It’s time to revisit a subject that I covered a lot more on the old “Courtship Pledge” site. This meme is making the social media rounds again:
Which is the memetic version of this song:
I assume when I see men sharing and supporting this variety of cartoonish chivalry several possibilities (or combinations thereof) are present.
They are dads of daughters who do not also have sons. They may have sons but they have not thought through what it would be like for a young man in the current marriage/dating market to encounter a dad like this. They believe that their daughters are unlike any other woman in the history of the world.
So lets have a straight conversation about this meme, dads.
First, you can’t be serious. Set aside all the stuff you tell yourself and probably your wife about “traditional values and gender roles” or whatever. You cannot, in todays world seriously plan on carrying out any of these threats. You are puffing out your chest to “scare” off the “bad” boys, who know you are full of crap. It feels good, because all the women around you pat you on the head and nod approvingly. You have earned your cookie.
Second, think back for a moment to your young, dating days. You know good and well that when a girl is/was really into you, you do not/did not have to pressure her into taking the relationship to the next physical level. Remember the back of your truck at the lake? Drive ins? House parties after the big game? I do, and I don’t remember ever coercing a girlfriend. All woman are like that, and so is your daughter. Therefore this business of needing to be scared away from her is silly.
Third, what have you done in your daughters life to make her worthy of such a cartoonish gauntlet that every young man in the world will say “nope” to the second he meets you on the porch with your stupid gun routine?
I have a daughter and sons. I am aware of the nature of both, and I am teaching them what to expect from themselves (the darker side of their respective nature) and from the other sex. I am teaching them what makes them a good “catch” and what will make it difficult for them to find what they need in a spouse.
My daughter will be eight this week, and already she is an important part of our farming/ranching operation. For three seasons now she has planted seeds, gathered eggs, fed hogs, seen a rooster killed, learned to bake bread, learned how to sew–not just repairs but entire items of clothing–and she knows that daddy is the author of our lifestyle, mommy’s leader, and the one who is accountable for what happens around here.
When the time comes for her to start looking for a husband, she already knows we are interested in helping her find one and this makes her very happy. And when a young man comes around, he will not be met with a silly cartoon shotgun dad, but a father who wants to help them both succeed at what they are trying to do. We are not setting up an automatic adversarial relationship with him before we meet. I am aware that many young men will be at a very tenuous starting point in their career, development and so forth and I will approach the situation with that kind of sobriety.
The culture has raised, and is raising a bunch of entitled princesses–who also have the power to ruin a mans life with one phone call– so I am far more concerned about what my boys will encounter when looking for wives, quite frankly.