I got this note last week. This man is VERY worried for his daughter, who is attending an historically black college. He’s concerned that her naivetÃ© might be catnip for DBRs. I KNOW you smart lades can help, so give some advice already.
I hope you are well. I am Anura and I read you article on â€œOpen your mind, Not your legsâ€¦â€ in Madame Noire. I enjoyed it very well and passed it on to my daughter at Howard University, where she is a freshman. I must be honest I have never read so many opinion articles and perspectives of so many women writers in my life about advice for women and young ladies, in particular â€“ boys, sex, school, on your own, etc.
I have been married for 16 wonderful years. My wife and I have been able to give advice about most things to my daughter, but I think there was a point where all she (my daughter) heard/hears was/is the Charlie Brown teacher voice â€œWawawa Wewao wawaâ€¦â€ So the â€œI know it all or most everything nowâ€ kicked in for her and she puts a huge barrier up, especially towards me (Dad)! So my strategy is to give her space and hopefully some sane friends and people give her good advice, feedback and support. I think your articles really help with that other voice. I think you are right on!
But here is what I have been most concerned about regarding my daughter from Minneapolis, Minnesota going to school in DC at a Black college, her naivety! Now Minnesota has a lot of Black people now, itâ€™s not just Prince and itâ€™s not just cold. Itâ€™s true that there are a lot of white people, but the Twin Cities metro area is very diverse. However, we were very involved parents and very protective. Her mother is from Mississippi, a very small, stereotypical country town.
Here are the scenarios of her experiences so far on campus, which you started to touch on some in your article I mentioned above.
1) Her friends had to jump on her for appearing too naÃ¯ve. They told her that she canâ€™t talk to every guy that says something to her and she canâ€™t keep smiling like sheâ€™s in wonderland. They told her she is in an inner city that can have all types of characters and she can bring unwanted advances, discussions and simply danger. But that is my daughter. She is always happy, bubbly, optimistic, light spirited and very naÃ¯ve. However, she does know right and wrong and usually when she is in danger.
2) My daughter went to buy a cell phone at a T-Mobile in DC/Maryland. The salesperson, a Black man, comes up to her and within a minute and very inappropriately states that she isnâ€™t from here (DC) and sheâ€™s so pretty, he continues that sheâ€™s country and hasnâ€™t been exposed to the world and that, get this, she is â€œstill probably a virgin and he has four lady friends that can help fix her up.â€ As you can imagine, I wanted to fly to DC that moment and take care of business.
3) In one of her classes her professor (a male) calls her â€œSunshineâ€ or something to that effective. Most teachers call students by their names. It appears innocent to her and it may be. But I am a man and in looking at a woman like my daughter I could see how men will interpret the naivety to mean vulnerability and opportunity.
So do you have any advice or opinion on these situations? I know there are many young ladies like her. I have told her from a manâ€™s perspective what most of us are thinking when we see certain types of girls and what we want at that age. But again dadâ€™s words fall like the autumn leaves off her ears. Whether you address this directly to me in an email or in article form in one of your great venues, I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks so much and keep on writing what you write. â€œNo marriage, No Womb!â€ Amen!