June 13, 2016 Sarah 0Comment

brock-turner-1-435

Brock Turner,

SANTA CLARA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls are taught about the threat of sexual assault from very young.

Dress modestly.

Don’t be a tease.

Don’t draw too much attention to yourself.

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

And it’s all true. Women have to be careful. Because even if they are actually unconscious when they are sexually assaulted or raped, someone will still say it is “partly” their fault. She shouldn’t have been drinking. She shouldn’t have walked home alone. She shouldn’t have been out so late.

IMG_0910But you know what? We’re spending so much time teaching our girls to be careful that no one is teaching our boys to be careful.  Well, I have two boys, and I’m sure as hell going to teach them to be careful.

If a young man sexually assaults a woman, it’s because he’s not been taught respect. It’s because he hasn’t learned how to respect boundaries, but it’s also because he hasn’t learned how NOT to put himself into situations where these things could occur. I’m looking at it from both lenses, and here’s what I plan to tell my boys:

Sex is a dangerous game. You need to make sure you have absolute consent before you proceed. So, do not ever have sex with a girl who is drunk. (1. How can you even get real consent if she is drunk?? and 2. What if in the morning she regrets it and says she didn’t want to and you made her??)

On the other side of it, don’t have sex when you are drunk. Being drunk brings out parts of your personality you may not ever see otherwise. You may be more aggressive, or angry, or rude when you’re drunk. You could make a huge mistake that you would never make if you were sober. This is NOT the time to be intimate with someone. Don’t do it.

Do not have sex with someone who you know nothing about. (What if she says later that her “consent” wasn’t really consent??)

Do not degrade, be rude to, or be overly flirtatious with anyone. It may feel funny at the time, or maybe she’s flirting back so you think it’s okay, but in her head she may feel violated and can’t figure out a way to get out of the conversation, and she’s scared of you, so she plays along.

Don’t think too highly of yourself. If you buy a girl a drink, she doesn’t owe you anything. If you buy her dinner, she doesn’t owe you anything.

Got that? Nothing. Never.

You can spend a whole day with a girl, and it can go really well, and at the end of the day, she may kiss you and that’s all you get. And we can go back to that lesson you learned when you’re five…you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.

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You have desires? Yeah…guess what? She does too. No one cares about your primal desires. Keep it to yourself. Sex and intimacy are a two way street. Both parties have to be interested, have to want it, and have to understand the consequences.

So how do you know when it’s real? How do you know when it’s okay to proceed?

You’ll know because her voice will be genuine. Because she’ll really listen to you and nurture you and you’ll feel that she cares for you. You’ll know that she trusts you because she’ll talk to you. She’ll touch you. Sex is fun- it’s a fantastic way for two people to connect. But it’s supremely intimate. You cannot just jump right to that. There are other things first. Other things that establish trust.

And you have to ask her before you have sex. It can be in a romantic way, but you have to verbally hear the word “yes.” Maybe more than once.

Don’t think with your penis. Think with your brain. Understand that whenever you have sex with a woman, you are setting the bar for the rest of her sexual experiences. If you are respectful she will always expect respect. If you rape her or assault her, she will always feel trauma when she tries to be intimate with someone. If you hurt her, you will ruin her ability to enjoy physical intimacy, for the rest of her life.

That sounded like a lot of “don’ts” didn’t it?

Here’s another one. Don’t fuck this up. It’s way too important.

 

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