Message from Montie

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Should your female child be able to spend the night at someone's house with male relatives?

Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at


Photo by Shamontiel

When I was in elementary school, I had a Girl Scout crew that I used to hang out with regularly on Saturdays. And one particular girl was someone I was friends with through high school too. My house used to be the hang-out spot where all my friends would come over for slumber parties, to watch movies, to stop by before we went on shopping sprees with my mother, to sit on the front porch or play with my toys. As my friends and I got older, we also started paying attention to there being more boys than girls on my block, all around our age, and of course the boy crazy ones always wanted to visit. So being that my house was so popular, when this Girl Scout friend of mine told me her grandmother refused to let her spend the night over my house, my feelings were hurt.


What was wrong with my house? I had to know. It turns out her grandmother refused to let her spend the night over my house, even though she knew my mother was a Girl Scout leader and she knew me, because she didn't like the idea that my father and teenage brother also lived there. Now imagine someone telling you that they don't want their granddaughter around a father who has raised you your entire life and an older brother who is one of your best male friends regardless of him being seven years older.


She'd never met my father or older brother, and my friend had only met my older brother briefly through me, who as all older brothers do, cracked a few jokes and walked away dismissively. What in the world did she think my father or brother were going to do to her?


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