“I’m buying a shotgun when my daughters are old enough to date”
This is one of the most archaic things I hear. A sign we have a much larger problem in the world today.
Men’s behaviour: specifically towards women.
I may not have daughters but I have a sister, a mother, and female friends; and as a man I am appalled at the general treatment of women. Just look at the horrendous rape stats that exist. I think it’s time for men, specifically the good ones, to stand up and start calling out the majority who are complete idiots. This kind of behaviour is no longer going to be accepted.
One of my favourite movies The Boondock Saints has a line very early on that I think is very relevant to what I am talking about:
Now, we must all fear evil men. But, there is another kind of evil which we must fear most … and that is the indifference of good men!
Do guys not get it? That if you, as a father, changed your behaviour positively towards women – then automatically you become the example for your daughters on what they deserve? I am in no way trying to simplify this problem down into one simple solution but I think it’s a great start so hear me out.
A man I know well has this gunshot credo, but I have told him that because he’s such an amazing husband AND father, his daughters are growing up in an environment where they’re being taught their value and how women should be valued and treated; every single day – so they won’t accept anything less when it’s their turn to choose a partner. Though sometimes we don’t choose who we fall in love with and it’s someone everyone thinks is wrong for us. It happens. I’ll bet you can relate to this but if you analyse it properly I am sure you got a tremendous lesson out of it. But just for a moment let’s leave that out of the conversation.
We live in a society where the objectification of women is rife. Women are constantly made to feel insecure about how they look. Photoshop means the women on the cover of magazines don’t even look like that in real life. So what does all of this boil down to?
That comes from within and is built on our experiences and I believe needs to be cultivated in young girls and boys. They say that we do not allow anyone to treat us worse than we already treat ourselves. In other words, the woman jumping from abusive relationship to abusive relationship is not bad luck – she’s attracting men into her life that treat her the way she feels she deserves to be treated; the way she already ‘beats’ herself up in her head. That brings me to another topic but that I will discuss in another post: victim mentality and blaming everybody else for our problems.
So how are we treating out daughters? What are we teaching them at an early age?
This problem is so engrained in our society that at every turn the talk is of what women wear; or how they act or what they should do. When in actual fact the focus should be on what men do and should start doing.
Guys go out hunting for their next notch on their belt. Have competitions with their mates on who has slept with more. All fuelled by some really ridiculous articles in magazines like ‘32 ways to seduce women’ – WTactualF – Really!?! And guys wonder why women don’t have many positive things to discuss when it comes to men. How about more articles of substance like ‘6 ways to improve your communication skills’ or maybe ‘7 ways to stop being a complete dick’ instead by the leading publications? I do believe that people are moving away from the sex sells era and want genuine substance.
There’s a lot of focus on sex and I think a lot of people would save themselves loads of headaches if they stopped equating sex with intimacy. If and when I have daughters this is the advice I will give them:
Your body is your own. No-one…and I mean no-one, makes the rules about it but you. When you like a guy and you not sure think about these two scenarios: I could sleep with him and there’s a chance I’ll never hear from or see him again. Or, I could wait and he won’t want to so leave anyway. Now in which scenario will I feel better?
If and when I have a son my advice to him will be:
Your body is your own. No-one…and I mean no-one, makes the rules about it but you. When you like a girl and you not sure think about these two scenarios: I could sleep with her and there’s a chance I’ll never hear from or see her again. Or, I could wait and she won’t want to so leave anyway. Now in which scenario will I feel better?
Again there are many variables I am sure people will argue about that aren’t listed. The point is I think the earlier we learn that our actions have consequences the more empowered we are to make smart decisions. We are all going to make a bad decision at some point in our lives. It’s one of the ways we learn. None of us will escape this and it’s not always about what happens to us that is the defining moment (though most people chose to make it so); the defining moment is deciding what to do about it.
Here is my challenge to all men.
Be the role model for your son on how to treat women. Be the role model for your daughters on how they should be treated and become the yard stick with which any man wanting to date them is measured against.
Maybe one day men will put down their shotguns, and trade it with a mirror.