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Raising Respect

I’m very proud to be a part of this campaign, especially within the 16 days of Activism Against Women and child abuse. 1st for Women have launched an initiative called For Women. 

For Women is the platform that consolidates women abuse fighting efforts in one place. Featuring public, private and non-profit organisations, who have vowed to fight women abuse, it enables survivors to find the right help, quickly. It also empowers South Africans and corporate South Africa to take a stand and easily connect with organisations needing help.

This is your chance to take action and unite with For Women in the fight against women abuse.

This really got me thinking about how we treat others and how the treatment of others ultimately starts at home.

When I first heard I was having a baby boy, I instantly wondered how I (being such a girly girl and coming from a family of all girls) could possibly raise a son?

I was so excited to meet this little baby growing inside of me. Every day, I rubbed my expanding belly and spoke the words:

“Baby G, I hope you are strong and kind and wise.”

“The Future is Female” is something we see a lot. It’s on t-shirts and on the news. It made me wonder what place he would have in the world, in the future.

I feel this incredible responsibility to raise a man who is respectful and mindful of everyone, especially women.

I never want my son to say silly things like: “You throw like a girl” and mean it in a derogatory way.

As parents, we have the challenge of raising our sons with a greater sense of self, but also others..

When the news broke about Harvey Weinstein and the story unravelled several truths about the entertainment industry and my social media was awash with the hashtag #MeToo, I knew that my responsibility was even greater.

I don’t have all the answers on exactly how to get it right, but boy I’m going to do my best to ensure my son is kind to everyone, strong enough to do the right thing and wise enough to know better.

1. He needs good role-models – male and female.

Our boys need better role models and I feel particularly proud that my son has his Dad who is kind and respectful to everyone. I also want my son to have strong female role models too. I want to encourage him to see both powerful men and women, who achieve great things in their lives, which will only encourage him to see other women that way.

2. I want to teach him to take care of himself.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, chief executive of New America, a think tank, said this:

“Teach our sons to cook, clean and look after themselves — to be equally competent in the home as we would expect our daughters to be in the office.”

3. Share the work.

In our family, we share chores and housework. I believe it shows that it’s not just about a “woman’s job” or a “man’s job” and it definitely creates a sense of responsibility.

4. Teach him to take care of others.

Women are still seen as the primary caregivers and while there is still merit to that, I want to talk to him about how men are just as capable to balance work and family, and how sons and not just daughters are expected to care for their families, their parents and relatives and so on.

5. Teach him that “No” means No.

I want to teach him that he needs to be respected when he says “No” and that he needs to respect others when they say “No” too.

6. I want to teach him to speak up.

I want him to always feel strong and wise enough to be able to speak up when he feels something is wrong, not just for himself, but for others too.

7. I want to teach him that it’s OK to cry.

Boy and Girl babies and toddlers cry the same amount, but for some reason as little boys get older, they get told to toughen up and stop crying. Crying is not a sign of weakness. Crying is part of being human and emotional. Our daughters are allowed to be human beings, and our sons are taught to be robotic. I want to teach him that he has a full range of emotions and they’re all valid.

At the end of the day, I hope to raise a well rounded, happy boy who respects himself and others.

Through For Women, 1st for Women is hoping to inspire hope and confidence by showing that we can bring an end to the social tragedy that is woman abuse by working together to bring about positive changes for both men and women. The For Women Platform has been structured to holistically address women abuse through 3 key pillars.  They are:

  1. Prevention – organisations that work to address the multiple and often interlinked causes of abuse
  2. Preparation – organisations that empower women with tools they need to put an end to what it happening to them or to women they know and what to help
  3. Provision – organisations that support and assist abuse survivors on their journey.

This video really sums it up well:

Take a look at their website: www.for-women.co.za

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1 Comment

  • Reply Caley

    You are an amazing mama Bails, and you are already raising a little gentleman x

    December 1, 2017 at 8:29 am
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