I have read a lot about the rape culture that is rampant in the present generation of young people. I have read a large amount about the fact we should teach our young men that it is not appropriate to rape. I have also read a lot about the evil nature of our young men if they take advantage of young women.
I have read a lot that young women should be able to wear whatever they like and that their behavior should not be an invitation for a man to take advantage of her.
I have a 16 year old son and two daughters aged 10 and 13. This debate is one that is very important to me. I am interested in my sons rights and responsibilities, in my daughters rights and responsibilities and my rights and responsibilities as a parent.
My son has the right to enjoy himself . My son has the right to be safe. My son has a responsibility to not harm himself or others.My daughters have the same rights and responsibilities. As a parent I have the right to expect my children to act within the law and I have the responsibility to try and keep them safe.
If alcohol was not condoned by parents there would be a greater expectation by our teenagers that the law should be obeyed.If parents drove their children and picked them up from parties there would be no opportunity for children to obtain alcohol. If children go out wearing inappropriate clothes the parents should not let them out of the house. If schools had a no tolerance to children drinking there would be a much greater expectation of proper behavior. If children were in a supervised environment where sex was not permitted the likelyhood of it occurring would be much less. If the likelihood is much less the likelyhood of rape is much less.
I might sound like a wowser. I have been at a teenage party where sex happened and drinking alcohol was allowed by some parents. Most of the attendants they were not old enough to be legally drinking. Many of the girls were wearing very short skirts and very high heals. I do not have an issue with this. What I do have an issue with is when these girls sit down on the ground or fall over often their dresses expose their knickers. They seem to have no self respect. I would be very disappointed if a young man took advantage of a girl with the skirt up under their armpits but it is like being offered a chocolate with no wrapper! The temptation must be incredibly high.
I do not condone rape. I do not condone children under the legal age drinking. I do think teenagers should be able to have fun. I believe our role as parents needs to be taken seriously. I believe it is up to us to provide an environment for our teenagers where the opportunity to behave inappropriately is as unlikely as possible. I believe we should not give our teenagers alcohol. I believe if our teenagers go to parties we should drive them there and pick them up. I believe we should have a discussion with the parents holding the party about our expectations. It is up to us as parents to expect our teenagers to behave properly. If we expect them to behave properly and put boundaries around our teenagers perhaps there would be less violence, less teenage pregnancy, less teenage rape and happier adults.