, “She doesn’t like hugs, he better watch out,” continued to encourage his son because, “Oh, she’ll be fine. Someday she’ll like it.”
I am raising a son, and you can damn well believe that I am laying a foundation, at his current pre-school age, so that he doesn’t become a rapist.
He’s being taught to ask his friends if they want hugs from him, and he’s being taught to respect it when they tell him, “No.”
When he gets older he will hear his father and I critically examine sports announcers on our television. He will attend women’s sporting events.
He will be taught that “bitch” is not a word we use in our house.
He will see and hear his parents speak up when we witness rape culture.
He will be taught that all people are valuable, and that listening to the experiences that other people have had, and learning from them, will make him a better person.
We will teach him these things so that, if we do it right, he will be an ally against rape in his chosen community.