Sunday, March 5, 2017

On Daddy-Daughter Dances. #NOPE

Yeah, I said it. Don't be mad.

Daddy-Daughter Dances are CREEPY AS HELL. 

Aww, I'm such a killjoy, right? Its SO SWEET for Daddy (first of all STOP calling him that if you're over two years old) to take his little princess out on a DATE, complete with FLOWERS, DRESSING UP and SLOW DANCING.

No. That's not weird AT ALL.

Yes. Yes people, it IS.

There's an epidemic out there ya'll; it's called daughter worship. It's a glorification of daughters and a princessification of girls. It's forcing Dads to go on "dates" with their daughters. To go to dances at school that are supposedly to create an everlasting bond and "teach daughters how a man should someday treat them, because their Daddy is just SO AMAZING and loves little princess SO MUCH that he should absolutely date her."

It makes my skin crawl.

The definition of a "date"?: A meeting of two persons where at least one has a "romantic interest" in the other. Romantic interest can either mean one has a romantic feeling toward another, the feeling can either be described as love, crush or simply wanting to find out if there is possibility for a romantic relationship.


Has no one heard of the Electra complex? The gender-switching opposite of Oedipus? It's where the female child considers herself in competition for her fathers romantic affection. So in essence, isn't the daddy-daughter dance an extension of "Haha, he's dating ME and not YOU"?

It makes things awkward. It romanticizes a relationship that should not be romanticized. It is akin to the atrocious "Purity Balls" that are out there. Girls being paraded in front of others, pledging their VIRGINITY to their father until their husband comes along.

A freaking purity ball.

I would have RATHER DIED than have done something like that. When I got my period and my Dad was away for police training at Northwestern University, Mom made me call him to tell him. She handed me the phone and I said, "I'm a woman, here's Mom." NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOT HAVING THAT DISCUSSION.

I get the concept of abstinence before marriage, I understand that's the "best way" in the minds of most people, but to humiliate and minimize a young lady in that way is abhorrent. Where is her own God-given will? Where are the decisions she'll make for herself? Is she so weak and unable to make solid, conscious, GOOD choices on her own that she has to pledge the most private part of her maturation to her FATHER? What in the ever-loving HELL?

My Dad has been approached for blessings to marry me twice in my life. Instead of "handing over the keys", my Dad's response was; "She is an adult and she can make her own decisions." How beautiful and amazing is that?! Imagine--my Dad knowing that he raised me strong, I could decide for myself and if I made the wrong one, I'd learn and figure it out--because I was CAPABLE and he believed in me. What an amazing, loving gift to a daughter. (He still, for the record, fully expected them to at least ASK, because he's my Dude). 

Daddy-Daughter dances, in the same way, insert a tone of fatherly ownership. Pretty yourself up for Daddy and he'll do nice things for you. Oh, and he'll be told when, where and how to do so. We're going to schedule some forced time for him to spend with you where he can do the hokey-pokey and other things he just LOVES doing in public. 

Hey ya'll, here's a concept: How about let's not force Dads to take their daughters to a dance (which, let's face it, most Dads would rather NOT do) and instead focus on one-on-one relationship with them? Talks about REAL issues and feelings. Activities that you both enjoy. Maybe Dad teaches his daughter about how great baseball is. Maybe he teaches her to shoot. Maybe he teaches her how to protect herself and to never settle for anything or anyone that does not suit her. 

These dances started in an era when Dads were sold out to their work; they spent minimal time with their kids and Mom was at home. Those days are long gone! Dads are everywhere now. They're at the school Christmas program. They're driving daughters to cheer practice and teaching them how to drive. They're enduring movies like Frozen and Moana because they're spending time with their daughters and building relationships, not being forced into a social glorification of their daughters.

Let's just stop with the courtship-like pressure for the father-daughter relationship. 

And yes, it's courtship-like. If it isn't then why aren't there Mother-Son dances and events? Why, if you google "Mother-Son Dance" are the ONLY things that come up, photos of Moms and Sons at weddings? 



This very issue was addressed in the greatest tv show of all time: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.

They capitalized on the weirdness of Oedipal and Electra complexes, by making fun of it. Buster and his mother, Lucille, were famous on the MotherBoy circuit. It was hilariously creepy, and we laughed because it should never be and it makes us uncomfortable. 

So, do tell, why is it socially acceptable to have FatherGirl every Spring?

Not to mention, how about the kids whose fathers are total douchebags and took off years ago? How about the Dads who are deployed? The ones who've died? And what pray-tell, in this inclusive society, is supposed to be done about gay children? Is daddy taking his son to a daddy-daughter dance to exemplify how a man is supposed to someday treat his son?

Yeah, I went there. But it's TRUE!

Now, I'm NOT criticizing the Dads that DO take their daughters to this creepy ass tradition. My own husband took two of his daughters and my daughter went with her Dad. I'm thankful for Dads that actually care and build relationships with their kids. But how is a two hour dance going to force that? Shouldn't schools and society mind their own damn business and let parents and kids figure out their own relationships?

Let's stop putting daughters on a pedestal while simultaneously devaluing sons in society. Sons are equally precious and, in my opinion, overall kinder, quieter, more sweet and loving than are daughters. They are valuable and worthy of time spent and having relationships built too. Where are the society-ordered events for them and Mom?

If you really want to impact both your sons and your daughters, moms and dads?

Love your wife. Even if it's their stepmom. Love your husband. Even if it's their stepdad. Treat each other well. Date EACH OTHER. Show affection. Make sure they see that you value one another and that you do kind things to one another. MODEL healthy relationships. BE who you want your sons and daughters to be. They don't need Daddy (PLEASE DEAR GOD STOP SAYING DADDY IF YOU'RE NOT TWO--I ASKED NICELY--TWICE) to bring them flowers and slow dance with them.
They need to see DAD-NOT-DADDY slow dancing in the kitchen with the woman he loves. They need to see Mom bringing the man she loves his coffee and kissing his forehead.

That's where they learn romance. That's where they learn relationships, love and equal partnership.
Don't let them down.

And to my DAD-NOT-DADDY, thank you. Thank you for not taking me to those creepy dances in the basement of the church. Thank you for spending time with me and teaching me the things that only you could have; I can shoot a gun, throw a ball, parallel-park, know what's going on in a football game, change a tire, throw down some sarcasm and be a tough-love mom because you gave it all to me. You've loved Mom unconditionally for 44 years. You didn't need the world telling you how to treat me. You taught me what I needed to know and let me fly. You trusted me to make my own decisions.

And THAT'S exactly how you raise a daughter. 

PS: My opinion may be unpopular, or maybe it's not. Either way it's okay because this is my blog.

My Dad raised a free thinking daughter. And I'm so, so glad he did.

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