Okay, my fellow Voyagers. Huddle up. It is time, waaaay past time, to stop asking, why does she stay and start asking, why does he abuse? We need to stop asking, why didn’t she report it? and start asking, why did he do it? We need to put a stop the belief that telling women how to avoid violence is the only solution to violence prevention, and start teaching boys how to not become or be abusers of women.
We teach girls to avoid bad boys, but what are we teaching boys? “Respect women” is not enough. It needs to translate into behaviors.
Specifically, my brothers, don’t be the guy who_:
…keeps going until you get a “no.” Wait until you get the “yes.”
…thinks that a girl’s body is yours to touch or manipulate. What was she wearing? Don’t care. What if she’s naked?! Doesn’t matter. Keep your hands to yourself.
…thinks it is her job to keep you from getting angry.
…behaves from jealousy or possessiveness, whether aggressively or passive-aggressively. She ain’t your possession, bruh. And jealousy? Quite simply, it destroys whatever it seeks to hold on to.
…ignores her “no” or forgets the simple fact that “no” is a complete sentence.
…won’t accept rejection. Accepting rejection with grace & dignity is one of the most mature things you will ever do.
…thinks she owes you. She doesn’t owe you anything, including her attention or her time. Or a smile.
…doesn’t own your mistakes. Denying responsibility or blaming everyone else is a sign of immaturity and insecurity, which, besides being unattractive as hell, are red flags for abuse. It’s also a good way to stay single.
…jumps into every argument. A “real man,” a powerful man, the one with true confidence, doesn’t need to be right all the time. Or even most of the time.
…never takes a look at himself or works on himself or tries to become better.
…refuses to change.
…needs to keep other people down to make himself feel bigger.
…insults a girl to get her to comply with what he wants.
…interrupts her in order to finish her sentence.
…EVER says, “are you on your period?”