I was having a conversation with my dear friend, Courtney, about some of our other mutual girlfriends who we always support but never seem to support us. It dawned on me that for much of my adult life, the women (outside of my family) have rarely supported me in the way that I have supported them. Women seem to think that everything is a competition; that everyone’s out to get them; that there isn’t enough room in the sky for every star to shine. And I just don’t think like that. First of all, the only woman I compete with is Sean. Every day, I want to beat the old me! Secondly, I am too busy to be out to get you when I am out to get mine! Finally, my light does not diminish yours; in fact, two lights make the room brighter. Therefore we need to support one another! Here’s why:
- We can empower, encourage and uplift one another.
- We’re stronger in numbers.
- Every one of us is fighting an inner battle. Why create outer battles for fellow women to fight as well?
- In this misogynistic world we are still living in, why should we be against one another when the world already is?!
- Beautiful minds can inspire one another.
- Team work makes the dream work.
- We need to teach the younger women what sisterhood looks like so they’ll be more Golden Girls and less Real Housewives!
- We can learn from one another.
- You need a sister to show up for you in the times you cannot show up for yourself.
- What you give to others, you give to yourself.
It’s WAY past time to stop honoring and supporting women with our mouths but not with our actions. It’s WAY past time to stop forming these cliques that only serve the purposes of clucking louder in the hen house. It’s WAY past time to stop discriminating against other women based on size, education, skin color, sororities, religion, and all that other garbage! It’s TIME to be real. And real women know they cannot do it alone.
My Daddy and I at one of my college graduations.
Father’s Day is just a few days away and I would LOVE to see my daddy once again. I miss him terribly. Even after all these years, I still adore my father. I still live to make him proud, heed his warnings, hear his words. And if after almost 9 years of his absence I still consider myself daddy’s girl, he must have done something right. Here are ten things you should do for your daughter:
- Remind her daily that she is created by the Most High with High Purpose.
- Don’t just tell her she’s smart; tell her that she is gifted and name the ways she’s gifted. Does she have a way with words? Is she great at math? A people person? Gifted with pets? Tell her that you see her gifts.
- Don’t just tell her that she is beautiful; tell her why she is beautiful. Give her specific praise. What is it within your daughter that makes her beautiful?
- Listen to her. Hear her. Turn the TV off. Put your phone on silent. Even when she is babbling on about boys and girl drama, listen to your daughter. If you don’t listen to her, some raggedy boy will…and he may not reply with her best interest in mind.
- Teach her to be a lady. My daddy taught me how to be a lady. My mama taught me about womanly things like thinking smart, periods, bras, cleaning house, not taking ish from anyone, etc. But it was my daddy that said, “Cross your ankles when you sit down, Lady. A lady lays her napkin on her lap. A lady always smells good and dresses well.” And not only did he teach me about being a lady, he taught me what a lady should expect from a gentleman.
- Fight for her. Protect her. Make a scene if the need arises. Let her know that you’ll start a war, move heaven and earth to defend her.
- Be honest about sex. My daddy told me exactly what men thought so I’d be prepared for the game. Don’t just say, “Don’t get pregnant.” Tell her the about the responsibilities and consequences that come with sex including the physical, emotional and most importantly…spiritual. Arm her with the truth.
- Teach her. From you, your daughter will learn how to treat a man, what a man should do, how to navigate the world around her, and so much more! Daddy, though it may be hard at times, one of the most important lessons you will teach your daughter is how a man treats a woman. You will teach her this lesson in the way you treat her mother. Now I know her mother may not always deserve respect, but respect her anyway. She may not always deserve kindness, be kind anyway. Sometimes you might want to shake her, don’t shake her. Your daughter is watching you, and how you treat her mother is how she will let men treat her.
- Be consistent. My daddy was home every night at the same time. Even when he was preaching in other cities, he was never gone too long. Not every father lives in the same house with his child, but this is no excuse for inconsistency. If your job only paid you when they felt like it or if they had nothing better to do, would you accept that? How much more important is the job of raising your daughter? If you only see your child once a week, see your child once EVERY week. If you only see your child the first Friday of the month, be there EVERY first Friday of the month. Women thrive in relationships with men they can depend on. Teach her while she’s young that a real man consistently shows up for the girl that he loves.
- Respect her. Know that though she may be like you, but she is not you. She is not her mother. She is the best parts of both of you. Respect her as an individual and in doing so you will show her that she was made to stand out, not fit in.
I could go on and on about all the things your daughter needs from you. She needs your encouragement, your trust, and your time. She needs you to teach her respect and show her respect so that she’ll always expect respect. She needs your affection because if you are loving on her, she’ll be far less apt to let any old knuckle head get in her pants. But above all, she needs your unconditional love. You are the first man in her life, the navigator that sets the course for all her future relationships. Ask yourself, “Am I the kind of man I would want my daughter to marry?” And if the answer if no, today is as good a day as any to begin again.