This is what you should be teaching your sons:
Teach them that a woman’s body is not property.
It is not a house for sale.
It is not a piece of land
that gets sold to the highest bidder,
or the first man that can sweet talk them into consent.
She has thorny roses
falling out of her mouth as she speaks.
She does not have poems written on her breasts.
She has hurricanes in the back of her throat.
She has snowstorms in her brain.
Those are what you should be paying attention to.
that the the size of a woman’s
body parts do not dictate her worth.
Each woman is a map and
if you dismiss her
because she has plateaus
where another woman has mountains,
and mountains where another woman has valleys,
then you will be missing out
on an awfully big adventure.
Teach them that you cannot expect
a woman to accept your insecurities,
if you do not accept hers.
Teach them that pressuring a woman to consent is not consent.
Teach them that “I love you’s” are not consent.
Teach them that a relationship, a marriage,
their clothing, their flirting,
is not consent.
Teach them that being too high,
or too unconscious
is not consent.
Teach them that even though virginity
is a construct of the patriarchy,
for a woman to trust someone
with her naked body for the first time,
is still frightening.
Teach them that she will want to turn the lights
off and hide under the covers as soon as you undress her.
Teach your sons’ mouths to say the phrase “You’re beautiful”
with the lights on, her naked body fully visible.
Teach your sons that the “friend zone”
does not exist.
Teach your sons that even though
nice guys finish last,
it’s okay because they sleep better at night.
Teach your sons how to be kind
without expecting anything in exchange.
Teach your sons that women of color are not their sex objects.
Teach your son that it is wrong to be attracted to a woman
simply because of her skin color.
Teach your sons that there is never any justification
for calling a woman a “slut” or a “whore”.
Teach your sons that the proper word
for an independent woman is “strong”
and not “bitch”.
Teach your son that a woman does not dress to please him.
Teach your sons that women do not exist to please them.