This is an article about evolving fathers. Fathers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, with different backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, and belief systems. While men and boys have also experienced abuse, neglect, and harassment at the hands of others, this piece will focus on how evolving fathers can teach people, including their children, to respect and love girls and women.
There are many types of fathers — single (never married), married, widowed fathers, divorced fathers, stepfathers, separated fathers, fathers in prison, and father figures.
In this day of greater awareness of inequality and oppression, we are learning more and more about the mistreatment of women and girls. Unfortunately, some people are making much money off the degradation of girls and women. There is sex trafficking of girls and women, pornography, prostitution, sexual abuse, objectification of women in the media, harassment, and emotional abuse. This message will focus on the ways in which evolving fathers can counteract these abuses, and create a more loving and respectful world for all, including girls and women.
Here are some action steps to take:
- Practice the Unity Principles — God is, I am, I think it, I pray it, I live it. This means that evolving fathers can teach all people to see the Divine in everyone, including girls and women, and think positive and loving thoughts about them. Out of this come actions of love and respect–kindness, compassion, and acceptance.
- Accept the beauty of masculine sexuality, the masculine life force, bless it, and modify it to align with the core spiritual principles. Therefore, do no harm. This means no coercion, power games, or domination. It also means that one must respect the boundaries of others.
- Be a model of love and kindness. Act respectfully and lovingly toward all women, wives, female friends, daughters, acquaintances, business associates. This means do not objectify any females or see them as objects to be used for one’s own benefit.
- Talk with their sons, nephews, and other young boys about how females are Divine Children of God, and to be treated with dignity and kindness.
- Teach daughters to respect themselves, and know their unlimited potential. Teach them how to set clear boundaries, and valuing themselves as females. Discourage their own negative or limiting self-talk.
- Encourage both sons and daughters to seek spiritual internal validation, rather than external validation from others about their manhood, womanhood, wholeness and beauty.
- De-program sons and daughters about negative and demeaning media messages about girls and women.
- Refrain from negative talk, joking, or making derogatory sexual statements about women.
- Work with mothers as a team of equals. Actively promote equal rights and opportunities for girls and women in the world.
- Value and integrate the “so-called” positive masculine and feminine traits in themselves and all others. Boys can be vulnerable and cry. Girls can be strong and independent.
Evolving fathers know that Unity’s spiritual Principles are a great starting point to encourage the respecting and supporting of girls and women as they continue on their spiritual and human journeys. Boys and men will certainly continue to grow spiritually and emotionally as they apply these principles in their own lives.
Dr. Michael Obsatz is speaking at Unity Minneapolis’ Father’s Day Sunday service on June 17. He is Professor Emeritus from Macalester College in St. Paul where he taught courses about Human Sexuality, Institution of the Family, Men’s Issues, and Death and Dying. He is co-founder of the Unity Men’s group which began in 2007. Mike is retired, and has been a therapist in private practice, workshop leader, and men’s group leader. He is a father of 3, and grandfather of 5. Mike’s websites are ANGEResources and mentorsmatter.us.