Some guy in New Jersey got a lot of online attention recently because he was wearing this laughable t-shirt announcing to the world that his daughter makes the sexual rules. Because his daughter is 20 and lives in American society, that’s pretty much a given in any event, but he felt the need to broadcast it all the same.
Here’s his feminist statement:
“Rules for dating my daughter
1. I don’t make the rules
2. You don’t make the rules
3. She makes the rules
4. Her body, her rules
It seems to me that the implication is that this should start as soon as a girl sexually matures, which is pretty damn early. Sexual maturity (not to be confused with full adulthood) begins in middle school for both girls and boys. The genitalia and reproductive organs are in full working order generally by fourteen, and the sex drive is as strong as ever.
Any father who tells his adolescent daughter that she’s free to do whatever she pleases sexually is being neglectful at best. Fortunately, very few fathers are this way, and those who are tend to be borderline retarded or criminals/predators. Yes, there are fathers (and mothers) out there who get off on this sort of thing, but fortunately it’s very rare.
I doubt the Jersey dad wearing the dumb t-shirt is one of these. Instead, he may just be trying to rationalize the fact that his daughter is loose in a world of hedonism over which he has practically zero control. I kind of sympathize. I may well be in the same situation myself in ten years.
But he’s going about it all wrong, and here’s why:
When I was an adolescent I loved those “progressive” kinds of fathers. In general, fathers were terrifying. I got busted by dads on a couple occasions, and had to beat a hasty retreat out the back door. If it weren’t for most fathers, things would have been so much easier — the girls themselves were as willing as I was. Even little runty guys could suddenly fill me with dread when I saw the anger flashing in their eyes as they caught me trying to pull some smooth move on their daughter. The deterrence factor can hardly be overstated.
Stepdads, in general, didn’t care, and had little authority anyway. Single moms — who takes them seriously? But real, honest to goodness present dads were a major problem. Messing around with their daughters was like walking around barefoot in rattlesnake country. Sure, it was possible, but much more hazardous.
However, there were a few “enlightened” dads. Their daughters were the easiest of all. Some were so bad that most of us guys didn’t even want to be caught alone with them, for fear of the ridicule we’d face for slumming it. But in some cases they were pretty good looking, so what the hell? I can remember these poor girls, and I still feel a bit embarrassed for them. One had a dad who was a super-liberal Reform Rabbi. Another a nudist French Canadian father.
I can’t help but wonder whether the fact that their fathers were so laissez faire didn’t teach the girls that their own sexuality was devalued. If your dad doesn’t give a damn what you do with your body, then maybe, if you’re a girl, you don’t think your sexuality is anything special or worth much at all.
Sure, we hear about girls who act out despite having very strict, conservative parents. But that’s the exception — not the norm. In my experience, it was typically the girls without fathers or whose fathers were very casual about these things who were the easiest — the sluts, so to speak. Those whose fathers were firm about sexual morality demanded that guys put a lot more on the table before they’d even consider it.
So what kind of daughter does Mr. “I am a feminist father” have? I think this picture says it all.
[update: the pic has been flagged, but still can be found on her media page]