My friend and fellow sex educator Bill Taverner wrote this about the viral pic of dad, daughter, and her date:
“This had sadly “gone viral” with many viewers laughing about and tacitly approving Dad’s “overprotectiveness” without any mention of the implicit misogynistic message it conveys regarding ownership of female sexuality.
Some important questions to ask:
• Does Daughter have any say in what happens to her?
• Would things only happen to her? Does she have any capacity for making decisions and doing things herself?
• How and why would Dad be violated if his daughter were touched?
• Did the girl receive a similar admonition from the boy’s parents? If not, why not?
• Would this pic generate a similar reaction if the caption was by Mom? Why not?
• Instead of threats, has Dad considered teaching Daughter assertive communication skills to speak up for what she does or doesn’t want?
• What has Dad done to help Daughter know that he has confidence in her ability to make good decisions for herself?
• What would make a more empowering caption, instilling trust and confidence in both young women and young men to make healthy, responsible decisions?”
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