As a young Black girl, you weren't supposed to have boundaries. Why? Simple: Boundaries hurt men's feelings. If a boy pushed you on the playground, you were to tell yourself that he liked you. And if he picked on you in class, you were to say to yourself; he envied your intelligence. And if he pulled your pigtails, you were to tell yourself that he was in awe of your attractiveness. Under no circumstances were you to ask him to stop. You didn't know his intent. He was owed the benefit of benevolence. That was a young woman's duty; to defend the questionable intent of men.
After all, we already knew women weren't to be trusted. Somewhere between learning to ignore our boundaries and coddling cultural toxicity, they expected us to keep ourselves safe, virtuous, and secure. No one told us how. Likely because it's impossible to protect yourself without making it a priority. Instead, they sent us out into the world bound by patriarchy's playbook, all the while expecting us to win a game with rules designed to deny us even the smallest victory. It was a wager we couldn't win.
I cautiously climbed inside Cori's car. "Damn. Can I get a hug?" I obliged his request. I sat with my hands tucked between my legs, quietly instructing him on which left turn to take to cross the bridge to my side of town. "I know another way," he said, rushing through red lights. We engaged in small talk for a while, when I noticed we were driving in the opposite direction. "My house is the other way," I reminded him. He claimed he hadn't forgotten. "I know where you stay; I just need to make a stop.” Mom is going to kill me; I kept telling myself. Even at that moment, I lacked the awareness to see how this situation was far more dangerous than Dorothy's blows might have been.
We rode quietly for another fifteen minutes, making our way to a neighborhood known as Garfield. Cori pulled up to what looked like an abandoned storefront.
"You tryna come in?"
"I can wait in the car."
"Aight," he said as he exited the car. And then he stopped.
"Nah, matter fact, I don't want you waiting here by yourself, come in. It'll be real quick."
I didn't say no. I didn't know how to.
101 Dating Tips for Your Daughter is the first book to offer parents a guideline on navigating the dating discussion with their daughters. That’s right, your daughters will eventually need to learn how to date, and who better to teach them than you?!
101 Dating Tips for Your Daughter reinforces the practical practice of safe, studied partner picking, whether the desired outcome be casual companionship or something a little more serious. Author & Journalist, Arah Iloabugichukwu takes you through a series of real-life scenarios and case studies demystifying the dating process—showing young women how to approach the modern single’s scene with cleverness and self—confidence; pinpoint the partner for them.
Author Arah Iloabugichukwu gently guides young girls through sensitive subject matter such as healthy boundaries, assessing intent through courtship, and dating without desperation. “The Birds & The Bees” is just the beginning. It’s in the aftermath of understanding our physical selves that we gain the courage to explore partnership and intimacy with the world. However, for so many, this odyssey is unattended and unsafe. The outcome is that most women spend their adult dating years course-correcting; attempting to unlearn the many ways they’ve been taught to stunt and sabotage their love lives. This book finally changes that!
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