I mentioned in another post that modern feminism is a confluence of female superfluity and daddy issues. Anyone who has spoken with a modern feminist can quickly discern these two streams coming together before bursting forth in one angry, bitter river.
Female superfluity arises when a woman perceives that she is not needed by anyone. Historically, it has been the daughters of the rich who have discovered that once their husband ran off to work and once the nanny took the kids, they had literally no reason to live, nothing of value to invest their time in. So they sought meaning in fighting the perceived injustices suffered by their fellow women, whether as feminists or temperance activists or as some other public crusader. That problem remains, except that today an even greater percentage of young women have literally nothing that needs them and no one else. They are superfluous and it haunts them.
Now that the injustices have all been righted*, you would think that feminists would be happy. But they are unhappier than ever, angrier than ever, and bitterer than ever. That’s because the issue was never the politics, the issue was the personal emptiness that sought outlet in politics.
Scratch a modern feminist and just under the bitter surface you will find resentment and hurt, and that resentment is usually against her father, whether he was absent or just inept as his duties. So rather than banging on feminists**, I’m going to tell you how to keep your daughter from becoming one.
Dad, there is a reason God put you in charge of your family. Along with that responsibility, God has granted you an amazing ability to mold your children, even greater than the child’s mother in later years. He gives you the job, he gives you the tools to do the job. But God will also hold you responsible for how you use those tools.
A well-rounded woman with purpose, with people who need her, and without daddy issues is unlikely to become a feminist. So with that in mind, here are El Borak’s five rules for raising a non-feminist daughter:
1) Love her mother. You are not merely your daughter’s father, you are the model of her future husband. In you, that little girl sees what a man is supposed to be, what a husband is supposed to do. She watches you constantly, and there is little you can hide from those wide eyes. Whether you treat her mother well or ill, whether you are a strong leader or a weak one, the odds are fairly good that she will be drawn to a man like you. Be the man who you want your daughter to marry.
2) Protect her from life’s arrows, as much as is possible and healthy. This does not mean never letting her suffer defeat – that’s the surest road to Millennial entitlement. It means that you are always there to pick her up when she suffers it. Hamsters are going to die. Boys are going to not call. Teach her to overcome life’s disappointments. Buy her braces. If she needs a new dress for the dance because her old ones don’t fit, it’s ok to adjust the budget. But never, ever be the cause of those arrows. Your daughter is vulnerable to the words of the people she loves and trusts. That fragility is in many cases tied to her appearance, especially during puberty. Boys want to know, Am I strong? Girls want to know, Am I lovely? Tell her she’s pretty while gently reminding her that the most important pretty is the pretty on the inside. Never, even jokingly, call her ugly, unlovely, unwanted. You’ll cut her to the bone. She will remember your words and her pain for the rest of her life.
3) Give her affection. This means not only hugs when she’s little, but when she’s a teen***. Hold her hand while she’s talking to you or when you’re driving together. While it’s primarily mom’s responsibility to teach her how to act like a lady, it’s your responsibility to ensure that she develops healthy relationships with men. Take her out on a date, maybe once a month. Take her fishing and maybe hunting – it doesn’t have to be “girl stuff” all the time. Go to her plays and ball games and tell her how proud you are of her. As she grows, she’s going to naturally seek out male affection and attention. It’s how she’s wired. So you can give it to her, or some guy who is just like you were at 17 can give it to her. Your choice.
4) Be there for her. The number one problem in American culture is absent fathers. All of our other problems, from crime and drug abuse to abortion to divorce to psychotic campus feminism, find their roots in men not raising their children properly. There is no quality time without quantity time. To spend time with her you have to be home. Dad, you don’t need to work 60 hours a week. No man ever looked back on his life and said, I wish I spent more Saturdays at the office. You have to provide, to be sure. But one of the most important things you provide your children is you.
5) Pray for and with her. You are not the perfect dad. I am not the perfect dad. We all need supernatural help to guide our children through a world that literally hates them and is trying to twist, ruin, and destroy them. Start when she’s young developing the habit of prayer, of bible study, of church attendance. Never let her stray too far from our Father while she is under your tutelage****. Apologize and ask for forgiveness when you are in the wrong. I have been. If you father daughters long enough, you will be as well.
There are no guarantees that your daughter won’t be riding the Motley Crue tour bus before she finishes high school. While you have tremendous influence over her, it’s not complete and will necessarily recede as she prepares to leave your nest. But you can dramatically reduce the odds of her future slatternhood and misery by providing her what she’s looking for – even when she doesn’t know what it is – and thereby short-circuit the temptation to run off and find meaning and male attention somewhere else.
Emptiness + Daddy Issues = Feminism. You’re a man. The math ought to come easy for you.
* I’m not sure that 99% of the claimed injustices were actually unjust, but in the past 150 years, all the original feminist requests have been granted.
** There will be plenty of other posts to do that. This is the one in which I ‘understand’ them. The rest, I will oppose them to the best of my ability.
*** Obviously predicated by her comfort level. If you’ve done the rest right, this shouldn’t be an issue. But watch her body language. If she’s uncomfortable with her new breasts, just put your arm around her shoulder.
**** Yes, that means shut up and go to church.