Chapter 2: My Father’s Daughter

More than a Woman

…I remember turning round to him and saying: “When you lie down with dogs, Daddy, you get up with fleas”. My father laughed and laughed at the shock of what I had said to him. Then he punched the air with joy, saying how brave I was. He also said that he knew that if he died right there and then, that I would be okay.

It is only now that I am beginning to understand my father’s fears for my wellbeing as a woman. I remember some of the lessons he gave me sitting on the balcony. He taught me that sex was a beautiful experience – the challenge was in how one treated it. He taught me that I should never be afraid to stand up for what I believed in and even be prepared to die for it. He taught me that it was okay to have my own opinions even if it meant going against the tide. And most importantly, he taught me that I was a unique individual and that I should never try to be anyone else.

These lessons were not always imparted convivially…

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