A Father’s Letter to Young Women (About Getting Naked)

To Young Women Everywhere, 

Several months ago, I wrote these words in a letter to my daughter: “The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.”

They were the most controversial words in a letter that eventually went viral.  

naked

Photo Credit: °]° via Compfight cc

Many of you objected to the idea of keeping your clothes on. You lamented purity myths and said being naked is a valid expression of who you are. Young Women, you should express yourselves. You should be unsilenced. You should find your voice.

But your skin is not the final expression of who you are; your skin is the fickle container for who you are.

Millions of people have skin like yours—theirs will wrinkle and fade just like your own—but no one has a heart like yours. Each and every one of you is the home to an entirely unique soul. Your rare wonder and beauty are not expressed in your bare skin; they’re expressed in your bared soul.

Last year, I saw P!nk in concert. The show was a dazzling display of bodies and skin. It was easy to think of it as daring self-expression. Until a few days later, when someone sent me a video of P!nk stopping a concert mid-song to comfort a crying child in the audience. She made thousands of people wait, while she talked to the toddler and sent a stuffed animal and some food into the crowd for the distraught little one.

Now, that is daring self-expression.

It was the true self embodied and expressed in the world.

It doesn’t beg to be seen; it sees everyone else.

It doesn’t attract the attention of the masses; it gives attention to a few.

It isn’t always concerned about how it looks; it’s eternally concerned with how it loves.

It doesn’t titillate a gawking world; it agitates an apathetic world—one compassionate act at a time.

Young Women, I imagine this sounds like just one more power play by a privileged, middle-aged white man trying to tell you what to do. And I don’t blame you: for millennia, men have told you what to do with your body. Oftentimes, they have even forced you to do it.

I’m glad you’re taking back control.

I’m happy you told me off.

And I know it’s presumptuous to think I have anything of value to share with you about the power you wield. Yet, I think I might, specifically because I’m a middle-aged, white man. Specifically because I’ve gotten out of the game and can share a few secrets about how men work:

Men want you to feel powerful with your body—and only your body.

Men want you to control them with how much you show.

Men want you to dominate them in the bar and the club and the bedroom.

Men want you to be in charge in the game they created ages ago.

Men want you to feel powerful with your body, because as long as you’re playing their game—the game of skin and bodies—they can get the thing they want most without giving the things they value most: their commitment and their ego. When you take your clothes off, you don’t become powerful—you give your power away, because you’re playing the game men want you to play.

Real power lies in changing the game altogether.

And the only way to change the game is to identify with the center of you, instead of the surface of you. The game will be changed by your minds and your hearts and your wisdom and your grace. Not your bodies.

Young Women, perhaps I just sound like a worried father to you, afraid of the choices his little girl will someday make. To be honest, I am. But I know what I’m going to tell her, and I hope someone is saying this to you, too:

If you disregard me completely, I will still accept you and love you and cherish you. Even when you make decisions about your body that grieve me, I will see past your skin and into your heart, and I will see the awesome, powerful, forever beauty that makes its home there. On the inside.

Sincerely,

A Father

Question: Of course, we all like to hear when we’re right, but we all need to hear when we’re wrong. What do you agree with or disagree with in this letter? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Disclaimer: My writings represent a combination of my own personal opinions and my professional experiences, but they do not reflect professional advice. Interaction with me via the blog does not constitute a professional therapeutic relationship. For professional and customized advice, you should seek the services of a counselor who can dedicate the hours necessary to become more intimately familiar with your specific situation. I do not assume liability for any portion or content of material on the blog and accept no liability for damage or injury resulting from your decision to interact with the website.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Just Thinkin’

    Hi Kelly. Thanks so much for your awesome insight. I am spending this week considering the impact we men have on the cycle of abuse the world has learned to live with and regard as normal. gender violence, ageism, sexual violence, physical violence. And I am considering the impact we men have had with the rules we have made, and the way we have forced women all over the world to play by our rules…

    The freedom you offer to women to leave the “game” behind is awesome and it may be key to their freedom. I deeply appreciate your words, they inspire me to prepare well, and early, for similar conversations with my own daughter.

    But I would also like to offer that we men are accountable for a huge percentage of the wrong doing and suffering that the women of this world face, and I know – or at least I think I know – that you probably agree with me.

