Hip-hop, Fathers and the reaction to having a daughter

A male friend of mine whom I had not spoken to for a while informed me that he had some good news to share. He had had a baby. She was now 7 months old. The proud papa is a traditionally minded Jamaican man. Opens doors. Thinks his future wife should never have to work if she doesn’t want to and definitely not while she is pregnant. Once told me that all men want a respectable smart business savy woman by day and a slut at night. He’s a young man doing quite well in real estate in Brooklyn. Despite his traditional thinking, he’s baby’s mama remains just a girlfriend.

Fatherhood relative to daughters is uniquely distinct from the relationship to a son. As the new daddy shared his newfound doting on this little 7-month old female being, he shared how it was affecting his listening habits relative to hip-hop. Born in Jamaica, he was raised up in the Caribbean enclave of Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. (Go Brooklyn!!) He grew up a fan of Biggie and Jay-Z. He told me he especially admired Jay-Z as both rapper and business man (see post and video refuting that Jay-Z smacked a women in Africa in 2004). What’s interesting is that ever since my friend’s little girl came into the picture, his interest in hip-hop’s misogyny has done a 180º. He said essentially he listens differently to all the ways men represent women now. (Pictured: three-time Grammy Award-winning rapper and actor Chris Bridges aka Ludacris with his daughter).

I shared a not-so surprised acknowledgement of this phenomenon. It happened with Nas too and a host a men who love hip-hop whom I have known or written about. I wrote about Nas in a book to be released by Michael Eric Dyson in Jan 2009 devoted to the great Nasty Nas (more on that to come). Nas actually created the anthem “I Can” for his daughter because all the hip-hop out there was so misogynistic. I only wish men would realize, I told my friend, this revelation long before they had a female child. It’s imperative they begin to, that men are willing to discover the impact this music has on their disrespect of not only women, but themselves esp. in the public sphere.

According to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in his book titled, Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs, the needs of men often differ from that of women. Men often yearn for respect, while women generally want to feel loved. That may be but perhaps we need a bit more of the reverse.

Risk and Opportunity

Just checked out a former colleague’s blog Clearing for Love. Cat writes:

“In the film Evan Almighty – there’s a scene in which God (Morgan Freeman) says, “If someone prays for patience, you think God gives him patience? or does God give them opportunities to be patience? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage? or does God give them opportunities to be courageous? …”
It may not have been the best movie I’ve ever seen, but this quote is right on. We’re given opportunities to be that which we wish to be in life every moment: courageous, loving, open….”

I really loved reading this today and offer if to my readers. What opportunities have been showing up for you to take a risk; to be a way you’ve never been before? For me, I think it’s to be someone who is daring to have what I want in the face of circumstances I DO NOT like particularly with men. Being uncomfortable. Thinking maybe I don’t/won’t like him that way. Etc.

Had a lovely date yesterday with a friend who adores me. I tend to be judgmental of the ones who really truly adore me. I make it about me and what I am looking for. I could come from, as Cat suggests, how extraordinary men are being with me and just be with that. I got that yesterday. I didn’t take the risk yet but I opened the door to it.

True love

Several times in my life I’ve felt I met a “soulmate” or felt like I met the one. I totally acknowledge that I believe there are many men who have captivated me to feel touched by their heart and soul or whom I touched with mine. There is no single soulmate out there in the 6.7 billion people on the planet but many people you might truly love in a lifetime.

A few weeks ago, I reunited with one of them. This man makes my heart, mind and soul sing when I am with him. When we are apart, however, it seems like I don’t exist for him. He’s called me once since we went out on a remarkable date after two years. It was as if two years hadn’t passed. But he only called once since then. I’ve called a few times but memories of the past, of calling with no response have resurfaced and I want to be chased rather than chasing after men who seem like soulmates, say they feel soulmate with me, but don’t deliver the actions that go with finding a soulmate–staying connected and seeking after true love if it’s available.

I remember telling him that I intend to be married within the next nine months. I also now recall in hindsight that the last time any serious relationship conversation was shared between
us, two years passed. What gets me is that we click! Why is intimacy of that nature so abhorred by men and women today? I see myself in him in many ways. If you really, really, really are available to me, I’ll get scared and do something to mess things up. (Run away! Run away!)

We human beings are characters in a play we keep scripting and then not wanting to follow the script we wrote. So I have to admit, I’ve gone back to being resigned with this particular guy. He’s an extraordinary man. Really, truly remarkable and the more I seem to share my view of him, the more distant he becomes. Makes you want to regret sharing, but I’ll never stop but I’ll also move on to share with others where the sharing is mutual and constant.

What I want it to be open no matter what. To be willing and able to love and cherish. To be longed for and wanted and to be deliciously happy and growing beyond my self with another.
I know it will take something but I also am standing for that it will happen for me and anyone in my community who wants that too.