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Sammy Saturday: Linking to the Little Girl Loved Letter Campaign

March 19, 2011

Mr. Suave/ Mama C and the Boys

Reading the letter found here at My Brown Baby (MBB) , by Nick Chilles (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of many books)  has been a source of great reflection/peace/apprehension/inspiration for me as the mother of two young Black boys.

His letter was written in response to this  MBB piece:  “Gang Rape In Texas: When Will We Stop Sacrificing Girls In Defense of Black Boys,” In Denene’s words; “Nick was moved to pen this letter to the 11-year-old victim. I extend a special invitation to the mothers and fathers who’ve read this powerful prose to leave empowering and loving messages to and for this child…”

My response to this story is to a)print out the letter and read it over and over again. b) to read it to the boys when they are older and able to hear it. c) to open dialogue with Sam and Marcel about what it means to be a boy. What it means to be a girl. I want to know what messages they are getting already and how they are internalizing them. How they are reacting to, and trying on all those messages.

To that end I asked Sam for help with a special Saturday project. I asked him what he would tell someone from another planet, if they came here and didn’t know how to treat girls. After I framed it, I posed the following questions:

Mommy: So Sam, what would you tell them? How should boys treat girls?

Sam: You’re kidding.

Me: No I’m serious

Sam: They should treat them like I do.

Mommy: How is that?

Sam: Like I treat M and S.  I treat them like princesses.  I care for them.

Mommy; How do you care for them?

Sam: Easy. You just tell them I love them. You should listen to them of course. Girls like stuff like when you listen.

Me: How should you not treat a girl?

Sam: You should not treat a girl like this; (deep voice) Hey I’m going to beat you up. You don’t tease them. Girls don’t like boys to be mean to them.

Me: If there was one more thing you could tell an alien about boys or girls what would it be.

Sam: You should just take care of them.

***

So this is my invitation to all of you to head over to MBB, read Nick’s letter the comments and letters that follow, and consider how to join in the conversation too.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jazmine Bennett permalink
    March 27, 2011 10:56 am

    you have experience in sociology, dont you Mama C? my sociology professor told us to do the same exact thing at the beginning of this semester, to view our society as we are outsiders, as aliens. our most recent topic was Gender socialization, its very interesting. here are the videos/links we had to read. and one i added about “chivalry” that i thought was an interesting look at it. you can watch them if you want to or not, but i think they’re great and they opened my eyes up to a lot & im grateful for that.

    Tough Guise(video):

    wrestling with manhood(video):
    http://video.aol.com/video-detail/wrestling-with-manhood-boys-bullying-and-battering/3613663294

    research on Androgyny(article):
    http://virgil.azwestern.edu/~dag/lol/Androgyny.htm

    masculinity a health hazard (article):
    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/10/11/1128796526563.html?from=rss

    masculinity and the problem with chivalry article:
    http://readerimarriedhim.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/masculinity-and-the-problem-of-chivalry/

  2. Jazmine permalink
    March 30, 2011 2:22 am

    you’re very welcome!

  3. March 31, 2011 4:48 pm

    You have done a beautiful job with your son in teaching him to respect your daughters and to love them. I wish the mothers and fathers of the teenage boys and men who gang raped the 11-year-old little girl in Cleveland, TX had taught their sons this. Then the gang rape would not have happened. Thank you for sharing this time spent with your son.

    I have written 3 different articles on my blog about the little girl who was gang raped in Cleveland, TX. I am glad to still be finding new articles like yours that are continuing to talk about this. We have to be a voice for this little girl who isn’t old enough to have her own voice against rape and child abuse. Thank you.

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