35 Things We’d Better Tell Our Sons About Harassment, Assault & “Boys will Boys”

 This is a long one, I know.  Kudos to the author.  It can change us and our culture.  The following is the best Christmas give we can give our sons.  It is beautiful.  Merry Christmas to you all.
From: A Holy Experience <annvoskamp@aholyexperience.com>
Date: November 21, 2014 at 7:36:25 AM GMT+8Subject: 35 Things We’d Better Tell Our Sons About Harassment, Assault & “Boys will be Boys”
A Holy Experience

35 Things We’d Better Tell Our Sons About Harassment, Assault & “Boys will be Boys”

When the kid just up and said it, I choked on my drink, spit the water clear across the table.

“I think assault culture is an assault against humanity.”

Sure, when you’re the mother of four sons anything can happen at the dinner table, and you can count on it, we’ve about seen and heard it all.

Yessiireee, this here is our little circus to love, these are our crazy monkeys to love.

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But when it comes up at the dinner table as the dark settles in, our own young men looking up from their dinner plates right at you and asking you —

about men  who joke about drugging women so they can take advantage of them (and the audience laughs), then what?

When they ask about a national radio host who turns out to be a host for mutating violence against women, with these allegations of decades of punching women, violently assaulting them behind closed doors — or groping them quite publicly while others’ turned their eyes the other way…

When they mention having heard about bare frontal photos arrogantly flaunting themselves around with the announcement that they can break the internet (sorry, but don’t ever underestimate every parent out there who is fixed on fixing the internet)

Yeah, you’d have to be Rip Van Winkle, sawing slumbering logs for the last couple weeks, not to feel like the whole world’s a circus gone a bit mad.

And yes’m, I’d like to be an ostrich as much as anyone and stick my head in the sand. Let the pundits and the public jesters juggle this mess. Not my circus, not my monkeys. But when you have kids? When you have kids at university? Who stumble into whatever’s trending right there in their Facebook streams, their Twitter torrents? Yeah —

You can sit at the dinner table, the candles flickering with your sigh, and you can just step up and say it to the kids, what you’d rather not talk about — but can’t afford not to:

Look — what matters here? What matter is us being the change that matters. We don’t turn to other’s stories so much as to reproach them — but to reform us. This isn’t about some story out there, Sons — this is a story that begins with us. 

No news story suddenly just begins as a headlines — every single one begins as a line of thought running through somebody’s heart.

And better stories begin around our dinner tables and our kitchen sinks. Cultural change doesn’t happen by us throwing stones but by us becoming rock solid in our commitment to personal change.

I pass the water pitcher down to the boys and yeah, spill a bit into the boys’ questions:

Let me be clear: I definitely don’t know what any man did or didn’t do, or what a radio host’s is innocent or guilty of, or why exposing skin has become this mainstream way of maintaining attention instead of contributing to society with creativity or generosity. Let me repeat: That’s not what this is about — this is about us.  Yeah, there’s lot I very clearly don’t have answers for, nor am I going to pretend I do…. But I’ve got questions for you, young men, and I’m praying you won’t get defensive, but just real sensitive:

What if your car was broken into and everyone accused you of lying about it? Why, unlike any other crime, do we often treat women’s reports of abuse with suspicion instead of with protection? When we are quick to dismiss the suffering — we are quick to ignore the Suffering Savior.

It is the scarred ones who make the Body of Christ sensitive.

I’m begging you always to carry this with you, SonsStudies prove that only 2 per cent to 8 per cent of rape victims lie. That means 92 per cent to 98 per cent are telling the truth. That means when a woman tells you about abuse, you’d be safest believing she is telling you the truth.

Because honest? There are 460,000 women who report being abused every year in Canada. And out of every 1000 reported assaults? Only 3 lead to conviction.  That’s .03% convictions on assaults.  You ask why women don’t report? Women rarely report because it rarely leads to conviction —  but it always guarantees profound embarrassment. 

Why is it easier to characterize assault against as the tension of taking one person’s word against another’s -—- when sometimes  it really can mean you are taking one man’s word over many women’s word? Too often, we’d rather make someone’s uncomfortable pain invisible to us —  than say injustice is intolerable to us — so the injustice continues

And why is this discussion of harassment too often about what women are wearing — instead of young men wearing their respect for women on their sleeves, regardless of what women are wearing — or not?

And, as well meaning as this has been, the thing is: You don’t value a woman by telling yourself that she’s some man’s sister, or daughter, or mother. A woman doesn’t derive value from having men in her life that value and like her. A woman has value because she is made in the image and likeness of God. Period.

You remember how I told you about how when I was 19 and I saw it in my rear view mirror, how a 20-something man reached over in the back seat and started fondling a 14 year-old sleeping girl who woke up terrified and frozen?

How he shrugged his shoulders when we confronted him, like he was brushing away an annoying fly. How there were girls that whispered that he’d grabbed them too in the dark of a car when he drove them home from youth group, how there were all these shy and ashamed girls who were violated and forced and indifferently robbed.

I want to tell you, son — we were all church kids — church girls too scared to tell, and church guys too unaccounted for, that no one knew they needed help.

These were young men who opened their Bibles and didn’t value the worth of a God-fashioned woman made for glory, young men who sang worship songs and satiated their lust by ripping off the dignity of a sacred human being, young men who said women were the weaker vessel meant let’s drink them dry and be merry.

We went to the church elders.

A handful of us girls — and  one teenage boy who knew what he saw and wasn’t afraid.

We went to the elders and sat there with our hands literally shaking and our mouths impossibly dry and we tried to find words for what should never have to be said. My cheeks and throat burned.

We were looked in the eye, Son, and what we were told, those words tried to shatter God —

“Boys will be boys.”

Sons.

And that is never the heart of God.

That’s what you have to get, Sons — Real Manhood knows the heart of God for the daughters of His

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