I have a young son (grade school). I'm not too worried about him sexually assaulting women one day. I'm not too worried about some girl or woman falsely accusing him. I'll teach him what he needs to know (theoretically).
What will that be? Because, I'm curious, I have no idea what I'd tell a close family member today. Stay away is probably the best advice I could give them, but... We all know how well that works for young men.
Listen, here's the thing, if the stats #MeToo are using are even close to right, there's not a rape crisis, there's a rape apocalypse. I've seen numbers hovering between 30-60% of women report a lifetime sexual assault/rape (from #MeToo). What that means, by proxy, is one of two things. The one we all want to believe, there's a few bad apples out there raping dozens/hundreds of women. Or, the alternate theory, somewhere between "a lot" and "most" men have sexually assaulted/raped a woman in the past.
Now, here's the thing; the thought exercise. I suspect that none of us here have been to prison for rape/sexual assault. But, think back through your younger days. Anything questionable? Did you go to college? If so, and if you were a drinker, I'm going to say "almost certainly" there something "questionable" in your past. I'll raise my hand, I was the life of the party in college, if there was beer, I was there. And I slept around quite a bit, including the old "what happened last night" experience more times than I care to recount. At the time, that was just "college". You went out, you got drunk, you hooked up. If you'd asked me upon graduation "Hey RIO, you rape anyone while you were here" I would have punched you in the mouth. I love women, and had tons of fun with them, forcing them to sleep with me was so repulsive that it makes my skin crawl.
But today, looking back? I'm not so sure. Were any of those women too drunk to consent? My thought is, almost certainly yes, some where. And am I a victim too? That one I can answer for sure, yes, I am, I was beyond drunk a lot of time in college and woke up with no recollection of how/where and who this person was next to me. No doubt, by the current standards, I know quite a few female rapists.
So, what do you tell your sons today? Obviously, don't do what I did! That much is clear. But what about going out to a bar and looking for single women? Is that out now too? Honestly, not drinking is a good way to avoid it, but what if she does? So don't date drinkers/drug users at all? Again, not an unreasonable standard, but I assume very difficult for a young man today to abide by.
I'm not sure what I'd tell them, but I can tell you, if my son was accused, and the situation looked anything like your typical #MeToo story, I'd defend him to the end of the earth. Because it's not like I didn't do those exact same things.
I do know that some people are taking it what I consider too far; installing cameras in their house and carrying a VAR to make sure they aren't hit up with a case like this. I guess that's an answer, but man, does that feel like an awful solution. I'll tell you, I'm glad I'm married today and not out on the single/Tinder scene, I'd be terrified of a claim if I was doing the things I did when I was younger, the "love em and leave em" in any quantity at all. Eventually your luck will run out, and if she's mad enough, your life will never be the same again, even if you don't wind up in prison.
I don't know. It's a terrible discourse on society and humans, that's for sure. And it feels like radical answers are needed, especially if we're talking "most" women are assaulted at some point in their lives. That's not a "culture" problem, that's a "human being" problem. Something is intrinsically wrong.