Does Fatherhood Mean Threatening Strangers With a Chain?

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About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She is the News Editor for the Good Feed Blog and absolutely loves what she does. She is the happy mommy to a wild 2 year old girl-child, and is blissfully happy being un-married to her life partner DJ.

Comments

  1. I think the overprotective father is the product of a lack of trust. A lack of trust that their daughter or child will do the right thing as well as a lack of trust in their capabilities as a parent. It also points to an unwillingness to embrace that their daughter is undergoing changes and discovering her sexual side. The irony is that most often these same fathers will not caution their son for sleeping with the cheerleader. Rather they will cheer the son on. Double standards? Definitely.

    • Kathryn DeHoyos says:

      I think you are right! There is definitely a double standard when it comes to a son vs. a daughter and sexual activity, just like there is a double standard for promiscuous men vs. promiscuous women. So then my question is, do we encourage our daughters the way we do our sons? Or do we go in the other direction and discourage both?

      As far as the lack of trust goes, I agree to a point! I think all parents doubt themselves at one time or another, I know I do! But so long as you have established an open and honest relationship with your kids, and they feel like they can come to you with questions or concerns or for advice about issues such as this, then there is no reason not to trust them. Communication is key in any relationship, but I think it is especially important when you are raising teenagers/young adults!


      • So then my question is, do we encourage our daughters the way we do our sons? Or do we go in the other direction and discourage both?

        I’m thinking it’s two opposite but both damaging extremes. Boys have the desire for sex drilled into them while girls have it stripped from them. Boys are held to a stadard where if they are not sexually active they are seen as having something wrong with them. Girls are held to a standard where if they are sexual active they are seen as having something wrong with them. (Look at the way heterosexual rape victims are treated. Girls/women that are raped by men are treated like they failed to guard a precious treasure while boy/men raped by women are treated like a curse has been dispelled.)

  2. When society looks at a child that in their minds is doing wrong they look at the parents for not watching over them enough, while at the same time expecting the parents to back off when it’s time for the child to make their own decisions.


  3. But what these images actually play a part in doing is perpetuating the belief that men, especially fathers and brothers, are expected to be the enforcers of sexual mores in our society, and that violence is stereotypically the default mode of enforcement.

    That’s what happens when boys and men are raised to believe that a guy is a danger to his daughter/sister simply because they are male. It’s an ugly loop. When those dads were growing up they had to show they were not like that and now as dads they are challenging those guys to show that they are not like that.

    Now if only half as much concern was shown for sons as they go into the world of dating (and it would help if were not just played off as “boys are granted a sexual freedom that girls are not” when its more of “boys are left on their on own when it comes to exploring sex” which is very different and much more troubling but since that doesn’t make girls out to be oppressed…)

    • Kathryn DeHoyos says:

      You are absolutely right! Thank you for pointing that out! I haven’t looked at it from that angle…so do you think the argument could be made that “facing the father” is like some kind of rite of passage for boys to become men?

      And yes, we all worry worry worry about “baby girl” growing up while at the same time encouraging even young boys to “go get you some…” without giving them any actual guidance on dating etiquette or relationships! And then we judge them and get down on them when they make mistakes…

      Great points! Thank you!!


      • I haven’t looked at it from that angle…so do you think the argument could be made that “facing the father” is like some kind of rite of passage for boys to become men?

        Yes. Even those who call themselves progressives that want to challenge the old gender roles tend to only look at the implications that marriage has on girls/women or at best will only look at the supposed “privileges” (and I put that in quote marks becasue these days that word gets tossed around way too freely) boys/men have in marriage. Basically ignoring or downplaying stuff like this (or twisting it around to make it about women).

        Not only is that boy taking a rite of passage to become a man but it may also be seen as a rite of passage to become the girl’s boyfriend (and possibly husband). The boy must prove he is worthy.


        encouraging even young boys to “go get you some…” without giving them any actual guidance on dating etiquette or relationships! And then we judge them and get down on them when they make mistakes…

        Yes. If boys “succeed” they are horndogs, pervs, and womanizers. If they “fail” they are losers, pathetic, and possibly even gay.

        Great points! Thank you!!
        Thanks for posting.

