Why is it important that your son respects women? When we talk about rape and sexual assault, too often we talk only about the victims – whether to blame them, or how to help them, to tell them it’s not their fault, or to warn them who they should be alert about, but we never address the main issue- how does the media affect the way your son thinks about women?
No means no
It’s obvious, right? This is the main thing your son needs to learn. With what your son has access to while watching movies that glorify stalking women, you need to drive home the point that your son needs to be able to accept a “NO”. If they say no, that doesn’t mean “I’m playing hard to get” or “convince me;” that means No.
Refer to women by their names
If you don’t know their names, don’t talk about them. You need to teach your son to talk about the person, her accomplishments, her strengths, instead of discussing her bum, her legs, her clothing. This way your son doesn’t fall into the popular norm of sexualizing every conversation he has with a girl.
Talk openly about women’s rights
Share with your sons some truths about women’s struggle for equality- How women were not allowed to vote, how they were thought as property of men, and how far women have come over the years, fighting for their rights.
Encourage your son to express his emotions
Generations of boys have been raised to with the popular adage – boys don’t cry. Too often, boys are praised for their accomplishments and not for how they treat people in their lives. It’s important to nurture your son’s ability to express and introspect, as this will help him empathize with others, no matter what their gender is.