Am I the only one this annoys? (Dad/daughter stuff)

I’m really beginning to think I’m the only person on earth that this annoys, and I wanted to check with the Dope to see if folks here support my hypothesis.

Does anyone else (particularly women) get really annoyed at the whole “Hyuk-hyuk, my daughter isn’t gonna date anybody until she’s 30, and if my teenage daughter wants to date a boy she’s got to bring him home first so I can intimidate him by showing him my hunting trophies/cleaning my shotgun in front of him/other manly intimidating pursuit”?

This seems to be a universally accepted “dad thing,” but it has annoyed me ever since I was a girl myself because I always take it as meaning that the girl doesn’t have the sense to handle herself in a relationship without the specter of Dad’s ire hanging over the proceedings, that she’s essentially some kind of little pet that needs to be protected from the big bad boys who All Want The Same Thing ™, and that she’s not worthy of any respect or consideration on her own but needs Daddy to protect her.

Now okay, I get it, teenage boys do only want one thing most of the time. But wouldn’t it be a better solution to teach girls (and boys too) self respect from the time they’re kids, so they can handle themselves when uncomfortable situations come up? I’m not saying that Dad (or Mom, for that matter, but that’s part of the annoyance too: it’s never Mom doing the intimidating Mother Bear thing–it’s always Dad) shouldn’t be concerned if his daughter is dating Johnny the Biker or something, but is this really necessary if the guy she wants to date is just somebody she met at school and she likes him?

Yeah, I know this is a hot button with me. Part (a very small part, I’ll admit–I wasn’t exactly popular in school) of the reason why I never dated in school is because I absolutely refused to be put in the “weak helpless girl needing to be protected” role that having to bring any potential dates home to meet the 'rents would have put me in. (The whole “have her home by X o’clock” thing bothered me too–why can’t the parents just tell the girl what time to be home, instead of telling the boy when to “have her home”)?

When the boys have to start bringing home their dates to meet their parents as a rule, we’ll talk.

So–overreacting, or justified? You Be The Judge. :smiley:

My male co-worker does this (two daughters) and I :rolleyes: and change the subject because I can’t trust myself not to get a bit worked up on the subject for similar reasons to the ones you outlined. However, we’ll see how his tune changes over the years now that his wife is expecting … you guessed it, a son.

  • purplehorseshoe, who’s never been a fan of double standards

No, I don’t like it either. It’s along the same line as purity balls and purity rings, but less extreme.

Also “my daughter can’t date until she’s 30, haw haw haw” is just annoying because it’s so cliche and not funny, even apart from being offensive.

Well I’m a father of girls who’s made the jokes. And mostly they’re jokes about the fact that it’s harder for me to accept my girls growing up than any statement about their ability to stick up for themselves.
I also tend to make the joke less often now that they’re in their teens because I don’t want to make them any less comfortable with an already awkward experience.
And I really wouldn’t have any sympathy for fathers who actually followed through on the jokes.

Yeah, my dad was so defensive the first time I had a boyfriend (at 16) that I never told my parents anything else about my personal life until I got engaged to be married (at 28). My parents spent a lot of years wondering what could possibly be wrong with their daughter (rolleyes).

Of course it’s overplayed and overdone. Of course it’s bad to portray girls as just someone who cannot function without a male to oversee her.

That said, many do it not because they see the daughter as weak and helpless but because a parent is doing what a parent should be doing: looking out for the best interests of their children and letting others know that they’re doing so. “Mess with her? You mess with me.” When a gang member says you don’t think “oh, that other gang member he’s standing up for must be weak and helpless.” It’s about strength in numbers.

And I find serious :dubious: with your statement that “Part of the reason why I never dated in school is because I absolutely refused to be put in the “weak helpless girl needing to be protected” role that having to bring any potential dates home to meet the 'rents would have put me in.”
So your solution to avoiding the whole “helpless girl needing to be protected role” was to NEVER date, and thus relinquish all control over your social life to your father? That makes sense.

I may just not know enough dads but I’ve always heard that kind of over-the-top protectiveness as a joke, not a serious plan. In the context of a joke it’s stupid and annoying on its face and I don’t like the implications for the same reason as you. But it’s just a joke, so I don’t get too upset. I’ve never considered it a serious plan.

But you go beyond dads making jokes and get into parents being protective and I really don’t think there’s the gender divide you see. Some parents are very overprotective and some are over permissive but I didn`t and don’t personally know any who treat their sons differently than their daughters in that regard.

That is, I don`t know any parents who make their daughters bring suitors over for evaluation but let their sons fuck like alley cats.

Yeah, I can see how that would be annoying. I had the opposite experience, though. Despite living in the same house, my dad was utterly uninvolved in my life, and I started dating when I was at college on the other side of the country anyway. When my BF and I were staying at a good friend’s house once, my friend’s dad found an excuse to send me out of the room and then threatened him: “If I come back, and she’s crying…” I thought it was great. I didn’t need help protecting myself, but I was pleased that there were people watching out for me.

One comment like that is entirely different from the overarching attitude you’re describing, though. Had I been more exposed to it I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked it either. There’s a distinction between people that care about you and have your back and people who act like they’re responsible for your dating life.

