“The Game” & The Message by Angenita Williams-Childs

Just like over 7.7 million other people, I tuned into the new episodes of the show The Game. And just like many other people, I watched the marathons of previous episodes in the weeks before the new episodes premiered. One episode, titled “The Third Legacy,” stood out to me.

In this episode, Tasha confronts her son Malik’s father, Chauncey, about the way he treated her after she gave birth to Malik. She meets Chauncey’s wife Sheila, and because the Sheila has some of the same characteristics of Tasha, Tasha takes this as a sign that Chauncey wants her. She tells her friends Kelly and Melanie about her thoughts, and they tell her that she is in denial about Chauncey’s feelings. Tasha is convinced that Chauncey is hanging on to her. When Melanie says that Tasha is the one hanging on and Kelly makes the statement that she knows a therapist just in case Tasha wants to chat, Tasha replies, “I don’t need no therapist. Hell just ‘cause my daddy wasn’t around, don’t nobody need to know that.” As she put her friends out of her home, she says, “Don’t tell me when I man wants me. I know when a man wants me.”  That scene moves me because at that very moment, I felt every word. “My daddy wasn’t around.”

It’s obvious that Tasha has man issues. Up until this particular episode, Tasha dated two men and both relationships ended on a sour note. She worked with men at a sports management company, and was subjected to misogyny at every turn. It’s no wonder she has trust issues. However, she also has a validation issue. Her enthusiasm at the thought that this man wants her is through the roof, but when challenged with the possibility that it’s not true, her enthusiasm turns to anger because she wants a man to want her. Those thoughts gave Tasha validation that she is worthy of being desired. Without them, she’s nothing.

This is why it is very important for men to step up and be real men to their daughters. A daddyless girl grows up with insecurities about her worth because the first man available to her wasn’t there. She seeks out that love, and doors open up for her to suffer through self esteem damaging life changes. She grows from that little girl, to a woman, never ridding herself of those insecurities. She has to work extra hard at thinking differently, and reacting differently to male attention. She can’t follow her heart when it comes to the opposite sex because she can’t trust it. For every time she does, and is hurt, it makes it that much harder for her to let go.

I know firsthand. I’m one of them.

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