As a teenager, I dated a ton. I’m not sure if my parents’ had rules related to dating, though I knew fact checking might lead to some answers I did not want. Not wanting to wake the bear, I was sly about it; “friends” would come over a lot until eventually my parents asked about the nature of the friendship and I’d casually say, “Ya, I guess we’re going out.” If I played it cool, they’d be cool. As an adult now looking back, I probably wasn’t so cunning, and the truth was they just trusted me.
Not all girls are so lucky. Even if a girl is responsible, smart and heck, a black belt, there’s still this social distrust over a girl and her adventures in dating. Just recently, photos from chastity balls made big headlines for being beautiful (for the record, I thought they were super creepy). These young girls, barely pubescent, were pledging their virginity to their dads. First, why their dads only and why not make the boys pledge too? Why not protect girls by teaching them how to protect themselves and make smart decisions as opposed to teaching them that someone can only do it for them? Why not teach boys the importance of respecting the bodily autonomy of girls? Those boys will only grow into fathers and the cycle of dating distrust will either recycle itself or stop.
And this entire spring we’ve been inundated (and rightfully so) with news warnings that the state of campus rape crisis management is deplorable if not immoral. Victims have been blamed left and right, rapists walk around unpunished, school campuses passively deny any large problems. Even Obama and Biden felt it was terribly necessary to address the issue and change the way we respond to rape.
There’s a men’s t-shirt that’s been circulating around the Internet that speaks directly to men about the importance of trusting girls when it comes to dating (apparently, it’s a customized shirt from Zazzle). First, it’s awesome because it says “Feminist Father” on it showing that men can be feminists too and send the message this is how you do it! Secondly, it puts the power of choice and control in the hands of the girl, which is how it should be. And third, the second line “You Don’t Make the Rules” directly fights that male entitlement that creates the problems for females in the first place.
Dad’s if there has to be rules for dating your daughter, this is the list you want to follow!