I am sure you will be able to picture this scene quite easily: Little Anna is playing with her friends during recess at school. Little Billy runs up to her and pushes her, and runs off laughing. Anna falls, then gets up and runs, crying, to her teacher, Miss Jones. "Miss Jones, Miss Jones! Billy knocked me down!" She expects the teacher to do something about this, since it was kind of scary, and it hurt. But Miss Jones chuckles and says "It's just his way of saying he likes you, Anna".
Anna goes home that afternoon, and she tells her mother about the incident. Mom chuckles too, and says "Well, it looks like you have an admirer!" Anna is shocked - another adult who seems to think that being attacked is a good thing! "But Mommy, it hurt, and it scared me!" Mom replies "Well you see, sometimes little boys are embarrassed to say that they like you, and they don't know how. So they push you, or something like that, to get your attention." Later on, she hears Mom telling a friend about it, and saying "Wasn't that cute!?"
Haven't most of us heard this when we were young? Haven't many of us with daughters said this to them? But think about the message it sends: when a male hurts you, he is showing you that he likes you. It's actually a good thing. It should make you happy. This is the way they are.
Wow. Then we wonder why so many women "let" their men hurt them. Shouldn't Billy be reprimanded? Shouldn't we teach Billy that he should have the confidence to express himself in good ways? Teach him how to do that? Teach Anna that it is not OK?
I know of so many young women who are used and abused by the men in their lives. So many young men who won't pay their way, who verbally abuse their women regularly, and who sometimes get violent with them. And what do people say? It's not "How can he treat her that way? What is wrong with him?" No, they say, just about every time, "What is wrong with her? She shouldn't put up with that. She must like it, because she stays." Some people will even ask what she did to make him mad!
Most of these young women tell me that this is the way all their friends are treated, so why bother trying to find someone better? It could be worse. If she hadn't talked to him like that, done this, not done that.
When a young woman has a child by a man, and he doesn't support the child, and dumps the woman, don't we say "Well, it's her fault for choosing such a man".
And when a woman is attacked, maybe even raped, do people ask how any man could do that? Or do they ask why she was out after dark, or what was she wearing, or what did SHE do.
These are horrifying messages indeed. But what about the more insidious messages we read in magazines and newspapers, hear on TV everyday: Men don't like it when we chatter, so don't do it (the things you have to say are not interesting to him, don't bother him with yourself. YOU are not interesting). Thank him when he bothers to do a household chore, even if he does it badly (It's your job even though he lives there too and you both work outside the home. He shouldn't be expected to take care of his own home. You have to "train" him). Yes, you take care of the kids, the home, the errands, and a hundred other things while he sits on his butt. Yes, you are way to tired to want intimacy right now. But he is a man, and men have needs, and they stray when their needs aren't met (What you want doesn't matter, you should let him use your body without consideration for you, and if he breaks his vows, it is your fault). Haven't you seen/heard advice like this hundreds of times?
I don't think we should ever wonder why women "let" men hurt them. We should be asking about the women who don't "allow" it, and the men who would never do it!
Moreover, what messages are we sending to men and boys? That it's OK to do these things, that they are male, and can't be expected to be able to communicate simple things, treat women with respect and be interested in them as people, that they cannot be expected to control their urges or be responsible for their actions, be responsible for taking care of their homes and children? Come on, they are men, and men who commit to their women, their homes and their children, men who are kind and actually respect and like women are "whipped". And, after all, the women are "letting" them.
Do we really want to teach our kids that "boys will be boys"? That, no matter what, when he treats her badly it is somehow her fault? That being a man means being lazy, irresponsible, mean, even violent, that they really can't be expected to control their urges? That a "real man" is promiscuous?
Please, when your little Anna is picked on by a boy, tell her that it was wrong, and Billy will have a consequence. That she should not be friends with anyone who would treat her like that. Tell Billy that it is OK to like a girl, and he shouldn't be embarrassed at all. Teach him how to show her he likes her with respect. Teach him that it is never OK to be mean in his words or actions. Teach him how to do laundry and sweep the floors and scrub a toilet - he needs to keep his home clean and tidy. Teach him to be a good friend, boyfriend, and husband. Teach him that listening to his woman, sometimes doing things she likes, and being sensitive doesn't make him less of a man, but a much better man. Teach her to value herself and to stay away from men who haven't been socialized properly. Teach Anna and Billy that abuse is not a sign of love.
By Free2B from North Royalton, OH
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I am a survivor of sexual child abuse and was raised in an extremely dysfunctional home. My father never laid a hand on my mother, but he verbally, mentally and emotionally abused my mother. And he acted this way until the time of his death. My mother stayed with him and never divorced him.
