Dear ‘mom of boys’,
You don’t know me but I have a favor to ask.
I’m a mom, just like you. I’m raising three girls, which makes me a ‘mom of girls’ and sound like we have very little in common, but that’s not true.
We have loads in common.
We both love our children more than life itself. Sure, they can be little pains in the butt sometimes, but we would both walk to the end of the world and back for each and every one of them. We both worry and fuss over, sometimes we over protect, spoil and baby, and sometimes we discipline, teach and even punish. We have both been through the same stages of potty training, weaning, first step, first word, the first day of school. We would both probably rip the eyes out of anyone who would harm our little ones, and we are both doing our best to raise good people who are kind, loving, considerate and happy, which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t easy these days with all the negativity out there, the violence on TV, pedophiles on the Internet and bullies in the playground, but both of us are trying real hard because that’s our job as moms, right?
Well, you see, as a ‘mom of girls’, I have a few another jobs.
Like to teach my girls to know their worth. Teach them that it’s okay to say ‘no’, that their bodies belong to them and are not there for anyone else’s pleasure. That they should always have ‘safe sex’ unless they wanna get pregnant. Teach them not to walk down dark alleys, not to drink too much at parties, not to leave their drinks unattended, not to hitchhike, not to get into dodgy taxis, and that although they have every right to wear whatever they want and behave however they please, it’s probably best if they don’t dress “too slutty” or act “too flirty” just in case anyone thinks they were “asking for it”. Teach them that if someone hurts them, it is not their fault, even though some people might tell them otherwise, and that they deserve to be treated with respect and love. And teach them that those who love them will do so for who they are, and not for what they look like and that they don’t have to shave their pubic hair just cos the boys think their bushes are disgusting.
The list goes on and on…
And the reason I know all of that this is my job as a ‘mom of girls’, is because – I am a girl.
I have been a girl for the past 42 years and as such I know that even with all the advice in the world, even with everything and anything I can teach them, there will still be those who will disrespect them, who will call them hoes, who will ask to see their pussies and who will think it’s okay to touch and grope for a laugh, as a joke, to mess about or just to be total assholes.
I know this because I don’t think there is a single female on the planet who hasn’t experienced something similar, including you.
An ‘ass grab’ in a club, a hand being shoved down your pants, a ‘babe’ comment on the street or any one of the million ways girls are sexualized and harassed (or worse) every single day.
Let’s be honest – we’ve all been there.
And that’s why I’m writing to you.
I need to ask you a favor and I know your hands are full, I know you work hard, that there is barely time to breathe in the daily grind of our super busy lives and that there are a million other “fish to fry”. I also know that most of it may seem innocent, or like a joke, boys being boys and nothing to worry about, but that’s not true.
This is important.
You see, we are both raising the next generation of men and women. The fathers and mothers of tomorrow. The people that will shape the world after we are gone, and it is our job to make sure that they know better.
Now, this is not an attack on you, this is a mother’s plea and trust me – I can’t even imagine how awkward it must be for you as a woman to change your boy’s sheets or find porn under his bed or naked photos on his phone. Like, for real – I feel you!
But it is our job to have those uncomfortable conversations with our children, girls, AND boys.
It is our job as parents to teach our sons and daughters how to treat each other with respect, that girls in real life don’t look like the girls they see on the internet, that having ‘safe sex’ is everyone’s responsibility, that ‘no’ means no, that girls are not “hoes” and “bitches” and that treating girls like dirt is NOT cool or funny or remotely acceptable.
And the favor I am asking for is that next time you see it, IF you see it, and you will know what IT is when you see it, because before anything else, before you became a mom, a wife, or even a women, you were a GIRL (just like my girls) – DO NOT IGNORE IT.
I am asking you – mom to mom, woman to woman, girl to girl to SAY SOMETHING.
I am asking you to talk to your son about women’s rights, our worth, what our bodies really look like, what we like, what we don’t, and to not put up with the disrespectful “jokes” and remarks many boys make these days because it’s become such a norm. It is not something to make light of. It may look innocent but it’s not funny and it is our job to speak up, as moms, as women, and as girls.
I am asking you to start this when they are still young. When they are still little boys, good boys because that’s what they all start out as. Before they get a chance to get their answers online, or from other people, including the wrong people. Let’s be the ones who provide the answers. Let’s be the ones who lead the way. Let’s be the female role-models they deserve to have.
I want such a better world for my beautiful girls and your lovely sons, and I am asking you for your help.
I know we can do it together.
Yours truly,
‘Mom of girls’