Pastor Nate Pyle's Amazing Essay Teaches Boys How to Look at Woman and How to Generally Be Decent Human Beings
The best education for boys I've ever heard is less than 800 words long. Let me explain.
In a recent essay on his blog, Pastor Nate Pyle outlines what he hopes to someday tell his young son about looking at women. And the whole thing is amazing from start to finish. The essay begins in a totally non-shaming way. Pyle even straight out says, “I saw you look at her. I’m not judging you or shaming you. I know why you did it...But," he continues, “we have to talk about it, because how you look at a woman matters.”
And it does matter. It matters a lot. Pyle tells his hypothetical adolescent son:
“A lot of people will try and tell you that a woman should watch how she dresses so she doesn’t tempt you to look at her wrongly. Here is what I will tell you. It is a woman’s responsibility to dress herself in the morning. It is your responsibility to look at her like a human being regardless of what she is wearing."
And there are cheers from the gallery! But wait, it just keeps getting better:
“A woman, or any human being, should not have to dress to get your attention. You should give them the full attention they deserve simply because they are a fellow human being. On the other side, a woman should not have to feel like she needs to protect you from you. You need to be in control of you….[a woman’s body] will not make you do stupid things. If you do stupid things, it is because you chose to do stupid things.”
So, for those keeping score at home, we have now taken down objectification, victim blaming, slut-shaming, and the idea that men are uncontrollable sex-fiends. And then the essay goes on to finish off with some advice about how to be a decent human being.
"My hope is that changing how you see women will change how you are around them. Don’t just be around women. Be with women. Because in the end, they want to be with you. Without fear of being judged, or shamed, or condemned, or objectified, or being treated as other. And that’s not just what women want. That’s what people want."
There are a lot of things that make this essay phenomenal, but the one that really takes the cake is the fact that it's addressed to Pyle's son — or the boy his son will probably be someday. It isn't an argument for why these things are important, or why men should change their behavior. It's an instruction.
Because really, the best way to change the world is the teach the next generation how to be better. In this essay, Pyle tells his son that this is the way things are, that women have no responsibility to consider you when they get dressed in the morning, that your actions are your own responsibility, that women are people just like men. This is the way things are, and teaching that to the young men in no uncertain terms is ultimately what will effect change.
You can (and should) read the entirety of Nate Pyle’s essay on his website here.
Image: pernell on flickr