It’s Not About Your Daughters!

Since both of us are on what you might call a flexible schedule these days, we’ve started watching morning news programs again. I know, this was probably not the best plan. But, there we were today, on the sofa with our coffee, yelling at the TV again.

Normally, my husband does most of the yelling. But this morning, I hit my personal wall. Morning Joe’s coverage of Matt Lauer’s “improprieties” of course led to solemn statements by male anchormen and pundits that they “have daughters.” Which of course makes them nice guys. One of them even announced that he has four daughters, as if that made him an extra-special super nice guy.

That’s when I started yelling.

I know that most men don’t behave like Matt Lauer or [insert name here]. I honestly, truly know this. I have been lucky to have been mostly surrounded by decent guys in my life. At least enough of them to understand that hobbies like dropping your pants in front of women or sending them sex toys with instructions is not normal. At all.

But at the same time, nice guys, some of y’all still aren’t quite getting this.

This is not about you. Or your understandable protectiveness toward your own children, particularly daughters. That’s not special, or even unique to the male sex. Women feel the same way, possibly more so. There’s a reason the expression is “mama bear” not “papa bear.” Papa might be cleaning his shotgun on the porch but Mama’s already out there in the yard waving her cast-iron frying pan, OK?

This is not about your daughters, either. Or anyone’s daughters. It’s not about your sisters, mothers, wives, or girlfriends. This is not about women AT ALL. Or how they dress or behave, or where they work, or even how you can theoretically protect them from the bad guys like the knight in shining armor I know you really want to be. Nope.

This is about MEN. And the seeming inability of a goodly number of them to keep their pants zipped, their hands to themselves, and their egos from being threatened by women in the workplace. These guys are the problem.

But they aren’t entirely alone. You know who else is a problem? The fathers and grandfathers who apparently haven’t taught their sons not to act like cavemen. The bosses who think cornering women in elevators is just joking around. Police and judges who think women are “asking for it” just by, you know, being there with lady parts.

OK, women are not completely off the hook here. Some of us are complicit. What about the female executives who decide it is in their interest to ignore assaults on their younger female employees? The women who voted for the Pussy-Grabber in Chief? The women who have decided that a vote for Roy Moore is OK because he’s “pro-life” and that’s all that matters?

Don’t even get me started on Mrs. Roy Moore. Seriously, if your husband is banned from a mall for trying to pick up teenagers, that is when you throw his crap out on the lawn, change the locks and call a lawyer, right? You do not go on national television and defend the creep! OMG.

But I digress. This is what I am yelling about today. Please, nice guys, stop trying to make this about you. And definitely stop trying to make it about your daughters, your sisters, or any female. Because it is really, really so not about us.

Look to your own house. Look hard. Pay attention when your buddy talks about “copping a feel” or how one of his employees “has a crush” on him. Listen when your female co-workers say they don’t want to be in a room alone with a guy.

Above all, talk to your sons (or any other young men in your circle) about how women are, you know, people, not pieces of shapely meat designed for their personal pleasure.

You know what I would like to hear one of the Nice Guys on TV say? “I have four sons, and I would lock them up for a year if I ever heard they behaved like this. In fact I just sat them down and told them exactly that when I heard about [insert name here].”

Dude! This is definitely not about your daughters!










  1. If Roy Moore should have thrown her husband out on the lawn do we expect the same behavior in regards to Hillary Clinton with regards to her husband.
    Why are we selectively enraged about the pussy grabber? I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. But if you suggest women are complicit doesn’t that include all the women who have never acknowledged Bill Clinton’s behavior as well as the ones who voted for Donald Trump.
    And what about people like Nancy Pelosi who call John Conyers an icon but will comment no further on his behavior. Or the women who suggest Al Franken shouldn’t step down, because some unknown alternative surely would be worse.


    • Thanks for commenting. Can we agree that picking up juveniles is in its own category? In retrospect, I think Clinton should have resigned, and I am not sure what Hillary was thinking when she kept him. However, I don’t think you can compare that to Roy Moore–what he did (repeatedly) was just plain sick–and illegal.

      And I am not happy about Pelosi’s comments regarding Conyers. At all. Yes, I think she is complicit, and for that reason, along with several others, it’s time for her to step aside.


  2. This is a wonderfully written post. While I can’t comment on US politics because I don’t live there, one common point I see among nations, rich or poor, powerful or not is that deep rooted ideologies are so strong that they don’t go away easily.


  3. I love this post and have returned to it several times over the years. Another angle that really bothers me about the “daughter” argument is that it focuses men on womens’ deserving to be protected from misfortune by virtue of their relationships to men. Women and girls deserve to live in a world free of harassment, assault, and misogyny because they *inherently* deserve it, not because they derive special status from their association as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc. to males. I can’t believe that more men don’t see this glaring problem in discussing the “daughter” thing. Ugh! Thanks for letting me vent. 🙂 Glad to see you have been writing more often again during the last year.


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