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Real Men

SheepdogsThe original story about Steubenville didn't rile me up, although it should have. It wasn't until I read the blog posts of some other silent victims of such attacks that something inside broke.

Stop and think about that, because it will tell you a lot about this problem.

The fact that women have gotten used to violation is a huge indictment on our society. If something good comes out of this Steubenville case, it's that both men and women are waking up to the systemic nature of this disease.

For the men reading this: if you know me at all, you know I care about you. I accept you. And unless you've done egregious harm, I'm not going to walk out on you.

The best of you are outraged that any woman would be treated this way. Some of you, though, are probably just calling the boys stupid. A few think the victim is at least partially to blame. And I won't dignify some of the other reactions by putting them here.

But it's time for you to shut up and listen. I'm your sister and this is as much about you as the women in your life. You have a choice to make about the kind of man you're going to be. This isn't about what you've done in the past. This is about what you do today and tomorrow. This is about being strong enough to stand up to your buddies and say, "We're better than this." This is about accepting the challenge of a real relationship, one in which you will be forced to grow, instead of just looking for pleasure however you can get it.

A boy who gets his pleasure from a non-consenting female is a weak, cowardly sham who has no right to the testosterone in his body.

I find it particularly disturbing that I have seen an attitude of objectifying women even amongst the "sheepdogs." Some of the same guys who say that women shouldn't be in combat (because of a man's instinct to protect a woman) will treat women as a bolster to their ego. You call yourself a sheepdog, you consider the women "sheep"...yet you really think it's okay for the sheepdog to hump the flock for fun?

I glean a lot of information about a man with two questions: 1) Does he treat me with respect? 2) Does he treat other women with respect? Yes, there are friends who only pass question 1, and while I may admire the work they do and enjoy talking with them, they receive less trust and respect from me. A few are in transition as they work to improve on question 2. But my highest respect, trust and honor goes to the men who treat all women with honor.

Now that I've raked the men over the proverbial coals, I do have something to say to the ladies as well: (behind the link so the guys don't have to read this)
Raise your expectations of the men you encounter. Particularly, honor the good ones by expecting them to stand up for what's right. I won't go into a lot of detail, but I've been in several situations where guys have touched me inappropriately when there have been other men, even friends, nearby. And I didn't reach out for help because I wasn't confident that they would step up. I'm telling you now, if your expectations are low your experience will be low. If one man doesn't do the right thing, find one who will. Don't give up. Don't whine, but let them know that you were hurt or threatened on their watch. Ladies, we have to respect ourselves, no doubt about it, but we also need to seek and respect the good in the men around us. Everyone, male and female, must be respected for who they are rather than their sexual use.

If you're the mother of a son, you might also want to read http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/0...t-manhood/

I'm sick of low expectations in the name of tolerance. You're better than that.

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