Former swimmer from Stanford, Brock Allen Turner, was found guilty for raping 23-year-old girl at frat party according to a DailyMail.com news article. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted while in college. Historically throughout the 3rd world civilization, women were not treated as equal counterparts to their husband or male figure. When it comes to respecting women, actions like this don’t encourage men to treat women as equals.
Dr. Nahid Angha, co-founder and co-director of the International Association of Sufism, stated in her article that, “Women everywhere are being held to an impossible standard, or subject to discrimination solely based on the fact that they are not equal to men”.
Fathers, it is imperative from early childhood on that you teach your child how to love, honor, and respect women. Eliminate using inappropriate slang and pet names for women such as “kitten or bitch.” Do not encourage the expression “boys will be boys,” either, which has been historically used often. Do not encourage other expressions such as how many “knots they have under their belt” in terms of how many women they have been with sexually. We need to raise our ethics and standards with our sons. Women should not be objectified by looks, body image, or lack of intelligence. It is time for a new generation of men to look at the causes of how their communication and role modeling can affect their young son’s attitude and behavior towards women. It’s about time that fathers start teaching their sons from a young age to respect women.
Here are some tips and strategies you might want to consider to use as a father.
- Use teachable moments such as making positive statements about their mother whether you are married or not. Words such as mommy are fun, kind, loving, smart, creative, and interesting. Mommy knows so much about life and her opinion should be valued.
- Role model for your son. Open a door for mommy, help her carry in packages, help her with cooking, or help her with cleaning. Do something to show a team effort. Play together as a family and use appropriate language. Like an article on fathers.com says, “Demonstrate that women are to be valued for their character and integrity.”
- Communication is verbal and nonverbal. When communicating do not roll your eyes, point a finger, or scream and yell at the mother or any female. If you become angry or upset use this as a moment to teach your son to take a time out, go work out, and come back and speak to mommy in a positive manner by problem solving.
- Talk about love and the many different forms of love. Watch movies that are age appropriate and exemplify a healthy relationship. Read books that demonstrate and show ways to love in an appropriate manner. Do not allow a child to see pornography, inappropriate magazines, or films or videos that objectify women in any manner.
- Teach your son how to take care of himself. From 2-3 years of age teach him how to put his shoes on, dress himself, feed himself, and play by himself so that he is not always dependent on his mother. This will guide him in learning self help skills and early independence instead of co-dependence on mommy.
- Teach sensitivity and kindness. It is okay as a father to cry in front of your son instead of being so macho. Certain cultures have dictated what a strong man should look like. Even from a young age we talk about a girl being pretty and a boy having muscles. Strength can come in many different forms and so can sensitivity. Young boys will fall and cry and they need not to feel shamed and put down, they need to be able to express their feelings as they grow into an adult man.
- Learn how to teach a child about sexuality and their bodies as well as a young girl’s. Although developmentally it can feel embarrassing, it is also important to guide your child throughout their development on appropriate touching, and loving in a sensitive way. Teach the difference between lust, sex, and intimacy. Give examples as your child is in middle school or high school of the different feelings we go through as a young man.