Defensive Mothers and Innocent Sons
A Small Family


How much can a society violate its young women?

How much can a society free its young men of blame for violating its young women?

Is it an equation: a woman sacrificed for a man?

Is this our version of female abortion or infanticide—young-womanicide?

Are we standing before a pyre, with flames that are stoked through the clearest of skies by the twisted and the seemingly-sane?

If these men—and their enablers and supporters and bystanders—violate all that once was held sacred and we let them, then what are we?

How can I not hate these people who are so arrogant as to think that sons are better than daughters; that the despicable actions of boys are of greater worth than a single tear/tear of a girl’s?

Are there any mirrors to look into that don’t cloud over with shame and anger, and regret?

Who let these boys and men enter our public places as beasts?

How is it that their excuses and blaming drown out voices of remorse and sorrow and repugnance?

Go for a walk run jog. Attend a party play concert. Wear pants shorts skirt. Fear of being raped should not accompany every woman every day everywhere forever. 


Margaret Lesh

When I was a young woman, starting in my early teens, I learned I couldn't do something as simple as walk down the street freely without having to endure honks from passing cars, whistles, catcalls, and men pulling over, offering rides. My sisters shared similar experiences. Things haven't changed, except I'm older and less interesting. That I made it through to adulthood without actually suffering a physical attack is, unfortunately, noteworthy, apparently. Something is definitely wrong with this picture.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Womann

Margaret, I remember walking home in college with a key between my fingers thinking that that would protect me from a rapist. Maybe it made me feel stronger, but I doubt it would have done much.

You are so right about something wrong with the picture if a woman escapes unscathed. You have to wonder what true freedom is.

Connie Omari

And yet it does and it continues to enter our lives. As a woman activist I am growing more and more conscious of the rape culture in which we live. From the advertisements, to the movies, to even the sayings which we repeat over and over again, you can't do anything without selling sex. We glamorize this to the point that we loose sight of how it actually exploits women and creates a foundation for women to be reduced to itemized sexualized objects. It's sickening...

Thank you for bringing our attention to this very important perspective.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Womann

Connie, thanks for your comment. I was just looking at More Magazine, which is for very grown-up women and there was Katie Couric all slinky on a couch. So even a woman who is successful for her mind is reduced to a body--an object. The other day my teenage daughter was with me at the supermarket and she wondered aloud why the covers of the magazines for women seem to be flaunting sex. Perhaps her distaste and dissatisfaction with that is a sign that there might be hope for the future--that the girls of today don't all buy into themselves as objects. (It's good to hope!)

Connie Omari

Thanks for your feedback Laura... Your daughter's insight is a factor of great parenting... Give yourself a pat on the back!

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Womann

Connie, I had my students (I teach high school English) do an assignment the other day that showed that many of the girls are aware of the impositions that society puts on them and their external selves. It seems that many of us are doing a good job pushing back as much as we can against the objectification tide.

Connie Omari

That's great Laura! Shout out to great teachers!

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Womann

Indeed, Shout out to teachers and counselors and therapists. It's still a shame, though, that girls have to work so hard to not let society press upon them.


Laura, at least, though, with the key between your fingers, you were ready to fight, and I'm sure you would have.

I saw news coverage of women in India taking self-defense classes; they were serious about protecting themselves.

Maybe self defense classes for girls should be given in the elementary schools?

(I enjoyed reading Connie's and your comments, by the way. I have my thoughts on the mixed messages girls and women receive in our culture, but that is a whole other topic.)

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Womann

Maybe in the room next to where girls learn self-defense boys could learn manners and etiquette. What we do for girls always needs a counter for boys.

(The girls of today are not of our generation. Not that they are not susceptible to media messages, but they are more savvy to their impact and meaning.)

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