I miss several things I used to do before the stroke, but one of the most rewarding was running two conferences on Domestic Violence. On that occasion, the title was “Are we winning the war on Domestic Violence?” To close the conference, I concluded that the answer was no. Even today, the number of instances continues to grow, primarily because so many violations are never reported.
A great friend of mine encouraged me to investigate Domestic Violence against women and sexual abuse. After reading extensively about many sub-topics on these two subjects, I believe that the root cause is a massive failure to instill in young boys and young men the virtue of honoring womanhood. I have come to this conclusion and believe that it has little or no emphasis in the literature.
I contend that at a young age, little boys need to learn how to treat little girls properly, and at an older age, young men need to learn how to treat young women properly. Instilling that learning experience about proper treatment – what you do and don’t do – is important for men in producing proper respect for women.
I believe that proper treatment yields respect. Conversely, I believe that improper treatment yields a lack of respect.
When men do not respect women, they are then objects for mistreatment, abuse, and debauchery. There is where you see physical strikes and sexual abuse. It all goes full circle.
When I was 15 and continuing through age 22, I traveled throughout Texas reciting a poem from the Order of DeMolay called the Flower Talk. I must have given it close to 1,000 times. In part, a mother speaks to her son when he reaches the threshold of manhood at age 21, “for my life, make no woman weep / for my life, make no woman cheap / and for my life, give no woman scorn, for that dark night when you were born.”
Not everyone has the chance to hear these lines. But, we don’t need poetry to instill proper treatment, which yields proper respect, which yields proper activity. If we had this as a baseline, we would have much less Domestic Violence against women, because men would know better.
And, they should learn about proper treatment at a very young age. It should be a core value that will stay with them throughout their lives – one that does not waver with circumstances or conditions.
~ Karl K, BIND Member