Dad posts rules for dating his daughter, but they're not what you'd expect
All parents want to protect their children, and every mom and dad will have a different way of going about it. Some will give their children some distance to make and learn from their own mistakes, others will be overprotective 'helicopter' parents, and most will probably end up annoying their kids no matter what they decide to do.
The trope of the shotgun-wielding father is not often considered a positive one by anybody, however. Not by young women who want their independence, not by young men who want to date those women, and certainly not by father of six, J. Warren Welch.
Welch, a poet and self-proclaimed feminist, was sick of seeing fathers endorsing lists of rules for dating their daughters. They're controlling, misogynistic, and downright patronising. I mean, when you boil it down, it's pretty much a man telling a woman that she can't do something without his permission.
In response, then, Welch wrote his own post titled, 'Rules for dating my daughters'. It read:
“You’ll have to ask them what their rules are. I’m not raising my little girls to be the kind of women who need their daddy to act like a creepy possessive badass in order for them to be treated with respect. You will respect them, and if you don’t, I promise they won’t need my help putting you back in your place. Good luck pumpkin."
The post has been shared nearly 30,000 times on Facebook, and people absolutely love it. Finally, a father who treats his daughters like actual human beings, rather than property that needs to be chaperoned and coddled.
Speaking to Today about his viral post, Welch said:
"I understand the urge to protect your daughters. I get that. But the kind of posturing by fathers of daughters I was specifically responding to had nothing to do with that 'protective instinct' and everything to do with asserting their dominance over women and reinforcing a belief that women need men to take care of them."
Welch also said that he had spoken to one of his oldest daughters, 16-year-old Jade, about the matter. "I can make bold statements about my daughters because I listen to them, and I know they are bold young women," he explained. "I really do actively try to encourage that boldness, but I've never felt the need to cultivate it."
Along with his messages of support for his daughters, Welch also frequently posts snippets of encouragement that apply to anyone and everyone.
As somebody who is conscious of his masculinity, and the power that grants him, Welch has consciously done his best to spread a message of love and equality that applied to all. In another statement, he said that:
"I was a feminist long before I had daughters, but it wasn't until I was blessed with the task of raising young women that I realized why: these girls are amazing humans, and I can take no credit for that other than the fact that I at least knew that the best thing I could do for them is not try to 'mold' them."
More fathers should try to take a leaf out of Welch's book, and help put an end to the idea that men are allowed to control women. We'll all be better off because of it.