What happened this week that made me imagine my father a superhero:
This week, I went to the doctor to check on my blood pressure. A couple of weeks ago it was a tad bit above the normal rate and so my doctor wanted to monitor it. So, I scheduled an appointment to come in this week. So, I go in and the nurse takes my blood pressure and it’s perfectly normal. So, upon hearing this I thought I could leave, but the nurse said I still had to see the doctor. To make a long story short, I saw a white male doctor who I had have never met before and instead of checking on my heart, he felt it “appropriate” to discuss my sexuality, to make racial innuendos about black women’s hypersexuality and STD rates, to discuss my “pear” shape of a black derrière, and to slide his ungloved hand under my shirt to touch my belly without cause or provocation.
Yep, this is what happened to me this week. And, of course, I felt silenced throughout the entire ordeal trying to figure out how my sexuality and the need to touch my belly had anything to do with my perfectly normal blood pressure reading. Nothing it had nothing to do with it. This older white male doctor, who appeared to be congenial, in a matter of moments, stole my ability to breathe, and, honestly, after it happened all that I could think about was, “If my father was here, he would whoop his ass.” Yes, in that moment, I wished my recovering alcoholic father who I know can fight (i.e. Evidenced by my mothers’ many blackened eyes growing up), was present to punch the white doctor in his eye Superhero style with BAM, WHAM, and a Whoosh.
I tell you, it’s funny how life experiences can make you long for your daddy even the daddy that struggled to be a present and nurturing father. I needed my father in that moment. I wanted him like Superman to sense the inappropriate act before it happened. I wanted him like Batman to see his distressed and confused daughter’s face in the moonlit sky. I wanted him to swoop down on the villainous doctor and make a speech about ethics, racism, and the fallacy of touching his pride and joy. I wanted him like the dude from the Matrix to freeze reality and rescue me from the doctor’s examination table.
Yep, I wanted my father the Superhero. I needed my father the Black Superhero. So, in my mind to cope with what had happened, I imagined my father a superhero.
My daddy would be called The Black Texan [cue menacing drums] . . . dun dun dun dun duuuuuun. His weapon would be a large black leather cowboy belt that could magically transform into whatever he needed it to be to save his daughter and other black women from the vile and depraved Doc whose sole purpose in life is to assault, mentally and physically, black women’s bodies. My father would be the hero for all black women. And, his desire to save is not based in the archaic patriarchal notion that women are weak, but based in the notion that he was chosen to be the Protector of Black Women by the Supreme Being, Black Goddess. The Black Texan, also known as my father, would travel to various towns recruiting other men to join his quest to eradicate violence against black women and girls. He would raise an army of unconventional black men who understood that power of embracing emotions and letting them guide them to save their wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties, nieces, and grandmothers. My father would be a superhero for women and girls who would with righteous conviction would destroy Doc and all the other villains who sought to abuse black women and girls.
Hm, The Black Texan.
I know I tend to write a lot about my father. But, I, like many other writers before me, see the act of writing as a type of healing process. Every time I write about my dad a part of me forgives him more and releases me from the terror of my girlhood upbringing. So, today, I imagined my father to be superhero—The Black Texan. And, I know many feminist may have a problem with me saying, I need my father’s protection, but I do. To this day, I call my father as I am walking home from the gym at night as if he could easily teleport himself to Chicago if someone tried to hurt me as I walked home. There is no sense in denying it. I long for my father just as I long for my mother. I need my father’s protection. I need it because it, fundamentally, teaches me that I have the same ability within to protect myself . . . the same male energy . . . the same animus . . . the same superhero punches—Wham, Bam, and Whoosh.