When my husband and I married I immediately laid down the law. I told my husband that if he ever treated me the same way that my father treated my mother, I would file for a divorce and raise my son as a single parent. I refused to suffer through a bad marriage.
I'm very fortunate to have a loving husband, and I thank God for him, and we have a fine son who is a career soldier in the army.
Excellent article, Copasetic! This should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country!
I posted this on my Facebook. I support your article and wish it was posted everywhere. Things haven't changed since my mom was raped 58 years ago and she was asked "What did you do to provoke it?" and "What do you expect with a rack like that!" and she was 15... that was the police in Detriot, MI.
Excellent posting Copasetic!. Like some others here, I feel this should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country just before the Headlines telling us who all was raped and murdered the day before. You'd think that some of our highly educated psychologists would have come up with something similar to teach young people so that they'd know how to raise their own children.
Luckily, I had a mother and father who would have tolerated no such foolishness as bullying or abuse from a boy, and thankfully, my husband and I were able to raise our 4 children accordingly.
You should be on Oprah Winfrey's show with this information.
Thank you for sharing some good common sense with ThriftyFun Readers.
Excellent post, thank you.
Above all, young women, leave an abusive man. Do not think he will change, because he will get worse. Just go.
I was never told that boys like you if they hit you. Boys don't hit girls period. I grew up with one brother and 3 boy cousins and I never had a problem any of them hitting me. I have always told my children that hitting is not good period. Talk out your problem or go get an adult. I Boys should not hit girls and girls should not hit boys. Both of my children are in their mid 20's and early 30's and I have never had a problem with them hitting anyone or each other. I am a daycare teacher and we talk about this with the the children.
I think you have a valid point, but how is this post about being thrifty?
Kmimm1... Refusing to tolerate abuse in any form is thrifty because so many welfare recipients are women like "Anna."
I was raised in a highly dysfunctional, abusive home. My father never abused us kids physically. It was the way he treated our mother, physical abuse and philandering, that scarred us. One of my clearest school memories is from my grade-school classroom. David regaled the class with descriptions of our non-existent sex. I can't even remember if the teacher was there all the time, but I do remember approaching her once early on. She said just to ignore him, and he'd eventually stop. He didn't. I still struggle with self-esteem and trust issues.
My first marriage was better than my mother's, but not much. My first so-called husband browbeat and abused me both spiritually and verbally, and since he only hit me a couple of times and wasn't a physical danger, Project Woman couldn't or wouldn't help.
I daydreamed ways to kill him and contemplated suicide more than once, but the thought of my four children stopped me. What would happen to them if I went to prison or died?
I did some serious praying and researched Scripture for a year before God pointed me in the right direction. After 15.5 years in an Earth-bound hell, I walked out of that marriage. I fulfilled my vow to God by never going back.
Now, you're wondering what constitutes spiritual abuse? Simply put, he indoctrinated me into a church that was more cult than Godly. The "under-shepherd" was more wolf than any you'd find on the street. You may know the type. The one time I called 911, I got disciplined by the church for non-submission, not my so-called husband for mistreating me. Needless to say, I left them both behind.
I'm remarried now to a wonderful man. Yes, he has faults. But he was willing to take in a wounded spirit and her four half-wild children. God used him to give us all structure and healing. My daughter later walked out of an abusive marriage and is raising her son with the help of her father and his lady friend. I consider it poetic justice that he's finally doing right by his daughter. He never abused the kids, of course, and has infinite patience with our grandson. I think my walking out was the best thing I ever did for all concerned.
BRAVO! Thank you for saying this. I am often amazed to find that when I say something like this out loud, some people will downplay it and seem to put me down for expressing such an opinion. Seemingly bright people for some reason still keep the stereotype going on that females should just put up with this sort of thing. Perhaps they're only repeating what they grew up hearing, but that 'boys will be boys' attitude should have been stopped long ago. I knew it when I was a small child suffering because of it myself, and have never forgotten, nor will I ever condone it. Again, THANK YOU for your post, you expressed it perfectly!
I am a product of mental,verbal,and physical abuse,when I was a kid.I was never sexually abused,thank God. Then I got married, and the abuse went on. I let it go on for 5 years, then I left him,when he started to beat on my son (he was 31/2,my daughter was 21/2. After many years of being on our own. I met my second husband.I told him,if he laid a hand on me,I would be gone.He did,then I did.I will not be abused,any more. My third husband is my knight and shining armor. He really gets angry whenever I tell him about my childhood. Not at me, at my father (who passed away), and my two ex-husbands.
I have not been hit, or afraid in 18 years. Never again.
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