An older gentleman friend of mine recently advised me that while raising my sons, I should warn them of the dangers of being falsely set up and accused by a woman in ways that would devastate them personally and professionally.
I love and respect this friend very much, so I had to calm my triggered mind before telling him that even better, I would teach my sons to be respectful in their behaviors so that love and sex would be something they cherished and respected, rather than crassly treated as their God-given right as a man.
This is a hard time in history to teach grown men how to behave if they haven’t already been guided down this path of respect. The only chance we have for true change is by teaching our sons:
No, my darlings:
You may not kiss and tell. You may not even tell anybody about the way you held her hand. I know it made your heart flutter and gave you new feelings that make you want to scream to the world, but you will keep those moments cherished in your heart, rather than blabbed to people who form opinions and judgements about both of you. Maybe one day she will kiss you goodbye or hold your hand in public, and you will be so very proud to walk down the street with her in this way.
No, my darlings…she is not yours. It’s romantic to say that, I know. The thing is, she is her own person. She can be friends with anybody. She can do anything she wants—all without you. She will love you the entire time she is without you by her side.
No, my darlings…she does not “need” you. She wants to be with you. You will treat each moment with her as a gift, grateful for your time together.
No, my darlings…you will not convince her to do anything she does not want to do. I don’t care how long you’ve been together. You will respect her “no.” Every. Single. Time. You will not even ask her, “Why not?” You will never, ever say, “You would do it if you loved me.” Trust me—you want it to be her idea too. Her love will be much deeper for you knowing that it’s okay not to be ready or in the mood.
No, my darlings…you will not disparage her name when you are angry with her, or tell all of those secrets she confided in you. You will carry them to your grave, even when she is long gone and married to somebody else.
No, my darlings…you will not treat sex as a God-given right of your manhood. You will approach her with love and gentleness, always asking permission. I hope that your first kiss with her begins with, “May I?” I promise you, she will swoon.
No, my darlings…you may not treat her as a porn star, unless she tells you that’s what she’s feeling like right now. Sex is about intimacy. She won’t want to rock your world unless she has that first.
No, my darlings…you may not call anybody a slut or talk disparagingly about how many boyfriends and girlfriends she has had. It’s not your business. Maybe she got to know you and didn’t like what she saw. That has little to do with her being a “slut.”
No, my darlings…you aren’t automatically stronger and smarter than she is just because you are a man. Sometimes she will be the one to open the jar for you. And if you are looking for tenacity, that is definitely a female quality.
No, my darlings…you may not turn to your friends when she walks by and discuss her physical attributes. That kind of talk makes you a disrespectful boor. It disregards her as a person. I don’t care how hot she looks, or how revealing her outfit may be. That is for her. You will know when it is for you.
No, my darlings…you may not meet a woman for the first time and remark on the size of her breasts, the shape of her ass, or what you would like to do to her. You will wait until you are absolutely positive that she is into you before you pay her such “compliments.”
No, my darlings…you may not make judgements and derogatory comments about a woman’s weight. You will not point, laugh, or discuss how “fat” a woman is, because you are embarrassing yourself as much as you are damaging her fragile ego.
No, my darlings…you will not use the term “pussy” when referring to somebody being weak. You should say it like it is—that their balls are feeling fragile and vulnerable. And when somebody does something extraordinary, I promise you, it is not a set of balls that has given them courage.