Today I got disturbingly real with my son.
Because his reality isn’t pulling any punches, so I don’t get to pull them either. No, reality is out for blood. And as much as my heart aches to hold tight and protect, he refuses to stay in the nest.
Because I will do everything in my power as a mother not to let my sons be part of the problem. This family will not perpetuate a rape culture in this society. We will speak a bold and ugly truth to unmask the poisonously sweet lies screamed in his face every single day.
Because pornography and jokes about sex aren’t silly and taboo. Flaunting “manhood” and objectifying women isn’t harmless and funny. And my 12 year old has been deceived into believing that moaning in class is a fun way to get attention. And “boys will be boys” isn’t going to fly in this house.
Because his under-educated friend dared him to click on that link, and those images are burned into his mind forever. So I had to be the one to tell him that those videos don’t portray some lucky girl having her deepest desires fulfilled. Those videos are of someone’s daughter. Someone’s baby sister. Someone’s mother. Those videos are of a girl who has been either bought or sold or deceived into believing she is not worth more than pretending to be an object of desire. Those videos are of a girl who cuts herself or drugs herself and hates herself and most likely wants to end herself.
How do you know, mom? I know. Too well, I know.
Buddy, I tell him, if there was no more market for this junk, there would be no industry. But every click, every boy who doesn’t eventually learn it’s not funny, and every man who buys the fantasy perpetuates the lie that says women exist for no other reason than to fill some primal need.
Kiddo, I say, you have been given such a huge heart of compassion and love and mercy. You are going to be one of the ones to set these girls free and tell them they are loved and treasured and valued. You will not contribute to the problem, I say. You will be part of their life-changing solution.
And one day, you’ll have the wife that God has been preparing for you. And she’ll be more beautiful and more perfect for you than you can even dream. And you’ll understand her value, because you will not have diminished women in the years before you met her. And you will have some of the best sex this life has to offer, because you will understand the full context of God’s design for man and wife. And you will look at her with love, not lust. And you will find it easy to be faithful to her in good times and in bad, because you will know she does not exist to fill some need in you. And your kids will grow up in the truth and change their world, too.
Emily, don’t you think that’s a little extreme? Friends, we have tried everything else. We’ve monitored and limited, rewarded, threatened, and punished. But like I said, our kids’ reality is out for blood. I’m not fooled as to who is our real enemy. Therefore I know the Truth is the only real weapon we have. Even when that truth is sickeningly real.
I’m devastated to have had this conversation with my 12 year old son. But we will not perpetuate the problem in this house. Not while I’m still living and breathing.