20 Fathers Were Asked: 'How Has Raising A Girl Changed How You View Women?'
Daddy's little girl.
Fathers of Reddit were asked: "How has having a girl changed how you view of females, or given you a different understanding of women?" These are some of the best answers.
1/20 That I am the first male figure in her life and what I do can affect how she may view the opposite sex for a very long time. Its like this little 4 year old girl challenges me to be a better man every time I look at her. It feels like such an honor and massive responsibility all at the same time.
2/20 The most stressful part of being the father of daughters is that you become the paradigm of male-ness to them, whatever that may be. Think about it: for her formative years a father represents half the population of the planet. It's humbling.
But all that pressure and stress goes out the window when she runs to hug you when you pick her up from school or waves to you from the stage at the school play. In those moments, you're not 50% of the population. You're the only one she has eyes for.
I have a son too and I love him dearly. But daughters are different. If you have any kind of heart, they change you. I am better because of my girls.
3/20 Only that girls are just as disgusting as boys are. Sometimes worse even though they try to hide it.
4/20 I have two daughters, 5 and 8, and they are the most beautiful, curious, and innocent creatures I have ever met and had the pleasure of sharing my life with. They are both so different and and all I want for them is to follow their hearts , try to make good choices, and learn from the bad ones to be able to recognize the difference. What I have realized in my short time as a parent, is all they want is your time and to know that you will be there for them no matter what. They don't care about the trivial things you buy, all they care about and remember is the silly, "improper" things that you do WITH them, not FOR them. That's it. Play dress up, have tea parties, let them paint your nails, forget about if it's the right time or if you have shit to do around the house, it will still be there, they may not be or they may just stop asking, because you can't be bothered to spend time with them, and that is much, much worse. I want them to know in their hearts, that they are always my number one in mine, and I will do whatever it takes to make sure of that. I think if more parent did this, our world would be in much better shape.
5/20 I don't know that it's changed me, but watching my daughter grow up has been a wonderful experience. I still struggle with the problem I think a lot of guys have - understanding that a lot of times when a woman talks about a problem or frustration, they're not seeking a technical solution or a list of alternatives.
One thing I have learned for certain: There's a lizard-brain circuit in every dad's head that lights up like Times Square upon hearing the words "thank you, daddy". I can be coming home from getting backstabbed at work, cut off in traffic, ignored at a checkout, but hearing those three words immediately makes me feel like a million bucks. Every time.
6/20 I was never a Don Juan womanizer and had a lot of respect for the women in my life, so I don't think that has changed. I will say that my wife and daughters are each very different, so it brings home the fact that sweeping generalizations about women, even positive ones, are likely to be wrong.
7/20 Yes. I have two daughters (aged 2 and 4) and I feel like I notice gender onequality a bit more...in perhaps silly ways. Example 1: In team Umizoomi, the male character can create anything with shapes. The female? "Pattern Power". The dude can create a motorcycle or helicopter or yacht, and the girl can decorate it....pretty lame. I wouldn't think much of it but it is the same thing with Diego vs. Dora. Dora carries around like 7 items in her backpack...most of which turn out to be useless, but Diego has a "rescue pack" that can turn into anything he needs.
8/20 I've got four daughters... two teens and 5-year old twins. I'm not sure how much I've learned or changed my views about women, but I certainly pay more attention to "women's issues" now. For example, the Christian conservative right's attacks on birth control and abortion are ignorant and terrifying.
And it's played a large role in changing my feelings on religion (I was raised Baptist). The subservient roles spelled out for women in the Bible make me nauseous. So I encourage my girls to find strong female role models (though they'd be hard-pressed to find a better role model than their mother).
I also try to teach them to embrace their sexuality... to learn and love their body... and that sex can be a wonderful thing.
And lastly, I try to provide the boy's perspective. Like how difficult it is for a junior high boy to ask a girl to dance or go out on a date. So it's important to be kind and respectful. Hopefully the world will return the favor. If not, they'll be ready for that too.
9/20 I have a two year old girl. It hasn't changed my opinion of women, but it's changed my opinion of the general public. Everyone I know is hell bent on telling me I should, "buy a shotgun" or, "You're in trouble." She's two years old, and people are already calling her promiscuous. Why the f*ck should any friend be hinting at me about the people she'll bang?
10/20 When my daughter was confident in her walking ability, she liked to hang on things. Several times when we were out in public, she'd put her hand on a pole and walk in circles around it. My own family would kind of snicker and do the whole, "Uh-oh, she's starting early!" thing. It was so infuriating. How DARE you try to turn innocent childplay into something you consider "dirty". My daughter shouldn't have to grow up to feel embarrassed to play on a pole at a playground, adults should feel ashamed for thinking the way they do. The entire world is not viewed from one perspective, and it is certainly not an "adult-only" world.
11/20 I remember once when my daughter was about six or seven. She was playing with her Barbie doll, and somehow managed to break the head off. She burst into tears. I picked up her Barbie and promptly popped the head back on. "There, all fixed!"
But the resolution didn't seem to help. She was still bawling. After a couple of minutes of saying, "Look? See? All fixed? She's not broken anymore," I finally just hugged her. Her crying subsided and her sobs finally began to shallow out.
