The Old-School Date
Here is the latest announcement from Facebook cause- Dads Protecting Daughters:
“Dad I’d like for you to meet my date tonight”
I think that really big problems often have lots of little causes. It is obvious that there is a big problem in the way boys and men are inclined by our dominant culture to regard women as challenges to be conquered, objects for sexual gratification. Of course, we do also get healthy doses of romanticism thrown at us, which soften some of the Brave New World realities. A man can feel really proud of himself if he “stays faithful” to his girlfriend- by that I mean he has sex only with her. We have long ago departed from the ideal of the good guy who protects his girlfriend by being dedicated to waiting until marriage for sexual union with his love. And here is where the trouble really starts.
What to do if nearly every signal in our culture is how foolish one is to remain a virgin for any extended period of time? It is one of those unchallenged assumptions that if one is attractive enough they should be having sex- especially when they are young and “hot”. It’s an easy target, but how many TV shows and movies play some variation of the punch line that you have to be having sex to be enjoying your life, to be normal, to be socially normal. This pressure comes from above, in the major media and beside us in the form of peer pressure. It is decidedly “cool” to be able to hook up with good-looking women and bragging about it can be subtle or very crude.
If we can agree that this is the general state of things, then what can be done in practical terms? Protesting Hollywood? Well maybe yes- but I offer one easier way to begin taking back the dignity of human sexual relations. Of course, this is going to involve getting word out to dads and to daughters.
To all daughters, talk to your dad and tell him it is “cool” if he can have a chat with your dates when they come to pick you up. I’m not certain how this would have played out for me in my younger years, I might have moaned about it or feared it as a young guy- but not all fears are bad for you!
Now Dads- this is your big moment in the cultural wars- you have a product of Playboy and internet porn, walking into your home anxious to take your daughter out for the night. If your daughter hasn’t approached you to ask you or offer you the chance to have a little chat with the “boyfriend”, then you had better take the initiative and set it down as a standing rule.
When you get that time alone with the “guy”, I’m not sure I would try anything outlandish like brandishing a firearm, and start cleaning it during your little chit-chat. You don’t want to put all guys off on your daughter by making everyone think you are psycho-dad. My plan is to try to size up the younger male, and get down to some serious eye-to-eye explanations of what expectations you have for that beloved girl he is about to take out. I would appeal to his better angels, with just enough fire and brimstone for him to realize that this dad is a serious Christian, with absolute values, and a lion’s heart for protecting his kids.
Of course, prior screening for all dates is commendable, like having some conversations about just who this person is that your daughter is interested in enough to want to go out as on a date- or near occasion of a date. But if we can just start spreading the word to all daughters and all dads, to restore this healthy link between the world of dads and the world of young male suitors- I believe we can do a whole lot of good in restoring dignity to the pursuit of love and romance- and taking down some of the terrible damage that premarital sex causes to young hearts and young bodies.