Thursday, October 10, 2013
We've all seen this kind of über-macho "Alpha Dad" displaying his "Rules for Dating My Daughter" ... whether on facebook, other social media, or in real life. It masquerades as the loving concern of a father, but in actuality it is pathetic and cruel.
Here are a few examples, so that you know just what I'm talking about:
Let me outline for you some of the reasons I find this disturbing:
1. Its opening volley is steeped in hostility and violence. In the first image, the father is pointing a revolver at his daughter's prospective date. In the second, the father states his dislike for the young man, and later promises to repay him for whatever the date does to his daughter. I can imagine all kinds of hilarity stemming from a strict constructionist interpretation of Rule 10: "You shared a soda with her using two straws, so now I'm gonna ... uh oh." But the main point is the hatred. Is this the kind of society we really want to live in? One ruled by fear of being shot?
2. Whenever you, as a father, post something like this, IT IS AN ADMISSION OF THE CRAPPY JOB YOU HAVE DONE RAISING YOUR DAUGHTER! Obviously, you've raised the kind of daughter who is attracted to crackheads and other criminals. All your posturing proves this. I'm sorry you've been an incompetent father. MY daughter can actually be trusted to weed out the losers. That's the way we raised her. I'm sorry you were not able to do that.
3. This method is counterproductive: it only scares the good guys, the ones who respect adult authority. Thugs are thugs. They'd love the excuse to try and lay you out, and there is, of course, some chance that they are more of a badass than you are. Slight, perhaps, but not zero. In any case, the intimidation produced will be the strongest in exactly the type of young man you should be encouraging your daughter to spend time with.
4. Once a few good young men have had a close-up look at your shotgun and the trunk of your car (you moron) the word will get around that your daughter is not worth dating ... because her dad is a psycho. This is not going to help her in the long run.
5. I want to tread lightly here, but there is some sense in many of these cases of the father seeing the boyfriends as rivals. Maybe it doesn't have a sexual overtone, maybe it does, but it is at the very least a sick sort of possessiveness. NEWS FLASH: Your daughter never belonged to you. She is not your property. She is God's, and you have simply been granted the privilege of caring for her and providing for her for a short time.
So, in summary, men: KNOCK IT OFF!