I’m sure you’ve seen those “rules for dating my daughter” memes like the one above and heard all the country songs about overprotective daddies waiting on the porch with shotguns. Perhaps you laughed or sang along…maybe you even thought those super-creepy purity balls where girls pledge to remain virgins were innocent daddy-and-daughter fun.
But, this kind of possessive patriarchal behavior and attitude has always struck the wrong chord with me.
Here’s why: my daughters are not the property of any man, including their father. It’s wrong to treat them like possessions and it’s just freaking sad to assume that they are a couple of silly little dumb bunnies who can’t decide what they will and will not tolerate from a partner.
I raised my daughters to be stronger, smarter, and more independent than that. They are not princesses to be doted on, guarded, and protected with threats of deadly force.
So I was happy to see this dad’s “updated rules for dating my daughter” making the rounds on social media last week:
Yes! Yes! Yes! J. Warren Welch gets it.
I think Lauren does, too.
On a drive home from swim practice last week, she ticked off her top 6 requirements in a boyfriend/mate. They are (and I quote):
- He must like and be able to make macaroni-and-cheese.
- He must like and play video games.
- He must be able to change a tire.
- He must share her political views. In her words, “I’m not putting up with any Republicans.”
- He must have a job. In her words, “I’m not supporting any lazy man.”
- He must not ever judge me.
I was pretty impressed with her list of rules. I mean, she covered the bases, right? Food, shelter, fun, politics, and respect—proving my point that my girls can handle themselves.
Dan doesn’t need to protect our daughters with a shotgun because we’ve spent the last 14 to 16 years arming them with better weapons, like confidence, a strong sense of self, critical thinking skills, autonomy, and self-sufficiency.
P.S. For you moms of boys….you’ll probably enjoy this hilarious—but honest—reply to those “rules” from a mother of boys. I think she’s my spirit mom. We could totally be BFFs.