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Better mentors needed to combat rape culture

Better mentors needed to combat rape culture

March 24, 2017

Boys need better mentors to look up to if we want them to have better attitudes towards women say the authors of a new book on raising boys.

"Some of the sporting and celebrity mentors these boys respect are famed for their laddish behavior; for their drunken antics; for their cocky, narcissistic attitudes - particularly towards women," says Richard Aston, co-author of Our Boys - Raising strong, happy boys from boyhood to manhood. "Why are we surprised when they boast about having sex with drunk, unconscious girls? When they call it a rite of passage?"

His comments follow revelations of offensive Facebook postings by two Wellington College students that are being investigated by the school.

Richard Aston, CEO of Big Buddy - a mentoring service for fatherless boys - and co-author Ruth Kerr say fathers and mentors need to step and talk to sons and boys generally about consensual sex.

"We think one really important conversation - possibly the most important one you'll ever have with your boy - is about consensual sex. He needs to make sure that whoever he is having sex with is a willing participant - not someone drugged or drunk or depressed. He needs to know that when girls - or boys - say 'no' they mean 'no'. End of story."

"Make sure he understands that if he forces himself on someone when he's horny, he'll feel like shite and that person will carry it with them for the rest of their life. New Zealand has an appalling rape culture - make sure your boy isn't part of it."

Richard Aston says the flawed and damaging mythology that when girls say 'no' they mean 'yes' and that 'she really wants it' is rubbish and needs to be challenged by fathers and mentors. "Tell your boy he's not going to die from a hard on - he can go and have a wank. Praise masturbation, because it's gonna save your son's arse. He won't go blind or get hair on his palms. He will not be struck down by an angry god."

ends

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