Friday, March 11, 2011

On Needing a Man

Some women would have me cosign with them and suggest to young ladies that they can and should live their lives with little or no regard for male companionship.  That somehow their personal confidence is tied to the absence of a man rather than in his purposeful presence. I am not prepared to deliver that untruth to a generation of young ladies that has as its inheritance a version of 21st century feminism that presents gender equality as a gift, and has done little to improve or celebrate the relationships among women and girls.

I will not acquiesce to logic that is highly emotional and steeped in acrimonious self-righteousness; unpacking the baggage of my past onto the impressionable; telling them the stories of the so-called “bad men” who I welcomed into my life, and gave them permission to behave as they did, unable to recognize that whatever bitterness I harbored toward them in the end should have been directed inward. 

I will not sit in solidarity with my sisters and with a straight face tell the girls in our care that they don’t need a man, while watching one sister after another go down in the flames of desperation, holding on without breathe to what they have told others they do not need. I will not corrupt young female minds or purloin their hope. Instead I will validate what their biology already knows: they need a man. But I will emphasize that they need the right man.

I will encourage women to allow their daughter’s fathers the room they need to be fathers; for this is the relationship that defines all of their future interactions with men. If their fathers cannot or will not serve in their biological capacity, I will discourage the negative mention of their names or their crimes in the presence of their children.

Instead, I will invite my sisters to surround their girls with “good men”; giving preference to those with whom there has been no intimate exchange. I will continue to support and honor those men who can push past the bitterness and manipulation inflicted upon them in order to care for the emotional health of their offspring.

I will demonstrate to the girls in my “village” the type of confidence that advances authentic love for self and her worthy companion; a love that is without fear, that will not settle for something less-deserved; love that does not preemptively castrate its intended; love that is a decision to wait and accept only what is best.

That women are creatures of immense emotional need and attention does not require excuse or apology. It does, however, require acknowledgment and great care. We are responsible for where we lay the biology bestowed upon us by the Creator.

Wisdom requires us to know the hands with whom we present our love and devotion. We must take care not to allow ourselves or our daughters to fall into the wrong hands.