There’s a romanticisation of fathers who are usually overprotective of their daughters and threaten to harm anyone their daughter's date. Social media has routinely seen such posts, and these fathers are often lauded for this as it is considered as caring, and at some level, natural.
J. Warren Welch, a father of five daughters, is winning the internet with his feminist approach, where he says there is only one rule for dating his daughters — “You’ll have to ask them what their rules are”.
In a Facebook post captioned “I ain’t raising no princesses,” Welch said, “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.”
Many have applauded Welch on Facebook and Twitter, not only for raising his daughters right, but also for accepting whichever “pumpkin” his daughters choose to date.
“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,” he told TODAY.
The post has been shared over 35,000 times on Facebook, and with misogynistic parenting being the accepted norm, this is a welcome change.
“I’m also learning more and more every day about the true meaning of male privilege, and the subconscious ways it can creep into my own thinking, even as someone who desperately wants to be an ‘ally’ not only to my daughters, but to all women,” he told HuffPost.
Users on Facebook commented that this was “the ONLY way to raise a daughter” and thanked him for articulating their sentiments. This is worth celebrating, but we will hopefully see the day when we don’t have to celebrate the absence of sexism in parenting.