She looks to you as the first man in her life.

Wow…

So, I just finished watching a re-broadcasting of BET’s “Black Girls Rock”; I must say that the experience left me feeling a little uplifted, but sad at the same time. I’m sadden, because deep down I know the message would end up lost, like some wonderfully written letter forgotten at the bottom of some dresser drawer– ignored. It got me wondering, do our black girls TRULY know that indeed they do rock? Do they know their self-worth, and the power they possess?

If you were to go by the programs sweeping the media today you wouldn’t feel so sure. In the world of Basketball wives, The Real Housewives of wherever or Love & Hip Hop and their popularity, you would think the next generation of black females are learning to hate themselves; to set their self-worth at a lower rate than that of their other female counterparts of different races. Gone are the days where Chaka Khan sang about being every woman, or Aretha, who demanded respect! Where are Donnie Hathaway songs or the sounds of James Brown who sung about their love for black women? Where are they? Do we need to put a flier out and APB? Long missing are the songs of my childhood, and the generations before which glorified women! Now, in their place, are songs which neither revere or celebrate the female, but denigrate and malign our existence. Everyday our girls listen (and see) how their sex isn’t worth anything more than just to be ogled at and lusted after. It’s a constant battle to instill value in our daughters. Unfortunately, many young girls are being forced fed the notion that they were born to a gender that has nothing to offer, expect ONE thing. Now, I can’t put the blame solely on hip-hip– in fact I used to love hip-hop as a child, but as I grew up, hip-hop and I grew apart. We went our separate ways, and I let it keep the house and the car. Interestingly enough, there have been a few trickle of songs in my day that didn’t paint a very nice picture of the lady regal; I knew it, but I’m happy to say that foolishness didn’t go down in my house. My parents wouldn’t allow it. My mother and my father made sure that their children weren’t brainwashed with garbage. However, not all girls are as fortunate as my sister and I were. However, where do our girls today go to have a strong foundation of self-esteem? In the above mentioned shows, if you ever heard an interview, the one commonality, the one strain which has an undercurrent to all of them, is the absence of having a father in their lives. In many ways the divine feminine image has been traipse through the mud, and define by the hyper-sexualized male ideology of what women SHOULD look like… The big booty girls, all shined up and shipped out for the wagging tongues of over-sexed men. I’m not saying all men are  like this, but some are, and the ones who do display this behavior are the exact same ones who are front and center for our children to see.

I for one, count myself fortunate enough to have a positive male in my life– my father, who never ceased to instill in me all of the values that I have today. It is because of how my father treated my mother, is the direct cause of why I have a HEALTHY…let me give that one to you again, a healthy perspective on how male and female interpersonal relationships should be, and I’m equipped with the necessary tools to spot the BS– the red flags if you will. The evolution of gender play has changed over the years,  women have become more independent and more self-reliant, even though I’m sitting up here and advocating the role of father in our kids lives, a lot of men out there have given us women no choice but to step up and be BOTH parents. However, our responsibility, and I’m talking to my ladies here. We need to really start being selective in who we allow to become the father of our children. As a woman, I can’t speak enough on how the father/daughter dynamic can immensely influence the life of that young lady.  When a girl grows up without that positive reinforcement she will get her cues from the world outside; incorporating those images into her psyche and using it as a guideline on how she relates to the world at large, thus defining her womanhood.

Now before, I get angry email from single mothers, let me stress the fact that I’m not saying that being a single parent will be detrimental for your child– not in the least bit. However we have to ask ourselves, why are so many of our children growing up in fractured households? When do we say enough is enough? We as women need to ensure that our choices in potential mates doesn’t result in our children having daddy issues, especially our daughters who will be future mothers one day.

When a female child is raised in a household where a (positive) male figure is actively in her life, her self-image improves greatly.

Here are some of the ways that influence is felt:

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