I have been sitting on this blog post for weeks now. It has taken me a while to figure out how to write what I have so easily been able to recount in conversations with others as I recap the day we had the ultrasound that revealed the sex of our baby. It’s easy to share not just because I enjoy telling the story, but because typically this conversation is with someone who feels the same way we do on a lot of life’s topics.
After being pregnant for a certain number of weeks, at the start of each appointment, every nurse, medical assistant, janitor, coffee barista, and doctor would ask if we already knew the sex of our baby, and if we didn’t know, whether or not we would like to know. These questions are asked with such clarity and eye contact you immediately understand that each of them has fucked up at one time or another and let slip the sex of the baby to a mother-to-be when she obviously, for some weird reason or another, wanted to be surprised. (For those of you who want to be surprised, please stop. It drives the medical staff crazy trying to not let slip the news for fear that a crazy pregnant woman will attack them in their sleep. So just give everyone a break and find out the sex early. If you want to keep a secret, don’t tell anyone the name you’ve picked out for the baby.)
Okay…moving on. During that “reveal” ultrasound, when the tech finally got the ultrasound head on the right spot of my growing belly, and the baby just happened to turn the right way for us to see everything, she told us (although we could clearly see) that we were having a baby boy (the blood test results confirmed this two weeks later). We were thrilled, slapped each other a high-five, and after I exhaled a sigh of relief exclaimed, “Yea! Less chance of our child being raped.” The ultrasound tech was at first a bit shocked, but within seconds she nodded her head and sadly agreed, claiming she is also a bit relieved that she has two sons herself and that’s one worry off the table.
Here’s the sad thing—my exclamation rings true not just because of the #MeToo Movement, but because women have been, and continue to be, sexually harassed and assaulted by men. Here’s the next thing. It’s horrible, but due to the current white male supremacist-nationalist group claiming that it’s a scary time to be a white man, we promise you that as parents—MOTHERS!!—we will not raise rapists. In fact, when my wife was pregnant with our oldest son she promised him that she was going to teach him how to respect women and that she would make sure he knows to not rape anybody. (Why she didn’t include me in this in-utero promise, I have no idea, but I am definitely making sure I’m included in the same promise to our second-born who is currently in-utero as well.)
Our sons will be raised only knowing respect for women (especially), men, non-gendered people, animals, and the Earth. They will be role models for other humans. You would think that this would be an easy task—just raise your kid(s) according to the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, given that 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted, there are MILLIONS of parents who failed to raise their sons well. And no, if your son was academically, athletically, and vocationally successful, that does not make him a good human if he treats other humans, especially women, like shit. Lives mean nothing to your son if he fails to treat all humans (except Nazis) with the same respect he feels he deserves. Or even the same respect he’d want people to give his own mother.
Our sons will be far from perfect, as each of us are, but they will definitely NOT sexually harass or assault women, men, nor non-gendered people. They will stand and provide solidarity to those they witness being harassed/assaulted. They will not laugh and jump on the bed like some jackasses have. Their actions will be a shining example for all humanity. I only hope that other parents accept this onus as well.