I am Amber Cole's father. I am angry, confused and completely at a loss. I love my daughter. I want to guide her without suppressing her. That is not always easy. Children need protection from their worst inclinations. That is not always easy. I am trying to convince her that the world will still love her if she keeps her clothes on. I do not know if she can hear me, or if she is listening. She would listen to her mother, if her mother was not busy. Doing something, anything that is not parenting. I want her mother to spend less time being "empowered" and more time being aware and engaged with our daughter. I want her mother to be a better role model, not a BFF. It takes two.
I am Amber Cole's father and this should go with saying: I am angry with those boys. But I knew those boys. Those boys were my friends. I grew up with those boys, hung out with those boys. But I was always The Other Guy – the boy you do not see on the tape. The one who, because of religious beliefs, self-respect or common sense decides to have no parts of such a thing. He is a nerd. He is an outsider. He is long gone, at home reading and writing. I want to meet The Other Guy and shake his hand. I'm trying to raise The Other Guy. But it is not easy. Girls don't like The Other Guy. Being the Other Guy is not as cool as being one of the boys. I want to raise my boy to not be that kind of cool. Being a gentleman is cool. I want him to get the chance I did not have. I want him to to wait for that special girl.
I am Amber Cole's father and I have seen the video. You probably have too. I would like to ask her mother's boyfriend, Karrine Steffans or Kim Kardashian where my daughter learned that. How she became proficient at such a difficult act. I want to know who has been teaching my little girl how to act like a woman while I have been trying to teach her to be a young lady. Teens don't have the tools they need to express, explore and comprehend the consequences of careless intimacy. I want to know what kinds of people we are allowing to look after our children when we are not around. I want to know why my 14 year-old knows so much about oral sex.
I am Amber Cole's father, and I am not raising a slut. White feminists can teach their own little girls to find empowerment through their crotches – my brown little girl cannot afford to be that carefree and cavalier with her life choices. Slutlife is the hard, lonely vocation of rich, educated, privileged white women who will fuck The World, contract social diseases and still, somehow find a husband. No black woman ever got far being a slut. I want to know what kind of women "slutwalk," while young impressionable girls of all kinds look on with wonder and admiration. I want to know why these same women run to protect Miley Cyrus but just shrugged, nonplussed for my little brown girl. I want to know what the fuck those dumb bunnies are thinking. Most of them do not have daughters. I want my daughter, the woman, to have healthy, vibrant sexuality. My little girl should have other priorities. I am her father. I will protect her and every woman in my life with my life.
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I am Amber Cole's father. Don't ask where I was that afternoon, because you already know. I was at work, just like you. I do not live with her, cannot always talk to her, cannot always be there. Not the way I want, and there are few laws to help me. To protect me and my rights. No one cares that I cannot be the kind of father I would like to be, until my daughter is a link, a hashtag, a trending topic. A punch-line. The subject of what may be the most widely seen piece of child pornography in history: A 14 year-old giving oral while two other boys watch and laugh. You say what you would do, what you would say, but you have no idea. We are all great parents with other people's children. You blame me. Do not judge me. I love my daughter as much as you love yours. I am doing the best I can. I need the help of a partner who at times seems to be modeling the kind of behavior I am discouraging. We are fighting. Pushing and pulling, in no one's best interest. Why can't this be about my daughter? No, this is not about blame. It takes a village that starts with parents - all parties must be accountable. But parenting? Yeah. To do it well–even after all these years –it still takes two.
Kid sex is as old as time, but that realization doesn't make me feel any better. Amber Cole is my daughter.
I am Jimi Izrael. I am not really Amber Cole's father. But she is my daughter.
You do not think so. But she is your daughter too.
This post originally appeared on Jimi Izrael Dot Com. Republished with permission.