With the increasing crimes against women, like many moms, I am scared too. It is believed that it is the mother of a daughter, who is scared for the safety of her kid. But sadly, there is another kind of fear that our society hardly talks about.
The fear that many socially responsible mothers, who are raising sons in the patriarchal society live with.
What if our sons turn into misogynistic males, who treat women lesser than them or objectify them.
What if our sons turn into the same kind of men, that we hated our whole lives!
What if our sons treat their wives the way we have been treated without respect and equality!
What if our sons don’t turn up into the man who stood by women!
Whenever there are rape cases against young girls and women, there are many who blame their parenting. They are many who blame parents for not raising better kids. Being the mother of a son, these incidents and comments affect me at a deeper level.
It makes me worry if I would be able to teach my son the right things. It worries me if I would be able to teach him how to stand up to the pressure of toxic masculinity. It worries me if he would succumb to the pressure of his school friends or peers to turn into a toxic personality!
So, here are things that I would like to teach my son so that women of tomorrow would have a better chance of being treated right by our patriarchal society.
SON, HERE IS A CHECKLIST ON HOW TO BE A MAN YOUR MOTHER IS PROUD OF.
1. DIFFERENT YET EQUAL
Girls might be different from you, but they are not any less. The way you are blessed with your gifts; they are blessed with theirs. If you are defeated by them in any game or at a job, that doesn’t make you any less of a man!
2. NO MEANS NO
Before you enter into the world of dating, educate yourself on the concept of consent. When Girls say ‘No’ to your dating proposal or any actions; it doesn’t mean you are any less. Respect her decision and accept rejection in a dignified manner. How a man accepts rejection define if he is a gentleman or not.
3. STAND AGAINST PEER PRESSURE TO BE THE REAL MAN
Don’t let your friends or family make you believe that misogyny is cool or patriarchy is cool or sexism is cool. When you will face peer pressure from your friends to crack sexist or misogynist jokes; I hope you exhibit enough courage to take a stand against them.
4. HER CLOTHES DON’T DEFINE HER CHARACTER BUT HOW YOU SEE THEM DEFINE YOURS
How girls choose to dress does not define their character. But how you perceive it or speak about it definitely defines yours.
5. KITCHEN & HOUSEHOLD CHORES KNOW NO GENDER
Just because you are a boy doesn’t mean you are disqualified from handling kitchen and household chores. Many people around you will make you believe that it is a woman’s job to feed you! Don’t listen to those fools!
6. WOMEN ARE NOT YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY
Many times, our patriarchal society, will make you believe that you women are men’s personal property and they are expected to make choices for them. Don’t let the idiots trap you in their regressive thought-process. Whether it is about their careers, clothes, body or life choices, women have the right to make their own choices. Don’t assume that it’s your responsibility to make choices for them. Your only responsibility is to accept those choices, even if they are different than your expectations!
7. WOMEN ARE NOT THERE TO SACRIFICE FOR MEN
Don’t let society make you believe that women are born to sacrifice for men. Because they aren’t. To make any relationship work, no one can shy away from making sacrifices or compromises. But, at various steps of your life, society may make you believe that women are there to make sacrifices for men. But, that’s not true.
Your father made sacrifices for my career and I did sacrifice for your father’s happiness!
8. THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN JUSTIFY THE ABUSE – EMOTIONAL OR PHYSICAL
No matter what our movies show you, there is nothing that justifies violence and abuse. Neither anger nor rejection nor love could justify any kind of violence and abuse.
9. STAND FOR THEM & THEIR DIGNITY
Not only it is important to treat women right but also it is important to stand for them when the patriarchal society tries to stomp over their dignity and respect.
Many in the family, may not be happy with your parents to raise you as a man, who defies social norms and stand for women and their respect. It is fine with us, it should be fine with you too!
For your mom and dad, it is alright if you don’t end up running a company or having a hefty bank balance.
But, it isn’t fine if you turn into a man who isn’t brave or wise enough to stand against the regressive society. We don’t want our son to turn into a man who is spineless when it comes to taking a stand against the patriarchal society.