Before I begin, let me say that this story is not about me. It is about a man I love and admire, and in whom I find a great deal of pride—my son.
Being a mother is not always easy, especially … as some of you understand … if most of the time you are a single parent.
My own childhood was not an easy one. Our house was filled too often with violence: we actually had what we called our own “Friday Night Fights” between Mom and Dad.
At seventeen, I fled my home and married my boyfriend, with all his promises of college and my becoming a veterinarian. Ten months later, my son was born, followed a couple of years later by my daughter … no college or veterinary career, but more abuse! After 7 years I took my children and left. I made a vow to put an end to the cycle of violence that had been such a major part of my life for 22 years. Having a son, I knew that his life was not going to mirror either his father’s or his grandfather’s. He would be different.
Occasionally a reader, friend, or family member accuses me of picking on men. I’ll admit that sometimes I get charged up and make generalizations. But after experiencing abuse in my younger years, then a great deal of sexual harassment throughout my career, along with a violent sexual assault, I know that things have to change.
Our sons, our men, no longer deserve a pass for rudeness or offensive behavior towards girls or women.
It is a lesson that they must learn because at this point in history, our daughters are experiencing massive change. They are experiencing the “Me Too” movement; our daughters are earning college degrees and salaries almost equal to men’s (though we still have some ways to go on that front); our daughters are being taught that their wishes and dreams do matter and our daughters are being taught that women will no longer be mistreated and ignored.