We are close to wrapping up our series of "The Men Who Hear Our Healing." This past month has taught us a greater need to expand upon this topic, and hopefully find ways we can invite the male perspective into our blog. The topic of rape, sexual assault, and abuse Transcends gender. We are sensitive to this fact, though we at Herstory share a female perspective from our experiences of assault. That being said, we do encourage our male audience to continue to be patient with us as we learn to bridge the conversation and help each other be allies in a world that has pinned us against one another.
It was on my spirit to discuss "raising our Sons" and although I personally don't have a son, let alone a child yet, I do know Cristal has incredible insight seeing that she is mother to one. I will also be reflecting on my relationship with my younger brother and how I opened up the conversation of my experience to him.
My brother was the first sibling I had told about being raped. He and I have always shared a close bond and knew that before I could muster up the courage to speak to my older siblings, I'd break the ice with him first.
He was only 14 or so when I told him. But neither of us were naive in conversations of the birds and bees...he was interested in dating and I made it a point to be open with him to hopefully plant some seeds of the female perspective. We unraveled the topics of consent, of listening to the woman's voice whether that be mom's, mine, or a friend's.
He has always been the type to listen, he's really really good at that..and I can't thank him enough in terms of respecting my. Very vocal pro-feminist, Jesus-loving banter...
I don't know if the multiple conversations made a difference, but at least he knows he can be an ally to a friend if (God forbid) that experience comes up in conversation. Perhaps if anything, he can be just as sensitive to the red flags I ignored, or at the very least, not be a bystander, and actively protect, and voice the necessity to be assertive of one right to their one body...
I thought having a little girl would be hard only because of the experience I had endured with being a rape survivor. Thoughts of how over-protective I would be constantly raced my mind, but now that I have a son...and the thoughts have not dissipated.
I can make a plan or a power point on how I will teach my son the importance of respect and the meaning of no means no and yes means yes, and repeat the process often, but as mentioned on Deuteronomy 11:19 "We must teach them day and night at every opportunity possible and by example."
I believe the only true way my son will understand the importance of respect is by the example of his own father. The only way he will know how to treat a girl is by seeing the way his father treats me and by me being an example of respect in the way I treat his father as well. But in my household, we can only do that through God's love and Gods guidance. Although it's easier said than done, I must trust God and know he makes no mistakes.
And there is certainly no mistake that we are still learning as we go...the journey thus far has taught Cristal and myself that we will have to uplift women as much as we are in order to usher in the conversation for men to feel safe and included in a space we hope can be used to educate, to uplift, and to call into question the intricacies that lie within rape culture.
Till next time & With Endless LOVE,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.