Singer John Mayer got it right a few years back when he sang, “Fathers be good to your daughters… daughters will love like you do. Girls become lovers, who turn into mothers. So, mothers be good to your daughters too.”
So much of who we are, and who we become for that matter, depends on where we came from, and how we were raised. And for little girls, much of who we become depends on how invested our fathers were in our lives.
There are some women in the world with fathers who are very attentive and encouraging, and who actively help form their daughters into amazing women. There are other girls, who never knew their father or lost their dad at a young age, but many of these girls have an uncle, a cousin, a family friend, or some other father figure in their life, who led them in life and formed them into awe-inspiring women.
But, there is another section of society’s daughters that have fathers who seem to be present, but in actuality are completely disconnected and detached from his little daughter’s life. This has become a problem in the world today and it is getting worse every day.
Many parents have lost sight of what their children need, and the fact that kids don’t need their parents to be their “friend”, they need their parents to be parents. And this seems to be the case with many father-daughter relationships.
The fathers in question are a part of their little girls every day lives, but they neglect every aspect of their daughter’s formation and fail to be there for her in the moments she needs him most. Girls need their fathers to be strong and direct them in the ways of the world; otherwise these girls are forced to make adult decisions at a very young age.
The decisions girls make in these scenarios can have long-lasting effects and are often destructive to their future. Girls deserve better from their fathers.
One example of a father who is seemingly present but is utterly neglecting his teenage daughter is the man who wrote the recent internet sensation, “Dear Daughter: I hope you have awesome sex”. The open letter, written by Ferrett Steinmetz, has over 305,000 ‘likes’ and was shared over a million times on Facebook. Not to mention that it was cross-posted on the Huffington Post and numerous other sites.
The open letter begins with Steinmetz citing the “Daddy’s Rules for Dating”, a humorous yet truthful list that a father of four girls created for boys wanting to date his daughters. Steinmetz criticized the list, but specifically pointed to one of the rules:
“Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing some kind of ‘barrier method’ can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.”
Some might think that rule was snarky and somewhat truthful, but Steinmetz didn’t think so. He said that this rule and the entire list boil down to, “Boys are threatening louts, sex is awful when other people do it, and my daughter is a plastic doll whose destiny I control.” He continues,
“Look, I love sex. It’s fun. And because I love my daughter, I want her to have all of the same delights in life that I do, and hopefully more. I don’t want to hear about the fine details because, heck, I don’t want those visuals any more than my daughter wants mine. But in the abstract, darling, go out and play. Now, you’re going to get bruised by life, and sometimes bruised consensually.”
This seemed kind of cringe-worthy, especially since it’s coming from a father to his teenage daughter, but the way he closes his letter is even weirder:
“Now get out there and find all the things you [expletive]ing love, and vice versa.”
This man’s daughter doesn’t look old enough to drive a car, yet he wants to throw her into sexual situations that could have destructive long-lasting consequences on her life.
First of all, sex makes babies. Surprised? No. Because every adult knows this fact, but kids don’t often make the connection. This father needs to teach his daughter about the “birds and the bees” and let her know that sex does have consequences. Also – every year there are more than 20 million new cases of STD infection in the U.S. Some of these STD’s can cause infertility and increase the risk of cancer. Mr. Steinmetz should be protecting his daughter from a life of infertility, infection, and heartbreak, but instead handles her precious future with indifference and laxity.
As it turns out, Steinmetz is a speaker at a Kink event this Fall about polyamory (he practices what he preaches). So, it seems that he wants his teenage daughter to follow in his footsteps, and that somehow will make his lifestyle seem permissible.
This little girl deserves a father who will protect her and fight for her. But, instead her father is neglecting to guide her when she needs it most and is setting her up for a life of heartbreak and delinquency.
A similar thing could be said for Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter, singer Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus shocked the world with her provocative performance at MTV’s VMA awards, which included suggestively running a foam finger along her body, twerking, and Miley gyrating against fellow performer Robin Thicke. While most people were left in shock and were extremely concerned for Miley, her father Billy Ray applauded it as a “special moment” for his daughter.
Billy Ray should step in and be a father to his daughter, but he really should have stepped in years ago. Sometimes one moment has the power to shift our entire life. In Miley’s case, the one moment that seemed to set her off in this new direction of destruction, was when the shirtless photo of Miley made its way into Vanity Fair when she was 15. According to a close family friend, the shirtless picture was taken after Miley’s parents had left, but Miley was 15 and her father was featured in the rest of the photos in the shoot. Where were her parents?
If her parents weren’t in fact there, they must have had to sign off on the photos. Billy Ray should have protected his daughter and advocated for her – instead he left her to fend for herself in Hollywood at the age of 15.
Maybe Miley’s life would look a lot different right now, if her dad had acted like her father and stepped in when she was 15. And if he had been devoted to guiding her and helping mold her through the years, she wouldn’t be living a life full of drugs, sex, and twerking.
This broken form of fatherhood is becoming an epidemic in America, and throughout the world. The world’s “daddy issues” are leading young women to fend for themselves against the world, and often leading them to destructive behavior that has life-long consequences.
Daddies, your little girls need you. They deserve better than this broken version of fatherhood. They need you to be strong, steadfast, and guide them in their trials and their triumphs. Be like this dad and you’ll make the world a better place. And one day your daughter will thank you.
Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will live like you do.