When I saw the buzzy Tumblr photo by Kristine Speare of her dad’s “Rules for Dating My Daughter” t-shirt, something bothered me about it.
I get why it is popular. The dad-joke that says “Sure, date my daughter. I’ll spend the time you’re out cleaning my gun,” never resonated with me … and always seemed a little insulting. (And I was always glad I didn’t have to deal with that dad.)
But this guy makes a couple of critical errors. First, his “feminism” feels like a cop-out.
When I saw his t-shirt I immediately wondered: Does he mean this?
Second, his “feminism” looks like sexism in disguise, like her body is a sex object.
After all, no one would applaud if his t-shirt said this:
I too am a father of daughters … four, actually (and five sons!). So I got to wondering what my t-shirt would say. It would have to be something that respects the whole person, doesn’t just reduce dating to sex, and applies to both partners.