One of our key roles as fathers and to the women reading this (as mothers) is to raise our kids knowing they are beautiful. Now when we say beautiful, it can be defined in so many ways. Our culture has redefined what beauty is. Most of what is consider beautiful today is to be skinny, sexy, and sensual. No wonder we would see a lot of girls flaunting their bodies in the streets, in their dance moves, in their instagram and facebook accounts.
Being a youth pastor for many years and now leading a church, I have seen a huge shift on how girls see themselves. With the absence of fathers guiding them, girls are becoming more sensual than ever. Billboards in Edsa is enough for me to stress my point. You can add up the magazines catering to tweeners and you see girls aged 11 to 14 being dressed up sensually.
What is surprising is how many of us are surprised why there is a rise of teenage pregnancy, sexual freedom among young people today. To speak against it, is to be backwards. But with the cases left and right of girls being abused and manipulated, I’d rather be labeled as backwards than see a generation of girls being raped by our sexually hungry culture.
The continuos rise of women being treated as sex objects, the porn magazine industry that continues to make money and the willing girls who exposed their private parts for the world to see to achieve their 30 seconds of fame – so what contributes to this kind of distortion?
Here are some thoughts that I have?
1. The culture that empowers such action.
The new Filipino culture has empowered women to disempower themselves. A friend of mine recently commented on as AD that empowers women to date men. He received such hate from the social media labeling him as a woman hater and old fashion sexist. On the other hand, women in general are complaining about the lack of real men in society. Well, let us not complain because our culture has empowered women and disempowered man in the same breath.
2. Majoring on the trivial, missing the heart.
I am grateful for women groups who fight for women’s right. But there are also other noisy organizations that are fighting the wrong battle when it comes to women empowerment. Some fights need to start at home – what our children watch. Turn on your TV and be surprised with the sexy dancers in our noontime shows, or browse youtube and see the trending videos of women flaunting their bodies sensually. We don’t hear any complaints. But a international celebrity who comments on the Philippines negatively, we unite as a nation to blacklist the person. I do hope to see more actions being taken by local groups to fight against the strong sexual content of our shows in local media, the porn magazines displayed in all bookstores for our children to see, and the billboards and ads in our streets and public buses.
3. Where is daddy?
Fathers, we play a MAJOR role. Major. Major.
Fathers we define our daughters. The first male touch they receive is from us. The first praise, the first encouragement and the continuos affirmation that a father gives. When Fathers are absent, we see a generation of young girls growing up getting their identity and affirmation from other men.
Ask a girl if she receives a hug from daddy, maybe 95% will say no. I am involve in a foundation that reaches girls age 6 to 12. No exaggeration – all are fatherless.
Fathers, let’s raise our daughters to be beautiful. Communicate it in a thousand of different ways. They will never grow tired hearing it from you. At the same time, be careful not to raise them or conform them to how the world defines beauty. They are precious girls not to be looked at sexually and not to look sensually for any man.