“Oh he broke my heart! He did not even care. He treated me like rubbish and he called me a slut.”
“He beat me up. He turned me into a punching bag!”
“He kicked me and threw me down the stairs. He forced himself on me. Oh why are men so mean? “
“Honey, I saw it on the news how that man beat up and nearly killed his wife. You know I can never do that to you. ”
It is easy to pass judgment and wonder how these men came to be this way. You may even shed a tear or two or go on Facebook and rant until you turn blue. He touches your face and smiles. He looks like he cannot hurt a fly. Pause! Think for a moment; that wife beater was once a beautiful child like yours. What are you doing now about that cute and cuddly little man who follows you around the house, bumping into your leg when you stop suddenly? He giggles and looks up at you like you are the sun; “Mama!” he lifts his arms up beckoning on you to carry him. This sweet thing. He smiles from ear to ear. That monster you are reading about who slapped his wife and placed his palm over her mouth to stop her from screaming could never have been young and sweet like this child whom your world is centered around.
Daddy, that little one sees the way you treat his mom, her sisters and your sisters. He sees the way you handle your dear old and grey mom when she refuses to take her drugs or when she sets her foot down literarily and refuses to go to the hospital when she ought to. He hears the way you talk about that lady in your office, the one that does not seem to get anything right; he sees you make a hasty generalization that all women do not know how to drive. He is a sponge; he is soaking it all up.
It cannot be ‘do as I say not do as I do’. He hears you, but he is watching you too. He has been watching you even before he said “Da-da”. He saw that time that you slapped his mom and stormed off while she cried in a corner. That was the worst you ever did, but we expect our children to achieve more than we do, so do not be surprised when down the line, he gets to be the one people read about in the news.
He should be taught that it is never right to hit a girl or a woman. He should be taught to take care of her and to ensure that she walks away from the road when they walk together along the street. He ought to defend her and make her smile not punch the living daylight out of her. He should be raised to respect women.
Charity they say begins at home. This is a call to action.