Tribute to a father

Willis-Meg-and-Ali

Willis and his daughters Meg and Ali

Daughters of feminists love to wear pink and white short frilly dresses,
They speak of successes
with boys – it annoys their moms.
Daughters of feminists won’t put on jeans or the precious
construction boot mamma found cute;
Ugly shoes they refuse
How come?
Daughters of feminists think they’ll get married
To some wealthy guy who’ll support them forever,
Daughters of feminists don’t bother voting at all.
Daughters of feminists beg to wear lipstick
Each day from the age of three,
Daughters of feminists think that a princess is
what they are destined to be.
How do they get so girly?
How come they want a Barbie?
Why does it start so early?
Why, when we bring her up just like a fella,
Who does she idolize? Cinderella!
Honey, she’s a doormat! You think when she gets married to that handsome prince
he’s not going to expect her to clean the entire castle?
And look at all those rooms. He’s always “on the road.”
And think about Snow White? I mean, come on, doing all the housework for
seven guys
in exchange for what: room and board? This is not a good deal.

Nancy White

Many years ago, my husband Willis introduced me to Nancy White’s Momnipotent album. The words from her song “Daughters of Feminists” were for me.

Ironically, I’m not a feminist, just a Christian and a wife who couldn’t seem to hold onto a pregnancy. This thoughtful and creative feminist man was God’s gift to lay the foundation for our family. God released us from our helpless yearning for children, took us down the road of foster-parenting teenagers, gave us awesome vocational goals, and then he gave us two beautiful daughters.

When it was time for me to go back to work after six-month’s maternity leave, Willis was studying to become a school teacher.

I sobbed as Daddy and his firstborn headed off to university while I went back to work at the prison. The two of them were amazingly content with each other’s company. She could play video games before she could walk, and she ate only Daddy’s homemade baby food.

I remember a particularly bad day (we all have them) when I said to him: “You can leave if you want to, but don’t you think you’re taking her with you.” What was I thinking? After our second daughter was born, I heard myself say: “You can leave if you want to, but you aren’t getting out without one of them.”

This urge to run away has usually been mine, saying more about myself than him. Try not to judge me.

Over the past 22 years (much to the chagrin of some), I’ve enjoyed being a working mom, thanking God for the gift of a supportive and loving partner. Surrounding ourselves with people from different backgrounds, each member of the family has grown beyond the constraints of gender roles as we explore God’s creation and discover our own God-given gifts.

As a couple, we’re deeply rooted in Colossians 3:23–24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Whether parenting, teaching teens, managing programs at a prison, or playing some good old rock & roll, we love to do it with all our hearts. I’m grateful God blessed our two daughters with a feminist father who follows the humble way of Jesus.

Nellie Taylor and her husband Willis worship at Highland Community (MB) Church in Abbotsford, B.C. Their daughters have both left Abbotsford to attend university.  

“Daughters of Feminists” is from the CD Momnipotent: Songs for Weary Parents. Reprinted with permission from Nancy White. For information, contact the writer at nancywhite17@rogers.com. 

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