    The freedom you inspire in women must hopefully also inspire humility and reverence in men; so that their “breaking out” and becoming free, is not punished and put down by insecure men too afraid to learn the new rules of the game – where we are all equals. I like the post by Nate Pyle that was his conversation to his boy – http://natepyle.com/seeing-a-woman/#sthash.umCBVpb9.dpbs where he brings such awesome perspective to how a man should see a woman.

    Blessings, Kelly, you are awesome and I appreciate you.

  • @shoromama

    Wow! Thank you for a wonderful and inspirational message. May the message reach as many young women as possible. I take back my power

  • Alison

    The grace of God is always speaking through you, and I appreciate it… As a daughter and as a mother. I might say that when you “got out of the game,” it was almost as if you graduated from boyhood to manhood. The differences between the two are many. I might exchange “Men want” for “Boys want.” 🙂 I know I married a real man, not a boy. And every time I read your words about daughters and love, I am reminded of every good attribute of my husband. And I am blessed. Thank you for your wisdom!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Alison, this is much needed nuance that could be added to the letter. While I refer to “men” in general, obviously there are many men who don’t want any part of the game. I like the way this very issue might be used to distinguish men from boys who have not grown up yet. : ) Thank you!

  • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

    In some ways, Kelly, absolutely and sure and yes. And in the context of your original post — completely. Because it is about changing the focus from the all-too-familiar objectification that girls and women not only see but also internalize about their bodies. Our acts of defiance are in refusing to have our bodies commodified, to have our beauty reduced to the visible, to have our worth defined by what can be viewed.

    But it is important for us to be comfortable in the skin we are in. There is beauty in feeling the sun on our shoulders and the wind on our legs and knowing that this experience is for us, not the gratification of some viewing eye. I rediscovered a photograph of a man at the beach measuring the length of women’s swimwear for “decency,” but taken at a wider angle than I had previously seen (this time at A Mighty Girl online). The expressions on the women’s faces betrayed much less than the faces of the little girls around them. However the whole circumstance reminded girls and women that our bodies are spectator viewing material and consequently had to be monitored with rulers and strangers’ hands on our legs. Times have changed but I don’t think those of us occupying female bodies have much time to forget that we are viewed, no matter how we present ourselves.

    Being comfortable in the skin we are in — young and fresh or weathered and wrinkly — is something we ought to work to be because we are better women of action instead of objects when we are. When we are uncomfortable in our skin, overoccupied with either modesty or exposure for the gratification of that male gaze (or the condemning female stare), we are more passive and tolerant of the intolerable.

    Because at base, we still spend a lot more time, money, and effort policing ourselves and being policed about how these bodies are clothed, constituted, and kept than men do. And it takes considerable confidence to know that despite all the effort to let us know we are doing it wrong, our positive efforts in the world will still matter if our body size conveys to the world we are fat=lazy or our fashion choices mean some other horrifying and untrue fairy tale.

    • Nancy

      I have to admit that I’m a little confused.

      First of all, I resent the idea that fat = lazy–because it doesn’t–but I can’t tell if that’s what you’re saying at the end of your comment or not.

      I also agree that it’s important to be comfortable in our own skin. But doesn’t that mean that we’re not seduced into taking our clothes off because it’s the easy thing to do in many situations? That we’re not so insecure that we strip down for the first guy who wants to sleep with us, or offers us money, etc. etc.? (And here I use “strip down” metaphorically as well as literally, because women throughout the ages have fallen for these tricks too many times, and too much emotional nakedness can be just as dangerous–and just as much an indication of our discomfort with ourselves–as physical nakedness can.

      I have a feeling you’re trying to make a solid point here, but it’s getting lost. There IS a game. We’ve been playing it for so long that a lot of us don’t see it anymore–even the ones who think they do. When baring all gets men exactly what they want, I’m not sure if it matters if the woman in question feels comfortable in her own skin or not. Not when it’s still fueling the sexism that got us here in the first place.

      • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

        Nancy,

        Please forgive my insufferable shorthand in the collapsed “fat=lazy or …some other horrifying and untrue fairy tale” portion of my rant. This is such a common condemnation based on body size in popular culture and such a frequent means of policing women into taking up ever smaller (literal) space while making us feel that we are required to make ourselves thin as the price of occupying public space that I did not argue it to be so; I assumed it as obvious. That was careless of me. You should resent that idea; more than that, you should reject it. We all should.

