Home > Big Talks, parenting, raising boys, raising girls > “We Need to Talk”

“We Need to Talk”

A couple weeks ago I was listening to Moms: ‘We Need To Talk’ on NPR‘s Tell Me More.  and was really struck by these statements by Dani Tucker, one of the moms who previewed the documentary.

I mean, we already talk because the bottom line is if you don’t talk to them, Lil Wayne‘s going to talk to them. So, I mean, really.Somebody’s going to talk them – I love New York – somebody’s going to talk to them. So the point is, who’s going to talk and what’s going to be said? And I like what he did because what was said needed to be said. It was from personal experience. I’m anxious for part two, okay? There’s nothing like being able to share with your daughter what you went through, you understand? Because she’s looking – my daughter’s looking at me. You know, she may like Michelle Obama, she may like her grandmother, but she’s looking at me.

Let that last sentence marinate… I mean, really, really marinate. When our daughters are looking at us, what are we showing them? Regardless of what we tell them, what do they see? Do they see a woman who respects herself and is shown respect by her partner? Do they see a woman who loves and respects the body she is in, with all it’s imperfections? Do they see a woman who makes healthy choices for her body, whether those choices are related to nutrition, fitness, or sex?

I do have some reservations about this film. Like many pregnancy prevention programs, it seems as if it puts the burden on girls, which in my opinion, is focusing on treating the symptom rather than getting at the root of the issue. This quote from the filmmaker couldn’t illustrate that point any better…

But I’m going to keep driving the point back to this: that if I have two parents helping a child navigate to adulthood, then I’m not having the conversation about the boys. If these young girls knew how valuable and precious and how special they were, and they have been protected and nurtured in the proper ways, then I don’t have to worry about the boys because the boys are not… Lil Wayne is a joke. He’s not going to take away from these girls what we see is happening.

In the show, both moms talked about the importance of talking with their teenage daughters about what they’d gone through, and indicated they wished their own mothers had talked to them. As I was listening to them speak about watching the movies with their daughters and pondering my issues with the burden of this problem in our society being put on women, I started thinking about having conversations like that with my son. What kind of man could he be, how much richer and deeper would his relationships (romantic or platonic) with women be?

From what I’ve read, Morton’s other films have been focused on men & boys, so I’m going to try & give him the benefit of the doubt. Despite my reservations, I’m planning to check out this movie, but if I decide to watch it with Halle, I’ll watch it with Tyler first.

Cuz that’s how we do things around here.

Episode description:
Talking to your daughters about sex is easier said than done. That is the premise of a new documentary, “We Need to Talk: A Message for Our Daughters.” Filmmaker Janks Morton says his film is a jumping-off point to help African-American mothers and daughters speak frankly with one another. Also joining the conversation is Chicago-based psychologist Carl Bell. Dr. Bell says the conversation should start much earlier than one might expect. And two mothers of teenage daughters, Dani Tucker and Diane Jackson, talk about their strategies for keeping the conversation open and honest.

via Moms: ‘We Need To Talk’ : NPR.

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