Lessons for my Son From the Judge Kavanaugh Confirmation

In case you missed it (yeah right), Congress confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite multiple allegations of sexual assault. While many people were rightly upset about what message this sends to our daughters (and I honestly have no clue how I will ever explain this to her), others were worried about the impact of not confirming him on our sons.

But not me. Because that does a huge disservice to the men in my life. Men who have never sexually assaulted anyone, even when they are blackout drunk. Men who understand that women are not objects or a means to an end.

And believe me when I say I will hold my son to a much, much higher standard than we as a nation held Judge Kavanaugh.

Here is what I will teach him:

  • You will always behave responsibly. There is no ‘boys will be boys’ in my house. You can have fun and be a little crazy and still be and act like a good person at all times.
  • You are accountable for your actions. From yesterday, from last week, from a decade ago. Yes, you get to learn and grow. But you will own up to those mistakes and missteps, and if they are serious enough to come back to haunt you decades later, well – that’s too bad. See above, you should have listened to your mom.
  • You will get full consent. No means no. Silence means no. You will not ever assume that you have consent – you will ask for it.
  • You will believe women. Period.
  • You have a certain privilege in this world and you will use it wisely. My son is a white male. He is lucky. And he will understand that luck and that not everyone has that luck, and he will work to lift others up.

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Stephanie (Harig) Prause

Stephanie Prause is a corporate communications, sustainability communications and investor relations professional, juggling a career she thrives in with being a mom and wife. She is also passionate about staying active (as in, she’ll lose her mind otherwise). Other interests include sampling craft beers, cooking from scratch and reading voraciously (at least for about 20 minutes before she passes out mid-sentence).

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