And then it occurred to me: all she really wanted was to be comforted. The restoration of the doll meant less to her than the assuagement of her hurt feelings.
I suddenly had an alcoholic's moment of clarity: Wow. All these years of misunderstanding women, and simply shrugging off their concerns after I fixed whatever the underlying problem was...all a lot of them really wanted was to be comforted. I just never really got it until that moment.
And just like that, a LOT of blanks in my perception of women got filled. I thank my daughter for that object lesson to this day.
12/20 It's made me feel bad for little girls who don't have the parenting they need.
Little girls are the most innocent, fragile, tender-hearted things on planet Earth (even my 5-year old, the asshole). Because of this, they need someone to let them know they are loved, protected, and can do anything they ever wanted to. They need someone to give them huge bear hugs and act like they are the ones squeezing me too tight.
Little girls shouldn't worry about what dad might do to them. Instead, they should worry about what dad might do to their rocking chair that turns into a scary monster at night.
Little girls should never feel like they are unwanted or second class. Instead, they need someone to make them giggle, someone who embarrasses them when he dresses up like a superhero to take them to school.
I'm not trying to say I'm any kind of good parent. I'm just telling you that before I had little girls, I had no idea the amount of energy, hair loss, terror, and love that was required for their upkeep.
13/20 You look at your teenage years from a horrifying new perspective.
14/20 I'm 20 years old. When I was 18 I met an incredible girl and we started dating. I was absolutely head over heels for this girl and she was perfect to me. Moving away was hard but we remained long distance. I spent every second possible with her that I could, flying out to see her. Anyways, I was a typical immature kid. Sexism, racism, objectifying women was funny.
My girlfriend got pregnant with my child. It was a baby girl. I planned on dropping out of college and enlisting. We named the baby. Every time I heard a joke about women in general, I couldn't help but imagine the subject of that joke being my daughter. It wasn't funny anymore. I grew up pretty conservative, but finding out my child was a daughter changing my perspective entirely. I think it's helped me respect women a lot more.
15/20 So my daughter is pretty cute. And the joke I constantly hear is "Oh, you better watch out when she gets older!" Right, the whole protective father thing. I get that. ...But I hate it. It's like it assumes all women are pure and virginal, and all men are predators waiting to prey upon her. And that she isn't going to be smart enough to protect herself from these predator guys. If I do my job right in raising her, it's the guys who are going to have to worry about her.
Also, most traditional nursery rhymes and bedtime stories. Even stuff like Cinderella and Snow White. The message seems to be - be beautiful, and get married. That's all you need to be happy. I've stopped reading her these kinds of stories, and try to pick ones with strong, adventurous female leads, or failing to find any good ones, I make up my own stories.
16/20 The protective/terrifying part is obvious. But the thing that gets me is that girls deal with the same heartbreak and rejection that guys do. In high school, I put the ladies on a pedestal, always wanting a girlfriend and always feeling nixed if a girl didn't reciprocate my warm feelings. But as a dad, it hurts me to see boys be so mean to my daughter. She talks about the cute and cool boys and hopes they'll ask her to homecoming, but that comes and goes with no luck and she just goes with friends. My daughter is beautiful and smart and she does have boys like her, but she feels the "friend zone" or "forever alone" that (male) redditors love to scorn girls for so much for.
17/20 I can name every one of the Ponies from My Little Pony.
18/20 I have a quite bit more respect for women after my daughter was born. Oi. The intricacies of ensuring that their genitals have been adequately cleaned. Sweet baby Rhesus, what women have to deal with when it comes to that. It's not a like a boy - just aim and shoot. Nope. Gotta ensure they wipe after pooping else they get an infection, wipe after peeing, yeast infections... And eventually bleeding, discharges, intercourse, and possible childbirth? F*ck. I'm sorry ladies, you have my eternal respect. I'd rather take that 5 mm kidney stone again then deal with the nonsense involving your vagina.
I'm also more of a hard-ass on rape and sexual assault. I won't even joke about it, because it isn't one. It's sad that it took the birth of my daughter to open my eyes that even the jokes aren't ok, but they have been opened. Again, my apologies.
19/20 I have a daughter and get annoyed when other fathers or guys say things like "buy a shotgun" or "now you gotta watch out for boys" or whatever.
I fully want my daughter to have as much or as little sex as pleases her. With as many partners as she is comfortable with. As long as she is in control of herself and playing safe there is no reason she shouldn't get all the D.
Becoming a father of a girl made me realize my childhood fetishizing of female chastity was [stupid]. I just want her to be happy she was born.
20/20 The heartache my daughter went through after her first "real" love broke up with her was heartbreaking. She cried for weeks and could barely socialize for months after that. It put many things in perspective that I as a man didn't understand at her age. I felt helpless in easing her pain. At some point, I didn't think she would ever get through it.
Then one day, she changed. Gone were the pj's and her endless hiding in her room. She came out, she smiled, she looked beautiful, and she rejoined the world to find her happiness again. The pain she went through was unbearable, but she emerged from it stronger than most people I have ever known. She learned from the experience and used it to get what she wanted. Now, many years later, she's happy and successful in career and family.
It's all I could have hoped for and it made me realize just how strong and determined women can be when they realize what they want.
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Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.