Wednesday, July 11, 2012
To the Boys
The other day, I saw a couple of young boys (the older couldn't have been more than 13) in the grocery store peeking at the pictures of female models in an issue of GQ magazine. I rolled my eyes and walked on, but immediately afterward I started thinking. Next time I see young boys looking at semi-naked women in magazines and giggling, I wish I could go up to them and say this:
Learn how to treat girls right when you're this age, and you'll get plenty of real-life women when you're a little older.
And that doesn't mean pretending to care so you can get in her pants by the third date.
It means seeing girls as people, not as toys or objects for you to look at when you think they can't see you.
It means learning that what society says is beautiful and what you think is beautiful may be different...and that dating women you think are beautiful is more important than impressing your friends with your HotTM girlfriend.
It means understanding that there are plenty of girls who are as smart and smarter than you, and not getting all bent out of shape about it.
It means knowing and respecting any individual girl's boundaries, and leaving her alone when she asks.
It means asking for her consent before touching her in a place she may or may not want to be touched...and then double-checking if she says "Uh, sure."
It means learning the difference between being sexually attracted to a girl and being in love with her...and the difference between those two and actually loving her.
It means using your girlfriend/wife/partner as your standard for attractiveness, so you come to see her as the most beautiful woman in the world.
It means being okay with girls having male friends, and not feeling like other guys are trying to "take" something that's "yours".
It means not fearing commitment because you want to be "unchained," and learning to see committed relationships as something to be joyful about.
It means knowing that life is easier for you by virtue of you being male*.
And, most of all, it means respecting all women. Your mom, your sisters, your teachers, your classmates, everyone. The sooner you learn that women are your equals and are entitled to your respect, the sooner you'll be the kind of guy girls want to date. Learn to love the girls you date, and you become a keeper.
*This is otherwise known by the scary word "privilege". Here's a dude-friendly explanation of what privilege means.