        I appreciate your generosity of spirit in thinking I might have some point hopelessly lost in my diatribe. I fear my flow of consciousness writing proves only how oddly my brain flits these days and how important editing would be were I writing something other than an off-the-cuff comment.

        Please do not misread the extent of my agreement and disagreement with Kelly’s position here. I do not believe that we are empowered by baring our bodies. Nor do I believe any women are empowered by denigrating others about what they choose to put on their bodies, or don’t. I am not denying the game, as you put it. But neither am I going to subscribe to it wholesale, as your post seems to. You have cast your metaphorical and literal “stripping down” for a guy who wants sex or offers money. Your hypothetical woman is still oriented toward the male gaze, the male reaction, men. My comfortable-in-her-skin warrior girl is ready to use her voice in classrooms, at work, in community meetings, homes, and bars because her point of reference isn’t “what will he think of me?” it is “is this right, is it me, is it what needs to happen?”.

        Finally, I take issue with the characterization that “it’s [women baring all that is] still fueling the sexism that got us here in the first place.” Perhaps this was not your intended meaning, this sentence following the one discounting our comfort with ourselves, and your ‘it’s’ stands for something else entirely. But it worries me. We are not to blame for our victimization. Sexism exists where women are covered head to toe in burkas and here where women can choose to be scantily clad. We do not build a better world by making it seem that a swimsuit or sundress, with that sun on the shoulders and wind on the legs that I called for, unmakes our right to act with as much independence as a man in shorts and a T-shirt. Sexism isn’t fueled by our vulnerability or our flashes of skin.

        • drkellyflanagan

          I’ll only interrupt this conversation to say I’m impressed by its respectfulness and I think it’s bearing fruit because of that.

        • Tirzah

          I would also like to note that I was impressed by the two-sided respectful attitude of this conversation–sadly, a rare attribute in an internet debate.

          I hope to contribute some new thoughts with equal respect.

          I would attempt to put my thoughts on this whole matter together on my own, but I think C.S.Lewis already put it as well as I ever might, and so here he is on the topic:

          “The social rule of propriety lays down how much of the human body should be displayed and what subjects can be referred to, and in what words, according to the customs of a given social circle. Thus, while the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians at all times, the rule of propriety changes.

          A girl in the Pacific islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might both be equally “modest,” proper, or decent, according to the standards of their own societies: and both, for all we could tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or equally unchaste). […]

          When people break the rule of propriety current in their own time and place, if they do so in order to excite lust in themselves or others, then they are offending against chastity. But if they break it through ignorance or carelessness they are guilty only of bad manners. When, as often happens, they break it defiantly in order to shock or embarrass others, they are not necessarily being unchaste, but they are being uncharitable: for it is uncharitable to take pleasure in making other people uncomfortable.

          I do not think that a very strict or fussy standard of propriety is any proof of chastity or any help to it, and I therefore regard the great relaxation and simplifying of the rule which has taken place in my own lifetime as a good thing. At its present stage, however, it has this inconvenience, that people of different ages and different types do not all acknowledge the same standard, and we hardly know where we are.

          While this confusion lasts I think that old, or old-fashioned, people should be very careful not to assume that young or “emancipated” people are corrupt whenever they are (by the old standard) improper; and, in return, that young people should not call their elders prudes or puritans because they do not easily adopt the new standard.

          A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems.”

          For the rest of his (less directly relevant, but deeply insightful) thoughts on sexual morality as a whole, here’s the chapter I pulled that from: http://www.merelewis.com/CSL.mc.3-05.SexualMorality.htm

          • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

            Tirzah, thank you for sharing this. You have found a spectacular passage from a great (and versatile and fun) author that adds a lot to both the broader discussion Kelly started and this smaller one here. I love the way he evaluates the parameters of intention, culture, and shifting meaning as generations have to continue sharing cultural space even as their ideas about the world are shaped by such radically different experiences of what the world is.

            This resonates now as I contemplate how much more porous our exchanges can be now — respectful and civil or the internet’s more commonly maligned uncivil discourse — and to think that my kid can’t grasp a world without online communication while my grandmother never fully understood what it was. Our society and culture are the same, but the worlds we have grown up in are incredibly different. It would be very strange indeed if we saw things just the same.

            I like C.S. Lewis’ idea that we at least head off problems, if not solving them outright, by believing good of others. And couching for the comfort of others is important with a critical caveat, in my view, and it may be addressed later in his writing that diverged from our present focus (you’ve brought me a new passage I’m unfamiliar with! You have my gratitude.).

            • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

              Too wordy — my screen froze. The caveat is this: we must be confident enough to know that we should speak up when things are unjust, so our silence does not exacerbate injustice, even when it makes people uncomfortable. We needn’t be crass, unduly combative, or make personal attacks, but we have to speak. No matter the discomfort.

              Thanks again, Tirzah.

  • Kinter

    Thank you for your thoughts. I’m interested in the dialogue that they have sparked as well as the questions they raised. To begin, I had a different reaction to this message from my friend who forwarded it to me. She argues that Dr. Flanagan is just another man trying to tell women that their bodies are irrelevant to the their moral value in itself. And that it is patronizing for him to be “pleased women are angry.” I on the other hand can understand her claims but felt more or less indifferent to the message. Not because the words aren’t true–I’m sure it will be appreciated by young woman and man as much as it is unappreciated. But these letters are less fascinating to me than the questions they raise including:

    1. If the message were from a woman, would it have the same value/cause the same reaction(s) in the readers?

    2. Is there any value to the message at all–that we can get physically naked
    but to truly be powerful is to be able to be vulnerable and to
    challenge an apathetic world?
    3. Would it have been a
    stronger/clearer message if the author not only acknowledge his position
    as a white middle class male, but also the fact the context of the
    message regarding the feminist movement? The ways first-wave,
    second-wave, and third-wave feminism have shaped his letter? What does
    he know of these movements and their (dis)claims of the female body?

    4. Where is his message to young men? What does he have to say to them.

    I guess ultimately, maybe I was less critical of the message because I
    read it as I was waking, but I think I want to both be generous to the
    ideas AND to push the author to answer these questions. I wonder, are we
    all skeptics and if so, how do we start having a dialogue around these
    things?

    • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

      Kinter,
      You raise a number of points, only a couple of which I will address quickly before the business of the day demands that I dash, so forgive my inability to be more comprehensive. (Surely Kelly or others can fill in what I don’t or contradict where they disagree.)
      But this is just one post in a series where Kelly picks a topic to address himself to an audience about a limited idea, so “where is his message to young men?” Have a browse around. He has lots to say to a variety of audiences, and young men are not neglected.
      As for the reaction of your friend who forwarded the post to you but didn’t want to join the discussion here, most of the posted reactions (save mine own) have been unequivocally positive. And I do not think that Kelly is insensitive to the way his gender — and race/SES/age — shape the way his message comes across. He addresses it. More than once.
      Is there value to the message? Yes. It has reached people, started a dialogue that you are now a part of, as is your anonymous friend. That’s worth something, whether you agree with it or not.

      • drkellyflanagan

        Thanks for this, Shel, and thanks to Kinter for some thoughtful questions. To what Shel has said, I think I would add that I don’t pretend to write this letter from within the context of the feminist movement. I don’t identify as a feminist. Mainly because I don’t identify with any movement very easily. If anything, I identify with my roles as a therapist and a father, and I’m writing this from the perspective of a psychologist who sees these dynamics play out all the time between adolescent girls and boys. She thinks she’s in control with the way she is using her body to “manipulate” a bunch of boys. Meanwhile, they’re back in the locker room giving high fives and trading pictures of the sexts she sent. If anything, I’m just hoping to protect a few of those girls from their own self-defeating ideas about what makes them powerful.

  • Shelly

    These are words I hope every daughter hears from a father. And I hope she hears them from mothers and sisters, too. Thank you.

  • katdance13

    I will pass this letter on to as many girls as possible. I’ve been saying for years that if young women were taught this lesson it could change the world. Thank you for being man enough to tackle this subject with such grace and aplomb. You’re daughter(s) are very, very lucky to have such a wonderful father!

  • i.s.

    Your posts are just amazing to me. Your honesty and concern for the person’s core,for their heart, and values. People’s values need to be reevaluated as society tries with all their claws to instill inside us, especially the young and vulnerable, that everything is good as long as you’re happy. Life is not about being happy but being whole. Thank you, and congratulations for your courage to express your thoughts so brilliantly.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thanks for this, and thanks to everyone else who has expressed encouragement in the comments. I’m not sure any other post has required more courage to publish. As I said above, this is a difficult topic, and I hoped I could add a useful voice.

