What values are we teaching our children?
Whatever has happened to:
I just finished watching a daytime talk show on television. It was about teen paternity testing. In my opinion, there is far too much need for such tests. It also befuddles me as to why a young girl would have to resort to taking such a public stand to simply find a potential father for her child.
Don't get me wrong. I truly believe everyone deserves to know the truth of where they come from, even if for the medical necessity.
And I also believe these young girls deserve to know the truth of paternity, if they are unsure.
I am not preaching sexual morality here.
I would no more demean a young girl who has had more than one sexual partner, than I would demean a young boy who has had more than one sexual partner. It amounts to the same thing. Both acts should be perceived with the same responsibility, but our society seems to let the boy off.
I do believe that all people should refrain from having sex until they are totally ready for the possible consequences of sex. If that means waiting until they are in their twenties or thirties, so be it. I applaud those who make such a choice.
What I simply do not understand, in the 21st century, is our socicety's antiquated idea that a young man has the unquestioned privelege of having sex with as many young women as he wants, without getting called every dirty name in the book, while a young girl who has had sex with more than one boy is called such derrogatory names, it is sickening.
And, do you know who does the name calling, most of the time?
The very same boys that have sex with the young girls.
The young boys fling insult after insult at the girls, calling them 'slut', 'whore', etc. I have heard the boys say things like... 'They (the girl) have slept with two other guys, they're such a slut'. While the boy flinging the degradation has had three other girlfriends at the same time, and has gotten two of them pregnant.
Where is the dignity of the young boy in that kind of attack? Why is it allowable to have such a double-standard of behaviour? Is it simply because the boy doesn't have the added burden of carrying a baby inside of their body, as a consequence of having had sex?
Have these young boys learned that this behaviour is acceptable from their fathers? From society? From their mothers? Or, are they simply childish enough to think that trying to destroy another human being emotionally, socially, or in every other way, is acceptable behaviour, because they are afraid, and simply don't want to take responsibility for their own actions?
Why do we, as adults, condone this attitude? Are we too complacant to do anything but watch when we see such indignities? What has happened to a man saying... 'I am honoured to be this child's father', or... 'It is an honour, and very exciting, to potentially be a child's father. I would really like to know. If I am not the child's father, I will be thankful, and dignified about the result.'
How would a young man learn to conduct himself in such a manner? Who is responsible for teaching these things? Fathers? Mothers? Society? Talk shows?
If we are a patriarchal society (we are, even if we would like to pretend we are more enlightened than that), then the patriarchs need to be more dilligent about teaching the values of:
As a single mother who has experienced this kind of rage from the father of her children (I had three children before I got married that had been denied in a similarly cruel way), I have tried to teach my children the value of honouring all people, despite their situations, and gladly helping someone in need, without making condemning judgements of their situation. Even though my husband and I divorced after having had four more children, he DID say that he was honoured to be considered father to the first three children, and has maintained a loving relationship with them, as well as a solid and agreeable co-parenting relationship with me. He is their father in every way, and continues to support them in every possible way - including financially.
He obviously deserves great credit as an honourable man. He is also teaching by example, the way every human being should.
So, why do we have such an epidemic of hatred? Have we become apathetic toward such values? Do we really want to continue to encourage attitudes of
by not confronting those who attack women unsure of the paternity of their child? Those young women need support and encouragement, NOT degredation, the likes of which I have too often seen.
If I were the one making such a fool of myself by attacking the morality of a woman questioning paternity, I would certainly be in need of some manners classes. I would be too embarrassed to do something like that. It is a display of hatred equal to the slavery imposed upon many African American people during the early years of American history.
Let's not be that ignorant of the truth. It is time to hold males as accountable for pregnancy as society holds women. It DOES take two to get there. Let's not degrade each other for having done it. And let's teach
as a part of the everyday.
We will all benefit from it in the end.