Somewhere on a playground, a little boy will push a little girl today, and when she cries to her parents, they will laugh at how cute his crush on their little girl is. She will be comforted by the belief that when a little boy on the playground has a crush on her that's how he shows it.
Years later that little boy will then express jealousy at the other boys showing interest and her peers would wish that a boy paid them that kind of attention. How cute is his jealousy, he must really like her!
At home, he is told that he should protect his little sister on the playground and he is well praised when he defends her honour by whooping the boy's butt for trying to be cute (just as he did with the other girl). Fighting for girls you love is honourable, he is meant to be their protector. And of course, the girls are taught to respect a guy who would fight for you—never really understanding the difference between defending your honour, being overprotective and moving into the downright territorial category.
All these mixed messages taught at a young age and we wonder why it's difficult for women in abusive situations to spot it and run fast from it.
Then to top it all off, girls are being encouraged to do better and better at school while “boys will be boys” and "they take longer to settle". Simultaneously, we are still ensuring that men know their rightful role of provider—we ensure they know it, we just forget to equip them to execute it. Leaving them frustrated because the girls are out there soaring, and they are struggling to be "the leader". So they desperately grasp at the only thing that allows them any sort of control—their physical strength, it's the one thing they still have over us. "Me man, me must show woman who is boss in this house."
Women are being empowered and men are not being equipped to handle the changing times. They are either not growing equally as fast to remain the tribe's leader or they are too proud to step aside and give up the role. On the flip side, these same empowered women are still being taught to want a man that can lead, that will fight for you, provide, and protect. This, of course, leaves the new-found overly successful breed of women disenchanted and stuck.
As a society, we have got to take stock of our playground behaviours that quite frankly become poor bedroom behaviour. If your son has a crush on a girl, pick a flower, don't pick a fight.
In addition, if leadership is a male role in your value system, then might I suggest parents, step your game much higher up, because today's women can vote, can drive, can earn their own incomes, and they aren't at the mercy of mediocrity, so raise mighty men, otherwise rethink the leadership role and do us all a favour and socialise them differently.
Violence against women is spiralling out of control. The number of women murdered due to intimate partner violence has steadily increased in the last five years and doubled in some cases. This has got to stop, and more legislation and policing isn't going to do it all. The authorities will say, and I agree, the cases are simply too many for even the best of systems to process efficiently. This epidemic started at home and this is where it must end!