Wednesday 20 March 2013

what shall you teach your son?

In the light of recent events, it's time to stop telling our daughters to be careful and start considering what we should be teaching our sons. As the mother of a son I know the kind of man I want him to be. It's my failure if, as a woman, I raise a boy who does not respect women.

How do we fix this shit?
Let us start with what we teach our sons                                  
Yes you, my innocent little man;
If you ever lay your head next to mine
And whisper that you have hurt, degraded or demeaned
Some woman
Any woman
Any girl
The old one. The ugly one
 The pretty flirt. The one whose skirt
Is too short or blouse too low.
The silly one. The shy one. The odd one.
The one who was mean. The one who said no.
The one who passed out.
The one your mate said was loose.
Any one of them
You will feel the power of your mother.
  You will quickly learn that I am woman, too.
But I love you, my son.
So I will teach you first  
No means no.
Drunk means no.
Unconscious means no.
Uncomfortable means no.
But before that I will teach you
She is entitled to wear, speak, like, dislike, walk, drink, think, live
How she pleases.
And before that I will teach you
There are just people.
Not a war between sexes.
Just people.
You are people.
She is people too.
And when some people try to make you forget that, I will teach you
To say



Aisling the Bard said...

This is a wonderful response, and amazing poetry to boot. I am deeply moved. Thank you!

margo little said...

Wonderful. I shall be passing this on, with your permission?

Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful poem! Thank you.

ann murphy lawlor said...

Fabulous. As the mother of sons this really speaks to me x