…but especially, talk to your sons.
When they are still young and flexible enough to appreciate that there is no reason why girls and women should be treated differently than they themselves are treated.
When they are still young enough to understand that they themselves shouldn’t be expected or forced to conform to a stereotype of behaviour that stifles who they are and what they feel.
When they can still learn that there are no gray areas when it comes to assault, violence, degradation of other human beings, based on whether those other human beings have or have not dangly bits, or whether those other human beings declare themselves to be straight, gay, or anything in between or outside of those two.
If enough women teach their sons that all women–not just those women in their own lives (i.e., their mothers, their sisters, etc)–deserve to be treated with respect, we will see fewer instances of groups of men conspiring to drug women so they can rape them.
And please make no mistake: a woman cannot consent to have sex if she’s been drugged, even if she’s moving and talking. A woman cannot consent to have sex if she’s so drunk she cannot stand or talk, or if she’s outright unconscious.
Feminism is the belief that all human beings have the same basic rights, including the expectation that if they attend a private party, they shouldn’t have to watch their drinks to ensure they are not drugged, that if they drink themselves silly at a party, they won’t be raped.
How often have we advised our sons not to accept open drinks, to watch their glasses, etc. so they are not drugged? How often have we told them not to drink too much at a fraternity party so they don’t risk rape?
How often have we told our sons not to dress in ways that emphasize their sexuality, lest they ask for it?
Rape culture is not a myth, it’s a reality, and every time we stay silent, we contribute to it.
If not me, who? If not now, when?
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women!) to do nothing”