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FOR THE DAUGHTERS I WILL HAVE

When I finally decide to blow brazenly into the capacious life of a father, I do not hesitate to say that I would want to raise all girls – two girls.

I don’t want to be a father to sons.

If I’ve learned anything about being a man, it is that being a father is designed to be a contact sport, and far too many of us retire before we even see what the field looks like.

If I’ve learned anything about a woman, it is that no matter how empowering they seem, their existence was designed to never stand a chance. But it’s a lie. They are strong, in some ways stronger than men. I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior, always have been.

When Edmonton, North London, found an eighteen-year-old Nigerian boy, Opemipo Jaji, guilty of raping an eleven-year-old girl, he cried his eyes out moments after the verdict was passed. Every major media news outlet coddled him, instead of the girl he raped. CNN, BBC news grieved over the death of his future as an aspiring Chef.

They said nothing of the cemetery growing inside the body of the girl; nothing of the graveyard where she would bury her trust in men.

Rape culture is the worst kind of teacher kids are learning the most from.

It teaches women that it is their responsibility to not get raped.

It teaches men that ‘boys will be boys’.

It teaches us that a short skirt and a smile is ‘asking for it’.

It teaches us that it’s not wrong unless someone comes to her rescue.

And that is why when I have a daughter or two

With every fibre of my being, I’ll learn how to teach her

How to sew a button

How to cook

How to walk

How to talk

How to twerk

How to shoki

How to use her tampon

How to think like a man… And act like a Lady

How to love and give herself to Love

And if I don’t raise her in a community that will help me teach her to be wary

How to unravel herself from the “chivalries” of men

From their lack of sensitivity and the rotten parts of their deranged masculinity

If she doesn’t learn better from me,

Then what rape culture will teach her when I’m not looking is

That she is as good as that crooked cop from the Lagos State police department, Oshodi precinct

That she is as good as jail bird or a sex offender

That she is as good as the next black boy sobbing on the witness stand

Apologizing to the girl that he raped

Swearing that he ‘didn’t mean to do it’

Promising that his mother –

If he really had one

If she was every inch of the parent that I’ll be

If she cared for him like I will do for my daughters

If she loved him like I will love mine –

That she ‘taught him better’ than that

Hoping that somebody in that courtroom will forgive him

For what? I wonder.

He has yet to learn.

Written by Vhar


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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8 comments

  1. I will also teach her how to use a switchblade to get herself out of tight situations.

  2. Hmmm….beyond words

  3. I am currently teaching her the bite and scratch your eyes out tactics. That one is so fool proof. For now at least. I am teaching her to carry herself with dignity; To love herself even if the world does not. To treat other with dignity and to give love to her fellows. So many lessons I am teaching her but we are taking it one day at a time as works in progress… Thank you, Vhar for this piece. So touching!

  4. Put in some Taekwando lessons while you’re at it

  5. Vhar,you set gender equality back by a few years. And your trying to sound enlightened by wanting only girls (a nod to the typical African wanting boys)won’t cut it.

  6. Touching piece.. Taekwondo lessons too!..very essential.

  7. i LOVE this!!

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