About a month or so ago a friend of mine was sexually assaulted at a nightclub/bar in Philadelphia. I was shocked and devastated that this happened. I immediately felt compelled to apologize for my caveman counterparts.
It is abhorrent that anyone has to go through that, regardless of gender or orientation. After talking with Briana and making sure she was okay (luckily she was, though shaken), Briana informed me that this happens a lot. Not just to her, but women in general. It might not be physical assault, but it’s still invasive. She recently wrote a follow-up post on Medium about the aftermath. It’s worth a read.
(Much to Briana’s credit, she’s a brilliant individual. She’s strong and is willing to talk about this publicly. I admire her courage. She is a beautiful person inside and out.)
Let’s get something straight. Women are amazing. What they can do far exceeds what we men/boys/cavemen can do. And I’m not just speaking in biological terms (though that alone is beyond impressive). Women, in general, are, for the most part, way more rational and every bit as smart as any man.
Being Raised By A Well-educated Single Mom Helps
I was pretty much raised by my mother. My father was very much in the picture and very involved, but the day-to-day raising fell on my incredible mother’s shoulders. My mom has a Ph.D. in Psychology, so you can say she’s very well-educated. She’s always strive to teach me to treat everyone with respect and dignity. It’s because of my mom, that I believe and know that women are equal to men.
Now this isn’t to say my father didn’t instill quality values in me. He did. My dad is a fantastic guy, and made sure I knew how to treat people with respect. But my mother really helped it stick.
My Duty As A Father
I’ve realized for a while that it was my duty as a father of a boy to teach him how to treat women and people in general with respect. But with something like this happening to a good friend, it was much more blatantly clear.
I’m a guy. I think women are amazing as stated before. I’m guilty of glancing at a pretty women in public from time to time. That’s natural, and I hope it’s not obvious. But that’s where it ends. Cat-calling, badgering, and assaulting crosses the obvious line. Just because a woman is pretty and dresses nice, it doesn’t give us cavemen the right to treat them like a piece of meat. It’s my duty to teach my son this – to know right from wrong and to be respectful.
What’s Crossing The Line?
Now this is where I have trouble. I firmly believe that women should be treated as equals to men. They shouldn’t be treated as objects. But I do understand that in some cases, what is acceptable can be confusing and blurry.
People should be able to compliment each other. Men and women should be able to go up to each other and chat. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, the issue is where does it cross into being inappropriate behavior? Obviously some behavior is blatantly inappropriate, but other things like hitting on someone can be interpreted differently depending on the person.
My Worry For My Son
As most fathers can attest, I worry about my son. I can only instill my values in him to an extent. It’s really up to him to follow them and develop his own value system. I worry that he’ll get himself in trouble, because of these blurred lines (regardless of which gender he decides to want to date). I can just hope that what I teach him now, he’ll bring into his own system of values and make the right choices.
What do you think? It’s a complex topic. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Post them in the comments. Thanks!