There are some things you could never know about people—until you know them. And by that time it’s too late. I’ll explain later; but first, an anecdote. I was visiting a friend recently and in a moment of near-drunken revelation, she shared that when her daughter was first born, she was hyper vigilante and protective in ways she hadn’t been with her son. For instance, she said that she never took issue with husband showing their son affection. But when their daughter was born, she was always peeking around corners, making sure that the affection was appropriate, that he never crossed a line.
Her husband had never given her any reason to suspect anything, but she was just watchful. Making sure that if any suspicious behavior presented itself, she’d be ready to intervene on behalf of her child. And thankfully, it never came to that. This wasn’t something she would have shared in a more sober state but I found the story interesting and wondered if other mothers felt like that.
I asked my own mother. And she said that while there had never been indication, for the first couple of months she was also watchful of my father but eased up as she felt convinced that there was no danger.
My pastor’s wife, who is a victim of sexual abuse, shared one Sunday that after her daughter was born, she actually told her husband that he would have problems if he ever touched their daughter. Naturally, he was shocked and offended. But after considering her point of view, based on her experience, he understood why she at least had to say it.
A mother’s natural inclination to protect her child can occasionally cause dark and disturbing thoughts to cross a woman’s mind.
So, I wasn’t all that surprised to see these series of tweets from a Nigerian television host, Morayo Akabashorun. Although several other people were.
She said this:
There were a lot of men who were offended.
In an ideal world, her comments would have been completely unfounded and therefore ridiculous. But that’s not the world we live in. According to studies conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys will be the victim of childhood sexual abuse. With 3 out of 4 adolescent victims having been assaulted by someone they knew well. Sometimes these people are parents. So while I don’t know that I would have broadcast this publicly, I can understand why she said it. And honestly, fathers should be vigilante as well. Women sexually abuse children as well.
We can tell women that you should marry a man you trust. And you definitely should. But I don’t believe in putting absolute trust in any mortal, man or woman. And when the health and safety of a child is involved, I can’t fault this woman for erring on the side of caution. I’m not advocating that women shouldn’t let fathers bathe daughters— but if preventing her husband from doing so—or reserving this parenting responsibility for herself makes her feel like she’s protecting her child in the best way possible, then she should do that.
What do you make of this woman’s comments? Mothers, would you let your husband or father of your child bathe his daughter? Have you ever been particularly watchful with the father of your child and your daughter?