Women chat about son sex
The idea of having the "don't rape" conversation with your son is more difficult as you don't ever want to imagine him as a perpetrator. Do it because so many parents have thought they didn't need to and so many people have suffered because of it.
Do it because you love your son and want him to have a bright future. Do it for your daughter or for your nieces or for young women in general because while this particular conversation might be terrifying, the much more terrifying reality is young women continuing to be taught to live in fear of men.
They come from a place of care, they come from a place of concern but most notably they come from a place of upside-down, cultural indoctrination that is hurting, stifling and punishing young women.
The cultural indoctrination that I'm speaking of goes something like this: It is a young woman's responsibility to safeguard herself from rape, assault, harassment, stalking and abuse because boys will be boys and some of them just can't help themselves.
Your son is coming of age in that culture with those messages swirling around him.
You might have raised him in a home that perpetuated that culture without ever intending to or perhaps you raised him in a home that taught values in complete contrast to that culture.
It seems that the "don't get raped" angle is not a successful strategy for curbing this pandemic.
The one where you said, "I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her"?
That is really what you're doing when you have the "don't get raped" conversation with your daughter.
You are telling her to always be suspicious, you are telling her to spend her life looking over her shoulder, you are telling her that any man is a potential predator. "All of these things are true." And you're not wrong.
The more important question is: did you ever directly tell him to never buy into that culture?
Did you ever tell him that culture is unacceptable and WRONG?
"Be careful with the way you act and the way you dress -- it's easy to get a bad reputation." "That's just the way boys are -- you can't give them any excuse to behave that way towards you." "You need to be safe!