Raising boys to care!
Not our usual comedy/motivational type of post but as dads talking to other dads I think it's an important discussion to have.
The terrible stories of Sarah Everard and Libby squires over the last few months, really highlight the importance we have as dads to raise our boys in a certain way. As a dad of a little girl, the dangers and challenges women face are more in focus, and although I raise her to navigate those challenges, the question is should I have to? Should she have to navigate those challenges in the first place.
Whilst I'm not at that stage yet where it's necessary to talk with my daughter about personal safety, walking home alone, I'm already having to teach her how to stand up for herself and how she's just as good as the boys, because the boys at pre-school told her she wasn't allowed to do what they were doing because she was "just a girl"
Myself and Ben as dads have two completely different tasks both with the same goal and that is to make women feel safe and comfortable through the morals and the lessons we teach our kids.
Ben is a dad of boys and whilst I'm teaching my little girl how to keep herself safe, I know he is busy teaching his boys how to be decent men when they grow up.
We've come up with a handy motto "Would you do it to a white van man"
Would you shout abuse or cat call a white van man across the street when he's just on his way home from work?
Whilst waiting at the bus stop just the two of you after never speaking before in your lives, would you turn to the white van man who's van broke down and decide that this is the moment you tell him how incredible his arse looks in those jeans and how beautiful he is.
After walking down a quiet street at night and noticing a white van man walking alone would you decide that instead of crossing the road to make him feel safer, you'd follow him home or not care how your presence in that particular situation makes him feel because you know why should you, you're a decent bloke and he's got nothing to worry about surely he should know that!
It is right that not every man is a threat to women, but it's also right that the ones commiting these horrible acts are men, and therefore a woman on her own in the presence of a male stranger has no way of knowing if he's one of the good ones or not, that means it's up to us to teach our lads how to act in certain situations, it's up to us to change our behaviour and put women at ease, it should not be a females responsibility to change her behaviour, hold keys in her and on the way home, take a well lit route or make a phone call to her boyfriend whilst in a taxi alone.
Let's continue to be decent dads raising decent lads, so our women don't have to change their behaviour when alone in the presence of men 💪