The thoughts began with this statement;
"WHEN ARE WE GOING TO STOP TEACHING OUR DAUGHTERS HOW NOT TO GET RAPED AND INSTEAD TEACH OUR SONS NOT TO RAPE?"
So basic a question, yet so profound a perspective. The culture of thought that has created violence and abuse, against women and children especially, is one that can be laid at the feet of the male populace in general. Women, as a whole, have never asked to be raped or beaten. Neither have children. If any individuals of that group have...it is because of a psyche scarred by others' unforgivable actions in the first place.
This culture may have prevailed through hundreds, even thousands of years, but this does not mean it is right. In fact, at one time, many societies were matriarchal or of a shared politic between the sexes. Their belief systems accepted both men asnd women's sexuality equally and had traditions that educated each in a natural and compassionate way. A lot of that changed in the last two millennia. My goal here is not to lay blame on any particular society in history or spiritual belief though. It is to point out to the portion of society today who can make the greatest difference in attitude what we can do to correct this imbalance.
I am tired of hearing, even from "educated" people or those with so-called "enlightened" religious beliefs that rape would be less of an issue if girls dressed differently, acted differently and did not tempt boys who are caught up in raging maelstroms of hormonal conflict. There is a certain rationalization to some of this and I hopefully address these ideas to a satisfactory level. If our culture of thought does not change at its foundations, there is truth to the above statement but it, like much of modern medicene, merely addresses the symptom rather than the cause. What we need to do then, is start at the bottom, the root of this line of thought. The bottom line is that we, as Men....Whole Men..., must teach our male offspring how to deal with those raging hormones without impinging on others' freedoms and actions.
There is still a responsibility to the feminine side to educate and direct girls on the inner conflict and angst that their youthful counterparts go through and how to take that into consideration through the course of their own actions. It is a two way street but lets start with the route that directly leads from our home and our man-cave. First, we must teach our sons to be emotionally literate. The celebrity, Jane Fonda, discusses this in the following link http://www.upworthy.com/they-asked-if-she-had-anything-else-she-wanted-to-say-to-the-audience-thats-when-she-took-it-home?c=ufb1 .
One of my siblings clarified Jane's statements a little and it resonates with what I have been talking about in previous blogs, "One of the things that must be said is that boys and men do not need to be pansies etc to be emotional literate. There must be a societal change in what both men and women think & perceive to bring this about." Men must be Men. It is true but we need to be Whole Men, who respect the other sex, their needs, their wants. We are told by some that girls shouldn't dress they way the do because it entices the boys, it stirs the primal urges that are their instincts and drives them to awaken their sexuality often in detrimental ways.
In essence, if we continue down this road of thought; girls are told to not embrace their own burgeoning sexuality to allow boys to come to terms with theirs. So we are asking the female to deny herself so a male can find himself.
Can we say...hypocrisy?
How about, instead, we teach boys about what they are feeling and about what the girls may be feeling. We must teach them how the girls make them feel instinctively, and then, teach them ways to deal with those instincts, not to deny them but to establish a balance with them. We need to teach them that their are ways to release these feelings that build up inside without stripping away someone else's freedoms. Bluntly, one of the things we need to teach them is that things like masturbation are not evil or dirty deeds. They are natural and a way to curb those animalistic tendencies. We must also teach them that it is okay to talk about these things. Dialogue is always a great initial step in resolving issues.
We as boys growing towards manhood, are beset by a tidal wave of raging testosterone within our own bodies. We are driven by the animal instinct to procreate. That cannot be changed. The truth is...an erection is, on some levels, quite painful. It is like a muscle that is undergoing a prolonged contraction and our body is striving to release the tension caused by flexing for such an extended period. Our psyches understand the pleasure of release instinctively though and thus the pain is not acknowledged consciously most of the time. Even now, if I asked many other men, they would probably deny this truth having never really contemplated it.
It is the truth though and that instinctive desire for release is one of the factors that drives teenage boys. Understanding that though is the first step in doing something about it. Releasing that desire without treading upon a girl's freedom is what we need to teach our boys. It is not just the inability to release the tensions built up by this sudden onslaught of testosterone that leads to sexual assault and violence, it is a young man's inability to understand what is going on as well...both within themselves and within the opposite sex.
There is also emotional desire involved in all of this. Not just the desire for release from the tightness of a physical erection but the desire that comes from being attracted to the more intangible qualities of sharing time with someone you like. All of these are natural instinctive things that the majority of us go through during our coming of age years. All of this can be addressed through educating our offspring and empowering them to make wise decisions.
Even if you agree with what I have said, there will be some of you, probably ones who are not fully comfortable with emotional literacy, who are asking, why us? Why do the men need to deal with this uncomfortable topic? Why not those who are more emotionally literate...like the mothers?
The answer is simple...because women do not rape...men do. Don't even think about going down the road that there are cases where women rape. That is a rare exception to the rule. We, as men, "Whole" men not "real" men must take responsiblity for the actions of our lesser refined fellows. Was it not once said, "That there is no greater evil than the indifference of a good man..."?
I came upon another link recently that addresses some of the same questions and it is put passionately and almost poetically by Jeremy Loveday. If it does not cause you to to ask the same questions I do not know what will... http://www.upworthy.com/if-a-man-asks-what-women-have-been-asking-for-centuries-will-men-finally-listen?c=ufb1 .
It is imperative if we really wish to change the culture of thought on this subject to ask these questions aloud and to all. It is also important that this be a family issue as well. We need to get our wives and our partners involved in this discussion and our daughters as well as our sons; to understand both sides of the mindset of both sexes and the sexuality of both as well. What we men need to do though is start with what we know best...ourselves and those like us...our sons.