Every now and again, one hears bizarre stories of fathers sleeping with their daughters, step-fathers sexually abusing their step-daughters, (and yes, sometimes killing them to prevent being exposed) uncles violating their nieces, brothers sleeping with their sisters under their mother’s nose and she finds out like everyone else when the daughter becomes pregnant by the brother. And when I hear such strange stories, I can’t help but wonder, are we failing our daughters?
If I have heard it said once, I have heard it said a million times that women possess strong intuition. When a man picks up the phone to speak with a woman, no matter how casual he may sound, his wife can immediately tell if her husband has a platonic relationship with the caller or something more. A woman knows instantly if another woman is interested in her man; she knows if her husband is having an affair, or about to have one, and she is almost always right.
Now, if women can detect infidelity in their husbands sometimes even before it begins, how are fathers able to get away with abusing their daughters? Where was the woman of the house? Where was her intuition? Didn’t she see it coming as she would have seen an affair coming if her husband began to spend too much time with a certain Lucy at work?
Where was she when her new husband began to sexually abuse her daughter from her previous marriage whose stepfather he is? Didn’t she see the handwriting on the wall? Was she blinded by love to all the tell-tale signs? Wasn’t her women’s intuition working? If the same man was sleeping with the children’s nanny wouldn’t she have known?
How about when her brother came to live with her, and she entrusted him with the care of her precious little girl, and he began to abuse the little girl sexually?
And what about her son? Didn’t she suspect anything when he began to abuse his little sister sexually? How is it that a girl is pregnant by her own brother and her mother finds out the same time as everyone else?
Ladies, are we failing our daughters? How is it that we can’t read between the lines? How is it that we do not pay attention to our daughters’ unusual reluctance or excitement to be with certain people? Why do we trust blindly, so blindly that we can’t see the signs even when they are glaring? How is it that our daughters are unable to come to us to report abuse, whether by their father, step-father, uncle, brother, etc.? Are we unapproachable, preoccupied or absent?
Are we aware of our daughters’ plight and are in denial until the truth is out in the open and we can no longer bury our head in the sand like the Ostrich? Do we see the red flags but pretend not to see them because we are afraid of losing a man, a marriage, challenging a family member, or calling our children out? Or do we truly not see? Are we truly ignorant? Is our intuition only good when it comes to detecting a chick out to get our man? But is completely dead when it comes to sniffing out a predator on a mission to devour our precious baby girls?
Ladies, are we failing our daughters?