        • John Smith says:

          Unfortunately there are some men out there who seem to get off on giving there daughters boyfriends a hard time. Time and again I have read comments and stories from fathers about them actively threatening every single boyfriend there daughter has… They think it is there job to explicitly threaten violence and think it is funny to make a 16 year old boy afraid of them, as if this protects there daughter. Admittedly these comments have been one some of the more right wing sites I read (Off topic on shooting and hunting sites) but it worry’s me that my children might one day have to go through that and that this kind of criminal behavior is not only seen as OK, but encouraged in some parts of society.

          As far as I am concerned I will give the facts to my children, make it clear that I do not think that sex at that age is appropriate, but tell them how to protect themselves if they do. If I become aware of them having sex I will sit them down, explain to them that I do not think it is appropriate, preferably them and there partner, but again make sure they know what is and is not safe and what the risks are.

          The danger is at what age do you let them go do there own thing and accept that sex is appropriate. On the one hand a 12 year old should not be having sex. Equally my (now) father in law was angry when he found out, after 3 years of dating, that me and my then girlfriend were having sex at the age of 18.

          • Unfortunately there are some men out there who seem to get off on giving there daughters boyfriends a hard time.
            Most certainly.

            I bet that to those guys they saw it as a rite of passage that they went through, knowing that one day if they had daughters they would put someone’s else young son(s) through the same. Not much different from the pledge from a frat that goes through hell and then once he gets in turns around and does the same to future pledges.

  4. I have a 9yo daughter and I’m nowhere NEAR ready to deal with her liking boys and dating and having sex. I can barely stand it that I just thought about it! However, I don’t care what society has “taught” us about how a father should act around his daughter’s boyfriends or partners, only an idiot would show up at a high school with a chain, obviously intending violence, shouting obscenities and expect the outcome to be anything other than getting arrested. That society might condone or excuse such behavior because that’s what “society expects of him” is appalling. I hope the man spends a good long time in a jail cell.

  5. Here’s the checklist.

    1. Make sure it’s consensual.

    2. Make sure it’s safe.

    3. Use the opportunity to determine if she’s straight, lesbian, or bisexual.

    4. Congratulate her and think back fondly to your own youth.

    5. Shut the h*** up about it, you’ve embarrassed her enough already.

    • Kathryn DeHoyos says:

      I agree with your first two points for sure! Eh, number 3 I’m pretty indifferent about so long as she cares for the person and they return the feelings! I have to admit that as open minded as I would like to imagine myself to be I don’t think I am going to be able to congratulate my teenage daughter (or son) on becoming sexually active in High School! I know it happens, heck I did it myself, and I’m not one of those people who thinks sex should be saved for marriage so that’s not it either! What I do think is that sex adds a complexity to your relationships and to your life in general that I personally don’t feel like teenagers are prepared to deal with. No matter how mature the teenager seems to be the fact is that both in terms of physical and emotional development they are either not prepared or in most cases even capable of understanding what the long term consequences of certain choices are!
      As for #5…I agree with you there, however I would say “shut the h*** up” about it in public but when you get home it is obviously time to sit down and have a serious conversation about safe sex, relationships, consent etc…

  6. As a dad, I feel I am the protector of my household. There comes a time however, when we just have to stop and let our children learn on their own. Sometimes, these are the hardest and most painful lessons to learn, but they have to be experienced. I just pray they aren’t fatal mistakes and that lessons can be learned from them.

  7. I have a beautiful daughter in her 20s and I always expected more angst about her dating…
    The first time I saw her holding hands with a boy took me by surprise… Both whose hand she was holding, I thought it was his buddy who was her interest, and how my heart soared.
    I think @copyleft nails it- and I’ll add my unease with and slight suspicion of men who are too protective of their daughters virtue.

  8. I run a support group for men with issues around parenting and especially post natal depression and it is incredible even from the very beginning of life how these stereotypes are formed. Messages for fathers who have girls tend to be along the lines of ” Look out when they become teenagers..” immediately cuing men to the idea that they need to be more careful with girls than boys and that they will be somehow in harm’s way.
    Developmental theory shows us that the more that we attempt to control behaviour of children and who they interact with, the more they will eventually rebel and seek out those behaviours which are considered off limits.

  9. “However, one can’t help but wonder how this father can be held accountable for doing exactly what society expects of him when confronted with the reality of his teenage daughter having sex. ”

    FAIL. Society expected white men in the South to form lynch mobs to torture and murder black men on suspicion of having touched the sacred flesh of a white women. Do you find it equally to hold them accountable for that behavior simply because it was expected of them?

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