I am not a feminist. There is a clear distinction between being a feminist and respecting women. This post is more for men, from a woman’s perspective.
As boys, you see your mother and almost a 100% of the time, you take her for granted. She is just expected to wake up earlier than you, cook for you, ensure you have clothes to wear, check on your homework, take you for your classes, and everything else that is ‘yours’ under the sun. That is what she is ‘supposed’ to do, like as if she doesn’t have a life beyond you. Maybe her birthday or mother’s day is when you are forced to take a pause and look at her. Maybe on these days you notice the wrinkles on her hands, the dark lines under her eyes, her unkept hair, or simply how tired she looks. This is only if you care to look at her on Mother’s day or her birthday or any other day.
I know I am talking about extreme boys habits, but I firmly believe most boys/men are this kind. The “nicer” kind are rare.
As a mother she assumes that she was born to nurture and provide for her children. She forgets that she is an individual as well.
Some of you have sisters. You take them for granted as well. They are there, yes, just there. You don’t really learn to respect her as a woman. She is either a second mother or a friend.
Then you have aunts, grandmothers etc, and they are also, just there.
Maybe you respect your teachers, but they are on a different plane altogether.
You have girls as friends. In your growing years, your girl-friends are probably attraction or maybe good friends. I wonder if you respect her as a woman.
After all these brushes with women, you get married. In your formative years, you have most likely failed to understand a woman. Your wife walks in, and she becomes another to-be-taken-for-granted-soul in your household. You fail to realize that she was an equally respected individual in another family. She is a completely unique individual, just like you. She has likes, dislikes, preferences, challenges just like you. Her parents earned hard to provide her an education, most likely as equal as yours, or sometimes higher. She was not born to cook for you, wash your clothes, keep your house clean and look after your kids, just like how your mother was not or your sister was not, then why do you expect this of her?
As I write this I realize, that boys/men are never taught to respect the ‘woman’ unless there was a man in the house, who had already mastered this art and ensured that he passed on his learnings to his son! 🙂
So a mother can teach her sons how to respect women, but its the father who needs to show how its done!