The following article was written by our guest blogger Alex Washington. Alex is a westside Detroiter, cheap wine connoisseur, Detroit rap aficionado and daughter of a single mother.
To the men who raised fatherless daughters -
Some of you who raised us, have never dated our mothers but loved us the same. You’ve supported us, scolded us, helped us and molded us into the women we’ve grown to be. You are grandfathers, you are brothers, you are uncles, you are cousins, and you are friends. You are the village who has unconsciously worked to make sure we were all good and that we were all loved.
In a world that teaches us that fatherless girls are rude, hurt and ill-equipped to properly love, you helped us challenge all of those ideals and defeat the odds stacked against us. Some of you are well aware of the role you play, others don’t even know the impact they have.
While you’re reading this, don’t get stuck on the word “raised.” Singular moments are just as impactful as consistent memories. Sometimes we move through life without stopping to show appreciation or reflect on the moments and people who have impacted us the most.
Personally, I can name almost every man who has impacted my life in a positive way. For the few I can’t name, I can describe the exact moment, down the scene and my attire.
To the man who pretended to be my uncle because he noticed another man was being insistent on taking my number and getting aggressive, thank you.
To my cousin who lectured me about not lowering my standards and finding someone who runs my course instead of changing it, thank you.
To the men who looked out for me at every rap event where the man to woman ratio was almost nonexistent, thank you.
To my best friend’s grandfather who congratulated me on every milestone and yelled at me almost as much as he did her, thank you.
Society has shaped us to believe that women are the only ones capable of caring for those who are strangers to them. It has conditioned us to believe that if men care about women who they aren’t related to, they aren’t genuine or have plans to manipulate us. It’s taught us that men are from Mars, women are from Venus and there’s not enough room in the galaxy for both to coexist.
You dispel that.
Here’s to the men who raised fatherless daughters. This is your moment.
Thank you for the lessons you have instilled in us and the love you’ve given us. Thank you for always being reliable and protecting us all the same. Continue to encourage, protect and be kind to the community of women who need it. You are appreciated more than you could know.
Happy Father’s Day.
(P.S. To my own father, I forgave you a long time ago.)