Yes, the jokes about showing the boyfriend my hunting trophies and so on are stupid and they bother me too. But as the father of two pre-teen girls, I take it for the subtext- I’m protective of my daughter. I can’t imagine any parent, male or female, objecting to that.

I’ve tried to put myself in the position of the kid who showed up to pick up my date only to have her father usher me past his gun collection, or something. The idea that he’s trying to tell me “I have guns and I’m not afraid to use them- on you, if necessary” is so alien to me- what, the guy’s actually going to shoot me? For what? It’s such a joke; it’s hyperbole.

And yes, we teach our daughters to have self respect, and to make good choices, and to use their best judgment, but let’s face it- teenagers (male or female) generally aren’t known for using the best judgment or making wise choices. They just don’t have the life experience to make the right call in every situation. That’s why making sure the boy knows we’re there, and we’re going to make it our business that he gets her home on time (assuming he’s driving) and treats her right. It’s just a second line of defense.

Men want to protect their daughters from other men. It’s simply because men know that men are pigs. We are far more disgusting than we ever let on to women. If I had a daughter I’d be thinking and saying the same things. And I do feel this for my friend’s daughters also. Until they reach 18, and then it’s more difficult, because I am a filthy disgusting man, just like all the rest.

Please note that men say these things far more than they actually do them. This how men deal with their emotions. That’s the thing women are always claiming we don’t do. And I have a pretty good idea of how women talk about us, so get off your soapbox.

Yes, IME it’s a joke about not wanting to see your little girl growing up. FWIW, I also have friends who joke about not letting their sons date until 30. I’ve never seen it as a “my daughter is weak and helpless” thing, though it can get pretty old pretty quick.

My dad, because of his own personal experiences, always went out of his way to joke in the opposite direction. So when I got home from dates with anyone who wasn’t actually objectionable somehow, he would say something like “He seems like a nice young man. You could marry him!”

My husband makes the jokes for the reason above. Just the idea of our little girl dating the filthy, pig-minded teenage boys makes him unreasonably anxious. It’s easier for him to make a joke than to deal with the anxiety.

He knows it’s going to happen and he accepts that. However, I know that he is irrational about it and that the majority of the dating/growing up discussions and problems will be dealt with by me.

It only annoys me when it’s pushed to the point that a person seems to be weirdly interested in preventing their daughter from every being sexual or even being seen as sexual. I have known a person or two where they needed to pretend that their married daughter was a virgin and would make jokes to that affect. I am not going to sit down and discuss my sex life with my dad, but at 35, married and with a kid, I don’t feel like I have to go out of my way to pretend I don’t have one, and it would creep me the hell out if I thought I did.

Basically, some men who make these sorts of jokes seem to be making them out of a wider Madonna/Whore framework of looking at the world, and since that framework bothers me, those jokes bother me. But that not always, or even usually, the case.

Women are not considered to be possessions in most western cultures, but there is still a long way to go. This bullying of boyfriends and controlling daughters’ dating is an example. Could be a lot worse, though, e.g. the honour killings of four women in an immigrant family by other membres of their family in Canada. Judge: “The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your twisted notion of honour, a notion of honour that is founded upon the domination and control of women, a sick notion of honour that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.”

I think it is a silly thing to say as well.

So, about two years ago I decided that my daughter and I (who is now 12) should go one some ‘mock dates’ a few times a year so that she can see how a gentleman should treat her on a date. Open doors, order food for her, proper manners - all of those little things that separates regular guys from those who actually want to try to treat her the way I want her to be treated.

It’s fun for her, cause she gets to go to the restaurants that she likes, and participate in activities that are fun for her (bowling, roller skating, loitering around the mall, etc.). But it is my hope that she will expect this treatment from potential future boyfriends which will solve any of those cleaning shotgun problems (I’d have to invest in a shotgun first, learn how to clean them, the gun owning list goes on and on).

Oh, don’t get me wrong–my dad was not overprotective. My dad, in fact, was quite cool. I honestly didn’t really want to date, because I wasn’t interested in the whole “romance” thing (I was a major tomboy nerd–my one and only boyfriend in school turned out later to be gay, and I think I subconsciously knew that so I knew he was “safe” and wouldn’t bother me about things I’d rather not have done.) It was actually my mother I suspected would do that “have to meet the guy and tell him to have me home by such-and-such time,” not because she was being overprotective but because she had this strange idea of “how things should be” that I think got formed in the '50s and never evolved past that. That didn’t stop the whole concept from irritating me, though.

I think you may find similar, though perhaps less intense, protective instincts with guys who have other younger female relatives (e.g. little sisters and nieces). I have a female cousin who is MUCH younger than me and I would be lying if I said that I have no protective feelings toward her, but I keep a distance to her dating practice (though I do ask), and haven’t seen any real need to step in or call her parents (or mine). I did notice that when she brought a boyfriend to a family reunion, the sleeping arrangements arranged by my aunt and uncle made it kinda obvious that I was chastity guarding her.

My plan for any future daughters and dating is to just spoil the crap out of my wife. That way they’ll see how things are supposed to be and think, “Hey, this isn’t how my dad treats my mom! I’m not putting up with this crap.”

I never claimed to be rational when it comes to my girls growing up. I’m just glad I have the combat vet/cop card to pull on potential boyfriends.

It doesn’t annoy me. My daughter never dated as a teen, but if she had, I would have been supportive.