  • CJ

    Great blog. Interesting replies. Dr. Flanagan you are, IMO, dead on about the areas you’ve addressed when it comes to your advice to girls and the games of objectification played by men. More than ever, our culture is dominated by sensation-seeking and titillation. By “looking at” without intimacy, affection, dignity, authenticity and love. Voyeurism, exhibitionism and competition to be or own the “hottest” are the norm.

  • Katrina

    Thank you, Kelly, YET AGAIN, for your words and your courage and heart in sharing them. I am truly grateful to know there is a father like you in the world today. Your children will be beautiful shining examples of humanity because of you.

  • K Crockett

    So very perfect. Thank you.

  • kar

    thanks for the letter, i read it like its written just for me. I agree with most of the things written in the letter. I’m young, 21, female and often I come across with people who just wanna fool me and lure me to bed, which is itself pathetic. And I was really naive in the beginning and couldn’t decipher those signals and to my surprise, I gave in as well. And now I’m at the end of my college, and the when I reading your letter, I felt like, this is what I learnt in my college life! I like your perspective.. and I also think it’s important for every girl to read this letter because of the widespread misconception about beauty, being cool, being yourself thing is just very confusing..

    • drkellyflanagan

      Kar, you’ve learned something more valuable in college than anything I learned there! : ) I’m so glad this resonated with the wisdom you’ve earned along the way.

  • Julia

    Men never created the game, they just took all the credit for it.

  • Jason Garo

    Kelly, I think this letter is spot on. I think it speaks the truth with regards to true expression of self. I tell my lovely daughter how beautiful she is on a daily basis. More importantly, I tell her what a wonderful person she is, and the amazing amount of mental and emotional talent she has floating in that body of hers. What is most important is that I say these words in front of my son. Why? I want to teach him that true beauty is from within, not on the outside. Teach our sons (and follow up) that true beauty is on the inside, and I believe you’ll see a dramatic shift in society.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hey, brother! I always appreciate how you not only guide my niece but also do it as a way of guiding my nephew. They’re lucky to have you. Now move back to the States. ASAP.

      • Jason Garo

        February 2015…we shall be back on ‘Merican soil!

  • Jim Sando

    Just because you are a “privileged, middle-aged, white man” that does not mean you are incapable of seeing and speaking truth. I’m not sure that I agree that “men” want to “feel powerful with your body, want you to control them, dominate them,” etc. SOME men do, Too many do. I was talking to a friend who runs a monthly Marriage Enrichment seminar and I was told that some 60% of the women in this seminar have been abused. Incredible. And very sad. But, the men I know have “gotten out of the game.” They see women as true treasures created by God…not because of their skin, but because of the beauty they possess inside…”their minds and hearts and wisdom and grace.”

    You are perfectly on -spot with your encouragement for women to “change the game.” I would add that they should join like-minded men in their efforts to do that…they may be surprised the number of men out there who agree with that need.

    Beautiful story about the Pink concert. Thanks!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Jim, thanks for this. A much needed qualifier. And the image of men and women who have gotten out of the game joining together to subvert the entire dynamic is an inspiring one.

  • Ellejai

    This is great, and btw so was the last one. If people took it out of context, it sadly shows what they think they need to value. Love your writing.

  • A worried women

    Fabulous…girls need to know that they CAN be valued no matter what they look like or how much they give of themselves physically.

  • LaShawn

    Awesome. I agree with you completely and I share your un-popular view of women needing to learn how to dominate with our internal beings. I wish my father would’ve told me this! Keep up the good work.

  • Giselle

    Great post, Dr. Kelly! I wholeheartedly agree. It is so much better when we, as women, value ourselves and don’t succumb to the brainwashing that our culture promotes through the media and elsewhere, that we have to bare it all. Bravo to you, and I hope your post gets circulated around the world!

  • Jayani

    I’m really thankful for your blog posts Sir. You answer a lot of my questions with every post you write. Every little girl should have a father like you who takes the time to explain all that is confusing. It’s hard to be a woman. Men think I’m victimizing myself or being out of line. It’s hard to know whether we do something for our genuine happiness or because we have been influenced by norms set by men. A lot of our actions are irrational, we wear make-up that takes time out of our day to feel beautiful, we wear high-heels that takes away our comfort, we iron and style our hair which is damaging, our clothing and just soo many things, it’s influenced by men and just temporarily helps us move away from the insecurity. Please explain more about this game men have played for centuries on women, I would be very grateful if you could.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Jayani, you raise a GREAT question: If men want me to wear make-up, and I choose to wear it, is it wrong? If men want me to dress a certain way, and I dress that way, is it wrong? My first reaction to this is, absolutely not. The real question is, what function does it serve? If it’s an expression of who you really are, then it is a joyful thing. If it’s an attempt to control a man, then I think it’s misguided.

