Maybe My Snips-and-Snails Doesn’t Want to Date Your Sugar-and-Spice

So now this t-shirt is going the rounds on the interwebs:  10 Rules for Dating My Daughter.  Good news, haters–misogyny is now available in XXL!

There is so, so much wrong with this that I don’t know where to begin, but there’s a photo of the ugliness and an excellent and articulate post on this subject at The Belle Jar.

As a woman, I’m horrified.  As the mother of two boys, I’m horrified.  And I’m sick half to death of the supposedly “sweet” and “endearing” crap that’s being spewed by misogynists in the name of “protecting our wimminfolk.”

I am sick of the complete and utter lack of logic undergirding the belief that women need men to protect them from men because men want to rape women, but that it’s the responsibility of women to protect themselves from rape by men by not acting or looking like women because that always and irrevocably makes men want to rape women.  My brain hurts just typing that.

I am sick of fathers who think that they’re somehow doing their girls a favor by treating their sexuality like a commodity.  I am sick of an adult male culture that mistrusts boys because the men used to be boys and therefore know what all boys are thinking all the time.  I am sick of the assumption that having a Y chromosome means that you only think about deflowering virgins all the time.  Um….I might be inclined to believe this if men had not produced some of the finest art, literature, music, architecture, scientific innovation, blah blah blah, in the history of humankind.  Oh, and occasionally they’re gay.  Just FYI.

I am sick of the guys who assume that my sons will want to date and therefore defile their daughters.  I am sick of the women who think it is “sweet” to be treated like chattel.  I am sick of the people who somehow have emerged into the 21st century still clinging like grim death to the assumption that hormonal teenage girls do not have sex drives.

I am sick of adults who think that jokes about rape and other acts of violence are “funny” and “cute,” and that anyone who’s offended by them is “humorless” and “uptight.”

My initial response to the “10 Rules” shirt was to come up with a “10 Rules for Dating My Son,” but a number of people already beat me to it with equally violent and misogynistic sets of rules for dating their sons.  More good news–misogyny is now available in pink!

Instead of telling our teens how to act (cause let’s face it, if we haven’t taught them by the time they’re teens, who’s really responsible?), what if we actually held ourselves to some standards?

Rules for Being the Dad of the Daughter Dating My Son

  1. Get a life.  Your own.  Not your daughter’s.
  2. Understand I don’t like your misogynist t-shirt.  Your daughter probably doesn’t, either.
  3. If you actually think you’re everywhere, get psychiatric help.
  4. You hurt him, I call the authorities.  We’re grownups, not kids in Batman underoos.
  5. Be an adult. 24/7.
  6. Get a lawyer.  If you’re going to toss out rape threats, you’re eventually going to need one.
  7. If you threaten him, I will find out.  I respect him.  He talks to me.  You should try it.
  8. She’s not your princess, she’s her own human being.
  9. I don’t mind getting a restraining order.
  10. You’re welcome to buy him dinner, but it’s creepy that you want to make out with him.  I’ll be watching you.