“One thing leads to another. Stop it before ….”
Being a boy is … well … being a boy. We do things boys do. We say things boys need to say as we scrum our way thru youth trying to insure we don’t end up on the bottom of the scrum. And along the way we say and do things that, looking back, we are not proud of.
We justify it in our heads as ‘we were just boys and that is what boys do … need to do … in order to survive youth’ <without being at the bottom of the scrum>.
I saw a video … a 5 minute video <worth watching every minute> … and the line that stood out to me above all? “one thing leads to another. Stop it before ….”
This may be one of the most powerful public service announcement ads I have ever seen.
And I have seen a shitload in my life.
I imagine it is powerful because parts of it are … well … me. Me as a boy. And the part of youth where boys are boys.
Not hitting girls physically.
But the verbal hitting.
The hitting with words and thoughts and … well … just hitting their esteem and sense of self.
The time in Life where little boys are little boys who say and do seemingly little things … which can ultimately have much bigger repercussions than little boys can ever envision in their little lives.
“I know you will protect me from lions, tigers, guns, cars or even sushi without even thinking about the danger to your own life.
But dear Daddy, I will be born a girl.
Please do everything you can so that won’t stay the greatest danger of all.”
The levels this announcement reaches into you is … well … bothersome.
It suggests the slow unraveling of behind the scenes of the Life of an otherwise well educated independent woman … all because of threads tugged at a young age.
It suggests not that women are to blame, or blameless, just that boys play a role … and that the responsibility of being male do not begin when … well … maybe we are old enough to know better but much much earlier.
It is simple. And it is not simple. That is Life.
And, yet, here is the simplest thought that any parent, any father, can teach their son from day one … little things truly do matter and … well … more often than not … one thing can lead to another.
All that said.
One last thought.
As youtube does … in the right hand column they showcase other videos you may want to watch. One caught my eye. It was a “boy’s response to dear daddy.”
Here was the summary written by the poster:
Stop jokes to stop rape, social justice warriors really are idiots.#DearDaddy is another in a long line of feminist propaganda that demonises boys
The video itself reflects on the fact that even young boys face challenges. Here is my problem. And it is a big problem with the young man who issued this false narrative against ‘feminist propaganda.’
The Dear Daddy public service announcement did not demonize boys … it highlighted responsibility for actions. And that doesn’t preclude the fact that there will be other instances of lack of responsibility which could affect other people … boys included.
I get angry … okay … maybe frustrated.
For sometimes people think this is some type of competition for who has it worse. Or who is victimized the most. This is not a competition. Flowers do not compare themselves. Issues are issues not to be compared.
Dear Daddy is not created in some vacuum by ‘idiotic social warriors’ but rather states a real thought that little things matter.
Dear Daddy is not some feminist propaganda but rather a reminder that words can matter and you should assume some responsibility for what you say and how you treat others … not just girls & young women.
I wanted to sit this young man down after watching his video and say “you are missing the point because you feel like your issue is more important … this is not a competition.”
It is about assuming your responsibility for your portion of some shittiness.
=========== Dear Daddy ===========
This PSA from Care Norway, the Norwegian branch of charity Care International, has gone viral in Scandinavia — and you’ll see why if you watch.
The five-minute film is a powerful and disturbing story, narrated from the point of view of an unborn baby girl, as a “Dear Daddy” letter. The girl explains how, as she grows up, boys will start to treat her badly; they’ll call her “whore” and “bitch” and c***” in high school, she’ll be raped at 21 and even her eventual fiance, a “nice boy” with a good job, will subject her to abuse.
The point of this is not just to highlight how awful men are, however — it’s to warn the father-to-be that his own behavior may effectively condone harmful actions in others. By not calling people out for using sexist language and making jokes about women, he’s part of a culture that encourages abuse — one that could have dangerous repercussions on his own child.
The Swedish version of the ad has been viewed over five million times since it launched in early December. It was directed by Jakob Ström through Tangrystan Productions, for Norwegian agency Schjaerven.