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.
Maybe this is what my shirt would say …