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How many times have you heard someone (including many dating and relationship experts) say a variation of: “To find a good man, look for someone who is good to his mother?”

Unfortunately, just because a man loves and respects his mother does not mean that he won’t disrespect or violate you. Too many men view their mother as the exception to the rule of seeing women as objects to be used, enjoyed and discarded. Many have also been taught that only “good girls” (for which his mother is often the model) are worthy of respect and protection; all others are bitches and hoes who deserve to be used and discarded. Others have been taught—by their mothers—that no woman is good enough for them, and therefore none are worthy of respect.

Practically all boys and men are taught to disrespect girls and women, by other family members (including our parents), music (and not just hip-hop), movies and television, and even from the pulpit. For example, when male pastors preach celibacy and purity, the message is primarily aimed at girls and women, not boys and men, for whom such virtues are seen as unnatural, at best.

We must go beyond teaching our sons to love and respect their mothers, to teaching boys to respect and protect all girls and women, not as objects to be possessed, controlled, and exploited, but as fellow human beings.

This includes recognizing and honoring girls’ and women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. Most boys (including me by the time I was 12) are taught that we are “hunters”, and that girls/women are meant to be conquered and captured, by any means necessary—and that our manhood depends on it. This must change.

Until we teach our boys (not just our girls) healthier gender-role models and sexual responsibility, girls and women will continue to fall prey to mistreatment by boys and men.

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About the Author:

Alfred A. Edmond Jr. is co-founder, with Zara D. Green, of Grown Zone Relationship Education. He is best known as an award-winning business and personal finance journalist, editor, syndicated radio/podcast host and media executive with Black Enterprise. A frequent guest on national radio and television programs, Alfred is a widely recognized expert on personal finance, entrepreneurship, mentorship, leadership development and the practical application of faith in daily living. He is also an accomplished amateur bodybuilding and fitness competitor and member of several natural bodybuilding organizations. As a highly sought-after keynote speaker, Alfred evangelizes physical fitness, mental fitness, financial fitness and relationship fitness as foundational pillars of long-term wealth and success, at universities, industry conferences and business/corporate events across the country.

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