  • drkellyflanagan

    First, I want to thank everyone who has commented so far for your gracious entry into the conversation. You have had the courage to broach an incredibly complicated subject with gentleness and respect. It’s a beautiful thing to see. Second, I almost signed the letter, “With Trepidation,” because that’s what I felt as I posted it. In writing about this, I feel like I’m on hallowed ground, because what has been done to women and their bodies through the centuries is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy in human history. Any discussion of it must entail endless nuance and self-reflection. Yet, I felt like it was a conversation worth continuing. Third, I’ve been so encouraged by the way your comments to this point have actually added much of the nuance that such a short letter could not contain. Thank you for that. I will respond to some of those comments below. Although I probably won’t have time to respond to everyone, again, please know I’m grateful, and I hope the conversation can continue here in this way.

  • jennypowell

    Thank you for this, Dr. Flanagan. Girls and young women and heck, women of all ages needs to read this and get a different perspective. As a mom of two young girls, I know this will be a battle that we are fighting for many years. The best takeaway – the thing that prompted me to share this on Facebook and comment is, “But your skin is not the final expression of who you are; your skin is the fickle container for who you are.” I look forward to reading your blog every week. Thank you for your wise words.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for reading, Jenny!

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  • Roger Ausbury

    Kelly, I look forward to reading your posts each week! I have to ask you…where were these insightful thoughts and parenting tips when you were in seventh grade when I knew you? Keep up the good work!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Roger! Ha! I think back then I was learning this stuff the hard way. Thanks for your encouragement!

  • Brett Carter

    Hi, Kelly.

    Being another middle-aged, white, male, father of girls, I totally agree with you. Thanks for a daring post, and a heartfelt, compassionate plea for women to be strong. I am so proud of my girls’ strength from within. It’s my hope that they continue to see the total picture of their beauty on the outside and inside and stand up for themselves to choose the life they want.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Brett. My best to you and the beloved women in your life!

  • Kari Swenson

    There’s been this idea lately that if a woman gets naked, a man will do practically anything for her. And its so damaging for both women and men. This idea that all a woman has to do is show her skin, and she’ll be able to manipulate a guy into most anything. Which leads to the thinking that the more skin you show, the less a man will be able to think around you. And leading men to think that as soon as a woman is naked or mostly so, that they no longer have to think around them.

    The amount of clothing should never dictate how powerful a woman is. And how much a man is still expected to think.

  • Peter

    Hey Doc,
    Iam a distant daddy to an 18 yr old young women. Being that father who hasn’t been the primary caregiver has a multitude of drawbacks. It does however have a priceless benefit. She is able to talk to me about stuff she can’t with her mom and other adult members of the inner family circle. I feel fortunate and grateful for that gift.
    I’m not sure where I stand on your article… There are metaphorical and literal implications woven through out.
    I pray my daughter attains all the power and knowledge that comes with the ‘knowing’ of ones self. I do, sadly, become overwhelmed with anxiety as I watch her navigate the walk ways of her life. Often during those priceless moments
    Young Women will eventually find their voice and true selves, most do….
    to varying degrees and understanding.
    I guess all I’ve only really said is that for me it’s painful to ‘witness’ the coming of age of my first born.
    I heard someone say, for young women to claim their self worth and inherent power they must, first, cease in allowing themselves to become a receptacle for men. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, metaphorically and literally.
    Thanks for the articles and for the place to unload fears, confusion, and viewpoints.
    Peter

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  • JElise

    Awesome…I hope there are lots of young and older females who read this and it clicks, so they can look for the place real persistent forever beauty lies!

  • rahab

    you are one loving and honest father, i envy your daughter alot 🙂

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  • Ionna

    Hmm… I wish I had a father like you, but more likely I wish I’d find a husband like you. What do you think..? Are men thinking like you (according to all your posts) only as rare as women that would rather go with graceful than topless and accept this integrity’s aftermath?

  • Tracy

    Awesome!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am so appreciative there is at least one man that feels and thinks this way!