Although today’s society is growing closer to producing a culture in which people who practice violence against women are punished accordingly, there’s still a long way to go. One way society has been trying to keep women safe is by telling them to cover up, never walk alone, tell people where they’re going, and the rest of the advice that mothers pass to daughters these days.
But isn’t there something else we as a society should be doing? It’s not our daughters who are inflicting violence upon themselves.
Just how every mother sits down to talk to her daughter about being safe, so too should mothers and fathers especially take the time to sit down and explain to their sons that being violent towards women is wrong. No means no. You’re not entitled to anything from a woman.
Because really what modern feminism has been trying to drive home for decades is that all of the responsibility for women being treated equally and fairly should not fall on the shoulders of women alone. Responsibility is something we have to teach men too. Teaching our daughters that they’re the only ones who have to be careful is telling society two things. First, that if a woman does get hurt it’s her fault for not being careful enough. Second, men can’t control themselves and should be regarded as wild animals two seconds from acting violently in any given situation. Both of those implied statements create a culture where we blame victims and absolve perpetrators by grouping them all as animals who can’t be contained.
The important thing to remember about responsibility is that there isn’t one person responsible. Parents need to teach their children that violence towards women is unacceptable. Yes, mothers should continue to teach their daughters safety because let’s face it, there are animals out there. Parents also need to teach their sons about respect and how they are responsible for their own actions. In the end we as a society need to look out for each other to protect our children, sisters, brothers, and parents because everyone shares in responsibility.