Adonis Diaries

If your sons denied gender entitlement : No need for rape whistle

Posted on: July 9, 2017

Girls Wouldn’t Need Rape Whistles If Our Sons Weren’t So Entitled

Author: T-Ann Pierce

We NEED to have a talk about sex, entitlement, and rape culture.

With shock and awe, this election cycle has brought the topic of rape into our living rooms — and it’s about time.

It’s about time the subject of rape comes out of the closet. We’ve been pussyfooting around the topic for far too long and our sons and daughters deserve more from us.

The topic of sex is messy. It makes us uncomfortable.

For many parents, the topic of sex is off limits or best handled in the most general terms.

Talking to our kids about sex fills us with dread because we don’t want to think about our kids being sexually active. Often when we are willing to talk to our kids about sex, we keep the conversation short and focus on the basic facts, safe sex and/or abstinence.

Our kids not only need our guidance, they crave it.

Our teens and twenty-somethings aren’t having more sex than past generations did, but there is a more casual approach to sex today.

When you combine parental silence about sexuality with a culture in which children are rewarded for simply showing up, and then add easy access to instant-streaming pornography meant for adult eyes only — you have just created the perfect Petri dish environment for breeding what feels like an epidemic of sexual assaults.

Throw in a President-elect who openly brags about his conquests and entitlements and it’s no wonder we are in a panic.

We all “know” that forcing a woman to have sex against her will is wrong. (Learned it was wrong was recent from laws)

We believe widespread rape acceptance seems to be a problem only in far off, under-developed countries. It’s not a problem here at home.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true. A study conducted in 2014 found that appropriate intolerance for non-consensual sexual interaction isn’t nearly as clear-cut as we want to believe it is.

According to an article in New York Magazine, researcher Sarah Edwards from the University of North Dakota and her team asked college-aged men to fill out two versions of a similar survey:

“One asked them which sorts of behaviors they would engage in ‘if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences.’ It included items that both used the word rape and that instead described the act of forcing someone to have sex against their will without using the r-word itself. Other survey items assessed the participants’ levels of hostility toward women, hypermasculinity … and attraction to sexual aggression.

Almost a third of the men (31.7 percent) said that in a consequence-free situation, they’d force a woman to have sexual intercourse, while 13.6 percent said they would rape a woman …

Edwards and her team found that the men who endorsed rape when the term was used had higher hostility toward women and more callous attitudes about sex … The researchers think that ‘men who endorse using force to obtain intercourse on survey items but deny rape on the same may not experience hostile affect in response to women, but might have dispositions more in line with benevolent sexism.’”

So basically, the same men who may champion women’s rights, who consider themselves highly evolved, may not see forcing themselves on a woman as rape.

In fact, it may actually become an interesting possibility — they just won’t call it ‘rape’ if they choose to do so.

So we teach our daughters the anti-rape rhetoric we all know by heart:

  • Rapists are not limited to the creepy predator profile we were warned about in our youth.
  • Rapists are more likely to be someone we know rather than a stranger in a dark alley.
  • Rape often takes place in ‘safe’ places: apartments, homes and cars of friends, even by a boyfriend.
  • More often than not, rapists look like the men we trust most. They look like fun-loving, ambitious twenty-somethings. They look like clean-cut students. They look like nice boys. They look like your son. They look like mine.

And still, nothing changes …

We continue to point our fingers in the wrong direction.

Fraternities, rap music, and video games do not make rapists. Wealth and privilege do not make rapists.

Poverty does not make rapists. Broken homes do not make rapists.

No matter how a woman dresses or acts and no matter how many sexual partners she’s had, she never invites rape.

It is not a woman’s responsibility to not be raped. (She shares the responsibility if she behaves irresponsibly)

We have to stop shifting blame to easy targets and instead wake up to recognize that vaccinating our boys against rape MUST start when they are young.

We need to remind ourselves raising a young man who won’t rape isn’t a one-shot deal.

It takes years of vigilant parenting to instill those lessons and set them firmly into place.

We simply cannot pat these boys on the back as they leave home at 18, tell them that “No means no” and assume we’ve done our jobs. ( And if she says Yes? Are the consequences totally the girl’s responsibility?)

Rape culture comes from entitlement.

Entitlement doesn’t come from wealth.

Entitlement is formed when someone is allowed to think they are the center of the world and their needs outweigh those of another — that they should be allowed what they want when they want it.

Entitlement comes when children are constantly indulged.

When they are told “No” and yet are able to whine, complain, throw tantrums, threaten and negotiate until they get what they want.

Entitlement is born when bullying and bad behavior are tolerated over time.

Enough is enough.

We cannot continue to stand by and let our daughters fall prey to men who feel entitled to their bodies.

A mother who allows her son to manipulate, disrespect and talk back to her says to him loud and clear that it is okay to disregard women.

Parents who are too exhausted to demand respect teach their sons that wearing someone down is an acceptable means to get what you want.

Parents, teachers and coaches who make excuses for boys contribute to the rape culture in this country.

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