Feb. 23rd, 2012

innocent_man: (haveaheart)
So, you may have seen this floating around the Internet a bit. I've seen a couple of folks link to it on Facebook, f'rex, sometimes with the tag "for my friends who are Dads" or whatever.

I'm gonna kind of be a stick in the mud, here.

I don't find this shit funny. Not in the slightest. Now, before we get started here, you may feel free to say that when my daughter reaches dating age, I might change my tune. And that's possible. I suspect that there will be boys that Teagan will bring home when she's a teen that'll make me narrow my eyes a bit (it might even be true that Cael will bring home girls that will make me do likewise, and this is assuming that both of my kids are interested in the opposite sex, which I'm not really taking for granted, it's just that the versions of this meme I've seen are universally about boys dating one's daughter). But a lot of that is how we're hard-wired; of course I'm going to be protective of my daughter. Of course it'll squick me to think of her as having sexual desire, and of course I'll probably think she's too young when she does start dating.

But see, here's the thing. I started dating at approximately 14. I started having sex at 15. I got a girl pregnant at 16. The only one of these things that was really problematic was the last one, and that happened in large part because the messages that I got from the adults in my life regarding teen sex were variations of "Don't." That's not helpful. What I want for my kids is for them to be confident enough in themselves to make decisions about sex responsibly, and when they make mistakes regarding such relationships (because we all do) for there not to be permanent consequences.

That's tall order, I grant you. But threatening to shoot potential suitors is not going to help matter. Pretending that if I just say "Don't" loud enough, it won't happen is not going to help matters. Pretending that teenage girls are still six years old, under our control and unable to make decisions about their bodies is not helping matters. I might not be able to realize my goal, but I'm damned sure not going to short-circuit myself by being a sexist prick about it.

And that's really the crux of this - it's sexist. It's saying that I control another person's sexuality. And it's threatening someone that, presumably, my child cares about with physical harm. I don't like that. I don't find it funny. And I don't want my daughter or my daughter's someday-boyfriend (or girlfriend, FTM) to see me as someone to be feared and, therefore, avoided.

Points. )

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