“I can remember speaking to a 12-year-old boy, a football player, and I asked him, ‘How would you feel if, in front of all the players, the coach told you, you were playing like a girl?’ Now I expected him to say that I’d be sad or I’d be mad or I’d be angry or something. No, the boy said to me, ‘It would destroy me.’ And, I said to myself…. if it would destroy him to be called a girl, what are we then teaching him about girls.” — Tony Porter
This quote is from an excellent TED talk by Tony Porter, an educator and activist who is internationally recognized for his efforts to end violence against women. In his talk, “A Call to Men,” Porter explores the social conditioning that he refers to as the “man box,” which can lead men to disrespect, mistreat, and abuse women and each other.
To watch his talk, which is especially timely during October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, visithttp://bit.ly/1s4Nqwz. Porter is also the cofounder of A CALL TO MEN: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women: http://www.acalltomen.org/
At A Mighty Girl, we believe that introducing boys to female role models is an important part of the process of fostering respect for girls and women. To find over 450 true stories of trailblazing women to share with your children, visit our “Role Model” biography collection at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/history-biography/biography
For Mighty Girl books for teen readers (13+) that address issues of abuse and violence and offer a helpful way to spark conversations around this important topic, we recommend “A Step From Heaven” (http://www.amightygirl.com/a-step-from-heaven), “Speak” (http://www.amightygirl.com/speak), “I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This” (http://www.amightygirl.com/i-hadn-t-meant-to-tell-you-this), and “If You Find Me” (http://www.amightygirl.com/if-you-find-me).
To teach older teens and adults about the warning signs of an abusive relationship and how to get help, a useful resource is “Stop Signs: Recognizing, Avoiding, and Escaping Abusive Relationships” at http://www.amightygirl.com/stop-signs
If you’re a parent concerned that your daughter may be in an unhealthy relationship, check out the books “But I Love Him: Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Relationships” at http://www.amightygirl.com/but-i-love-him and “Saving Beauty From The Beast: How to Protect Your Daughter from an Unhealthy Relationship” at http://www.amightygirl.com/saving-beauty-from-the-beast