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Dear G,

A lot has been said recently (and will be said over the coming days and years) about girls and rape culture and sexual harassment. As a woman, I’m furious when my basic choices (from clothing to how I walk and speak!) are questioned and communicated as being accountable for another person’s lecherous behaviour. As a mother of a little girl, you, I go into full panic mode when I hear or read some of the statements that young men (most, fairly well educated) make on the subject. How in heaven’s name am I going to protect you? I know damn well that telling you to dress (or not dress) a certain way won’t make a difference, so then what? It breaks my heart to know that I can’t actually shield you beyond the basics. As always, I can only share what I know and hope it makes a difference. Starting here.
In this letter, I’d like to introduce you to 3 broad archetypes of men that exist in this life, based on my personal experience – although I dare say that this experience is pervasive amongst most women.

There are men in this world, who will have no qualms with outright hurting you (type C). There are those also who won’t realise that what they say or do could hurt you; some of them will learn to change their words and actions in order to be better human beings (type B1), and some will be defiant about justifying why their words and actions should NOT hurt you (type B2). The third and best group of men (type A) are those who will respect and support you as a woman even in the face of being ridiculed by other men (and sometimes women).

These 3 types will be all about you wherever you go and you will have to experience all of them in varying degrees. Here’s how I suggest you deal with all of them.

When you meet type A men, become their friends; have long discussions with them about life as men and women and learn how to exist in this world happily with each other. Employ them, marry them (preferably just marry 1! 😊), start businesses with them. If I haven’t been clear so far, I’m saying these men are the shiznit! They will go far and will take you with them.

Type B1 men, be patient with, and if their hearts and souls are in the right place, they will quickly realise the errors of their ways and become your greatest allies.

Type B2 men, well, I don’t know for sure but I still believe they are not all bad. Most are just scared of being stripped of their masculinity – this is a shaky time to be a man I think; more and more they are having to prove their ‘maleness’ in a world where open homosexual relationships are on the rise and effeminate attributes in men are wrongly used to label them as gay – and this is the thing that scares them the most.

Type C men, if you are able to identify them (because most are not obvious about what they are), steer clear. You cannot change them. God brought them into this world that way and He will either take them out the same way or divinely transform them all by Himself. He does not need your help. Refer to the story of Saul/Paul in the Bible. He did that by himself. So if you find yourself in any kind of relationship with a man who remotely thinks it’s okay to hit you or verbally abuse you, sexually assault you or disrespect you, baby girl, flee! You. Cannot. Change. Him. His mother’s love for him did not change him so don’t try and step to that situation with yours thinking you’re the holy grail of change. FLEE!

Some of them won’t ask for your permission before they step to you with their rudeness and with their callous behaviour. Some won’t understand that your body was not created for them to extract ‘pleasure’ from at will. Some won’t understand the simplest of 2-letter words that you had grasped before your years were same in number, no matter how many times you say it, write it, or even scream it. AND. THAT. IS. NOT. YOUR. FAULT. It never is. I pray God’s protection over your life each day that you never have to encounter this in any form. But in the event that you do experience harassment in its simplest form (like I have) or in its worst like countless other good decent women in this world have, know that you did nothing to deserve it, and dead or alive, I will be there for you, to talk it out with you and to heal with you. And make no mistake, in the words of your father, somebody will be getting fucked up after!

Always ever, angels on guard.

Mama.