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He also thinks that a lot of dads have a similar relationship with their own daughters, but feel the pressure of society telling them not to.
“I want dads, and really, all men, to feel comfortable showing everyone that their version of masculinity is perfect — that they aren’t less of a man because they don’t want to fight the people their daughters might choose to date,” says Reynolds.
Reynolds remembers seeing a shirt that said “Dads Against Daughters Dating” a few years back, and wanted to do something to prove that not all dads have this possessive mindset.
His shirts on Everyday Girl Dad instead say things like “Dads For Daughters Dating…and other choices they make for themselves” and “My Role Models Are Women.” We can’t get enough.
Yesterday Rachel Held Evans shared a question from a reader wondering how to teach her daughter modesty without giving her a complex — that is, “without it becoming about hem lines, guilt and worthlessness.” As the parent of a 3 year-old girl, I wish I had the answer. I’m telling her that she’s my property and not her own person. But the fact is, for centuries women have been told they’re someone else’s property — their fathers’, their husbands’.
But there’s one thing I’ve decided to doing, in the hopes of helping my daughter cultivate a healthy view of herself, which I shared in a comment on Rachel’s blog. Women have been told their bodies are something to be ashamed of, something dangerous, something to be kept under lock and key — most recently, by an evangelical purity culture which compares girls who’ve lost their virginity to cups of water contaminated by someone else’s spit.
The vivid and horrifying memory carries over once he has a daughter himself.
I want her to know she isn’t the property of any man — including me.
Make no mistake: the thought of my daughter dating someone someday terrifies me.
It took me years to realize this but parents who didn’t have rules for their teens tended to be parents who just didn’t care enough about their kids to provide guidance.
But that gets me to the main reflection of this piece.