HE ONLY WANTS ONE THING: A letter to parents raising daughters

President-Barack-Obama-First-Lady-Michelle-Obama-and-their-daughters-Sasha-and-Malia-1829545My posts may or may not include personal experience. Often times my inspiration is derived from observation of life experiences, personal research or research of fellow sexuality professionals. As a mother, I know what’s it’s like to watch your baby grow into adolescence with desire and fearless curiosity. Raising a daughter in this society becomes more and more challenging every-day. Many times I have scrolled my Facebook timeline only to find missing report ads mostly involving teen girls. Many times out of fear and worry parents teach daughters what to wear minimizing attraction of the wrong type of attention, how to act as a young lady, what to say and what not to say to boys, how to recognize an adult male figure is being inappropriate, how to chose and wear “gender” appropriate clothing, to never have sex too soon ruining future chances of a good husband or a baby out-of-wedlock, not wearing makeup too soon as to not appear as an adult too early. Although we do our best to protect and educate our teen girls, we are simultaneously teaching them to be the victim. FIVE-DAUGHTERS--006No wonder so many of our teen girls are lost and rebellious, so much life navigation. Re-directing their actions because these are the actions we feel we have some control. We cannot or we feel we cannot control the predator so we control the prey. My intention is not to debate someone’s idea of good parenting; my intention is for parents to consider the hidden messages. We all need lessons in survival, everyone’s intentions are not favorable to us. However we must consider the fear we plant in the minds of our girls. Are we teaching survival with knowledge or survival from fear?

As a female, can I protect myself, yet not be afraid to live?

dadd-dads-against-daughters-datingI have heard many parents say, “He only wants one thing”. Let’s look closely at this statement. As a parent you want your daughter to have the ability to discern between manipulation and genuine interest. I understand a teen mind does not necessarily have the wisdom to make such decisions. However, even if boy’s only wanted one thing, can we rephrase this statement? She will look at the men in her life; father, uncles, brothers, teachers, ministers, etc. Did they, do they only want one thing?  

Maybe that’s why some girls, the girls with little self-esteem, dress a certain way because she knows above anything else, like she’s been taught; he will for sure want one thing. When she becomes an adult, developing relationships, while dating, possibly in marriage, she may continue to have the underline perception of men as only wanting one thing. Maybe this is why some women find rejection by men difficult, especially when she’s been taught he always wants that one thing. Does this ideal contribute to why women expect men to always be sexually ready and in disbelief of conditions such as erectile dysfunction? We perpetuate the concept of men being non-emotional and hyper-sexual.  Much like what is known as a “stereotype threat”, or self-fulfilling prophecy; men will act accordingly.

I find people tend to behave as they are perceived.

-Noni Ayana

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