This is not the post I intended or wanted to write. These words are heavy upon my heart because I am a father and I sometimes wonder about the world my children are growing up in.
I look around and listen to the rhetoric and shake my head because so many people talk about things in a way that makes me wonder if maybe I am the crazy one because I just don’t follow their logic and reasoning.
And so I find myself shaking my head because I read more posts tonight about the world we live in and how some people designate it as a “rape culture” world and when I read the comments from angry women I wonder.
Sons and Daughters
I have a son and a I have a daughter so when I hear/read things that impact girls/women it doesn’t fall upon completely deaf errors. Since she is 9.5 going on 30 my focus on some issues varies. She may talk about dating boys but I know she is not really interested and that now it is designed to get a reaction from me.
But I think about what I want to tell her about dating and consider how to best protect her. Some believe in scaring the hell out of children so that they don’t do certain things but it is not the sort of tactic that I want to involve here.
I don’t want to teach her to fear boys and men. I don’t want to classify a gender as being inherently evil because they possess a penis and that is part of what I am concerned about.
Concerned because some of these “rape culture” posts are written in a way that suggests men are guilty until proven innocent. Written in such a way that they seem to me to be as bad as suggesting a woman who dresses a certain way is asking to be raped.
These posts make me shake my head and wonder what I need to do protect our boys from this unfair accusation and blanket labeling. It makes me angry because it feels like we have jumped onto Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and logic/reason is thrown out the window.
And then I think about my daughter and things I have heard/seen and read about and wonder what happens to her in all this.
What Should I Do
There is no period, question or exclamation mark in that subhead because I am not quite sure how I want that to read. I am the father of a son and daughter. I am supposed to teach, guide and protect them.
I look at these crazy, accusatory posts and think about how some mothers have given me the stinkeye at the park or been crazed when I walked into the same men’s room their sons are using.
Part of me nods my head in understanding and part of me shakes it because possession of a penis isn’t evil. Women do bad things too. Female teachers sometimes sleep with teenage boys but our sons don’t always get the same response because this isn’t always seen the same way as if a male teacher slept with a teenage girl.
When I think about my own dating/relationship history I see some crazy moments in there. I remember the girl who told me that if I could pin her I would be able to kiss her. And when the 14 year-old boy I was came close she started yelling no and I stopped. I had sisters, no was no and then she laughed at me and said that I gave up too easily.
Or the time in college when a different girl told me that I should have tried harder to kiss her at a party because I should know she couldn’t make it easy.
I have had conversations with women about these moments. The responses are never uniform. Some women have said they want a man to overpower and take them and others have made it clear that it is never right.
So I made a point to take a very conservative position. Better safe than sorry. Would rather be called a dud than prisoner.
Can’t help but wonder and worry about what will happen when my daughter really does begin dating. Will do my best to help prepare her and then hope all goes as it should.
And in the midst of all this I’ll do my best to help my son figure it all out. Help him understand that he absolutely needs to respect women and that they should respect him too. He is not evil because he has a penis.
It is a crazy world sometimes.