This boy is kind. But being kind doesn’t disguise the fact that he has no knowledge of boundaries. He knocks at all hours of the day. If the back door is on the latch, he’ll come in uninvited and sit on Maya’s bed to await her return until I show him the door. He once tried to force his way in her room to wake her up and play.
And if predatory behaviour is as ubiquitous among men as it appears and as I have experienced it to be, statistically it is likely that my son will violate someone, at some point, in his lifetime. That could be anything from ignorant boundary violation to, god forbid, rape.
As might be evident, ‘bad’ objectification involves a lack of consent, because if you cannot consent, you have no power to decide. You have no agency. But if objectification is consensual, can it be a good thing?
But I had broken something, something which seemed tiny and unimportant but which turned out to be the foundation of our relationship. I had broken an unspoken and sacred pact with myself. The promise to keep myself safe. And the castles we had built together started to crumble.