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Letter: Parents have to teach sons to respect women

Parents have to teach sons to respect women

There comes a time when we have to make hard choices. Choosing to have sex with an unconscious woman is not a hard choice. It is no choice. There is no question it’s a definite, very simple, no. The only thought should have been to get her help, call 911 or pick up her cellphone and dial the number of a contact.

The woman near the Stanford dumpster, I’ll call Jane. Jane will deal with this trauma for the rest of her life. Every time she sees a news story of another woman or girl who has been assaulted or raped, this horrific time of her life will come crashing back to her with vivid reality. Yes, she may go on to a productive, wonderful life, have a great career and meet a wonderful man, marry and have children. Does that mean she’ll just forget about what happened? She won’t.

It’s time we tell our precious boys that they should respect women, that their buddies who like to talk about their conquests are idiots, that taking advantage of someone who is compromised by alcohol or, for heaven’s sake, unconscious, is unacceptable. If you don’t think you need to have this conversation with your sons, grandsons, brothers or nephews, guess again.

Just because Brock Turner’s parents failed to have a very uncomfortable, plain-spoken chat with their son doesn’t mean everyone has to. And yes, unlike Turner’s father, not every father equates what happened to “20 minutes of action” but every parent/guardian needs to step up and ensure they instill some values in their children.

This is a conversation every coach should be having as well. Athletes need to understand they are not entitled to do as they please, they are not better or more privileged because they play sports. They are accountable for their behavior.

Before this happens again let’s all make an effort, however small, to prevent another tragedy such as this.

MaryAnn Furlong

West Seneca