A father’s Reddit post has prompted intense discussion around father and daughter relationships.
Reddit user pfunnk14 posted in ‘Am I The A**hole/AITA’, a thread that people post in to get opinions on whether they are right or wrong about a certain topic.
His post begins by sharing with the group that he’d come across a Valentine’s Day advert for a “daddy-daughter dance night”.
The dad, who has a two-year-old daughter, told his wife he didn’t like the concept of such a dance, as it was “creepy” and “sexualised” the innocent relationship between a dad and his daughter.
His wife, he revealed, became incensed by his words. Did he do something wrong, he asked the group.
“They are creepy and sexualize the relationship between daughter and father. There are hearts all over the poster. It's on Valentine's Day. The dad and daughter are dressed like they are going to prom together. It's oddly ‘date-like,"’ he wrote.
Not to mention it these dances have their roots purity balls where fathers claim sexual ownership of daughters until marriage.
The whole thing just grosses me out and makes my skin crawl. I love my daughter with all my heart, but I don't want to date her. I also don't want to reinforce weird gender and patriarchal stereotypes in my daughters young mind. [sic]
I don't see the big deal in not wanting to participate in a weird archaic past-time that sexualizes my relationship with my daughter. I can kind of see my wife's point, but she was so mad I literally didn't understand it. Help me out, AITA?
His comment created a pretty intense debate, with people arguing both that father-daughter dances were creepy...
They are freaking disgusting. That's a 100% hard no for me. All these dumb things are rooted in puritanical religious beliefs that a dad owns his daughter and her sexuality, and decides when to give it to another man.
I'm not keen on giving my daughter away on her wedding because of those same connotations, but doubt I'd put up a fight about that one because it's so incredibly ingrained in that ceremony.
Youre not an a**hole and neither is your wife. Youre points are valid, but I bet hers are, too. Give it a few days and discuss it again when the mood is calm. Explain your reasoning and she can explain hers.
...and others whose responses were slightly more nuanced.
As someone who lost her father before she could even walk down the aisle, please let your daughter decide what she wants. Your wife is 100% over reacting, but I definitely think it's your daughters decision.
You can tell her how you feel about it and why you feel that way, but even after hearing the arguments, if she want's it, just do it. Give her good memories of you. I wish my dad was still here to have dilemma's like these.
I don't know about most father daughter dances, but all the ones where I grew up where through either girl scouts or public school, and weren't at all romantic or like a purity ball. It felt more like the moms all collectively saying, 'Hey you go take our daughter(s) to do something fun.'
At least given that usually half the announcements were about ways the dad's could get involved with volunteering either at school or girl scouts.
I agree. What the fuck kind of daddy/daughter dances are some of these people going to, and comparing them to purity balls? I've been to 9-10 of the them in the last 15 years and never once has it been even remotely close to what people are describing.
We get all dressed up, go to a decently fancy dinner, get our pictures taken by the people running it, play stupid games and dance for a few hours, and then go home with some great memories. My daughter looks forward to it every year, and was upset the one year that we missed.
The father later clarified a few things, including that out of he and his wife, he spends the most time with his daughter (“my wife has the better job”) , that he is actually very affectionate with her (“I hug and kiss her. I nap and cuddle with her. It's my favourite thing in the world... when she's older some of that stuff becomes less appropriate”) and that if his daughter wanted to have that dance with him, he wouldn’t tell her no.