Friday, February 20, 2009

Entrenched Family Values

Post-post yesterday, I've learned that this notion of father-as-daughter-protector is pretty entrenched (and pretty precious) to loads of the dudes I know. I was assured that these guys aren't trying to take their daughter's sexual autonomy away. Rather, they feel this way because they worry about rape; e.g., their daughter will say "no" and the boy will force himself. Evidently, though, if he's scared of her Dad he won't.

I am boundlessly dubious about all of that, but for the sake of argument, let's just take it at face value and move on from there.

Here's my problem: If you act like an asshole to the 15 year old boy with the cracking voice who shows up at your door with his adorable little boxed wrist corsage, you will not make your daughter feel loved and respected. Instead, you're just giving her an example of another guy who thinks it's his right and obligation to completely disregard her wishes and behave outside the bounds of common courtesy.

Stop being an asshole (and, for crying out loud, stop feeling you you're SUPPOSED to act like an asshole). Instead, let's try this crazy idea and teach our daughters not to tolerate assholes.

Quite a few of the guys your daughter, let's say, finds herself in situations with, are going to be guys she meets in dorm rooms or at parties or at the myriad places she'll be in that are entirely outside of our control as parents. A young girl who is ingrained with a sense of self-worth, with the idea that her wishes are taken seriously, and that she does not have to suffer assholes gladly, is a much more formidable opponent to a horny teenage boy than any scary, gun-cleaning dadddy.

And, seriously guys, let's drop the "gun cleaning" metaphor. It's just too fucking Freudian for words.