4 Reasons Why Dads Threatening Their Daughters' Boyfriends Aren't Funny

4 Reasons Why Dads Threatening Their Daughters' Boyfriends Aren't Funny

No guns, threats, or creepy infringement on their privacy necessary.
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This week, former NFL player Jay Feely caught Twitter's attention by posting a picture with his daughter and her prom date and a handgun.

While the comedic undertones of the photo are obvious, Twitter had a lot to say about the picture and most people weren't happy.

He has since issued a statement of clarification after the tweet went viral, acknowledging that gun safety is an important issue and clarifying that he was in fact joking. Unfortunately, though, the damage had already been done.

Feely is far from the only dad who's ever made this joke. It's a largely prevalent theme specifically among gun owners and in country music. Check out the song "Cleaning This Gun" for another example. It's catchy, I have to admit, I just listened to it again voluntarily the other day even though I don't agree with the central message.

But what's really the matter with this picture? After all, it's just dads being dads, right? Wrong. The political, historical, and gender-specific rhetoric behind the idea of dads protecting their daughters by threatening their boyfriends have all combined to create a lot of things wrong with this picture. Here are 4 of them.

1. Gun violence is no laughing matter

This theme has come up over and over and over again this year but it's one that continues to be relevant and timely. Gun violence is a very real issue, with thousands of deaths, dozens of mass shootings, and deep political biases, making it far from a joke. While there is a major difference between the handgun in Feely's picture and the assault weapons that have been at the center of recent mass shootings, threatening to shoot someone, particularly an unarmed teenager, is just poor humor.

2. Parents do not get a say in their daughters' sexual choices

From chastity rallies at churches to purity balls entrusting their sexual purity to their dads to presenting "virginity certificates" to dads at weddings (hint, you can't medically prove someone's a virgin), parents' obsession with their daughters' sexual behaviors, not their sons', mind you, just their daughters, is creepy, intrusive, and disgusting.

Decisions about whether or not to engage in sexual activity, at any point from high school to marriage and on to the rest of their lives, is up to the two people involved, not the parents, the church, the government, or any outside parties. By reinforcing the idea that the parent is in control of these decisions that their kids are supposed to make for themselves, parents like these are perpetuating archaic ideals, destroying the trust their children have in them, and setting them up for destructive sexual behavior down the line.

3. There is an extremely obvious (and dangerous) sexual double standard between boys and girls

While young women are told to guard their purity and that engaging in sexual activity makes them less worthwhile people, boys are encouraged to use sexual conquests to assert their dominance and their behaviors are not focused on nearly as much by parents, religious organizations, or sexual education programs.

If women are taught to remain virginal until marriage and homosexuality is frowned down upon, who exactly are these boys supposed to be having sexual conquests with? Beats me.

4. Sexual repression and rape culture go hand-in-hand

These parents criticize their daughters for participating in safe, monogamous sexual relationships but do not give the same attention and threats to people that threaten their wellbeing. By teaching your daughter that she can't trust you, you're setting her up for trouble down the line.

While this entire situation could be passed off as a harmless joke that got a little out of hand, it's obvious that the problems run deep and can have a lasting effect, especially on the girl at the center of the "joke." Bottom line, trust your kids. Believe that they have the self-respect and the critical thinking skills to make healthy relationship decisions and support them in making them. No guns, threats, or creepy infringement on their privacy necessary.

Cover Image Credit: Jay Feely: Twitter

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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10 Father's Day Quotes To Share With Your Dad

"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad."
— Anne Geddes
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Fathers are peculiar figures in our lives. They lack the frantic affection of mothers, yet display a certain tenderness of their own toward their children. They've done some crazy stunts of their own, yet fuss over their kids' tiniest mishaps. They're there for the ride of child-rearing no shorter than mothers, and yet their emotional experience isn't exactly the same.

Fathers are our parents, teachers, and providers. It only seems right to take a day out of each year to honor all that they do for us. And so in the spirit of the holiday, I've listed ten Father's Day quotes below for you to share with your own dads.

“The power of a dad in a child’s life is unmatched.” —Justin Ricklefs

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It's true: a father's emotional presence in his relationship with his children can make all the difference in how the child turns out as an adult, for better or worse. A dad receives his parenting "report card," so to say, once the child reaches adulthood and either chooses to continue visiting home or stay away.

However, for a large portion of a child's youth, a dad has most of the power over his relationship with his children. The development of the relationship is entirely dependent on how he chooses to treat his children.

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” —William Shakespeare

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You can't deny this one, either. Most good fathers know their children better than they know themselves. My own dad frequently knows what I'm feeling before I do. The best fathers are tuned in to their children's emotions, and they certainly try their best to help you when problems arise.

“A father’s smile has been known to light up a child’s entire day.” —Susan Gale

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Remember way back when the most exciting part of your day was when your dad came home from work? It's a magical feeling to reflect on those days and recall that the simplest things our fathers do can bring smiles to our faces. It's healthy to retain a bit of that childlike wonder as an adult, and we can't ever forget that.

“Fathers just have a way of putting everything together.” —Erika Cosby

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Although it may be somewhat begrudgingly, you'll admit that you're almost never disappointed when you seek advice from your dad. Your dad is truly great at piecing together puzzles that you can't solve yourself, and you're grateful for his invaluable input. You wouldn't be where you are now if it weren't for his words.

“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” —Steve Martin

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For the father who has what it takes to be a dad, children teach him that there's much more to life than money. Matters of the heart exceed the value of money, and wallet photographs most likely serve as a reminder of the children for whom he must provide.

After having kids, a man no longer works for his own livelihood, but for that of his own family. And for this, your father certainly deserves much more recognition than he may receive at times.

“Dad: A son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love.” —Unknown

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From the moment a child sees his or her father for the first time, a heavy responsibility is placed upon his shoulders. A dad must be a role model for how his son is to behave and a standard to which a daughter sets herself to seek out a partner. Hence, a father is a son's first idol and a daughter's first love, as the saying goes.

“A father doesn’t tell you that he loves you. He shows you.” —Dimitri the Stoneheart

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Oftentimes, a father uses his actions rather than his to show you that he loves you. He works to put food on the table because he loves you. He teaches you how to drive because he wants you to stay safe. He shows you how to change a tire so that you aren't stranded anywhere. Everything he does, he does with love.

“My father didn’t do anything unusual. He only did what dads are supposed to do—be there.” —Max Lucado

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And what more can you ask of a good dad?

"I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I felt that my father was a great man." —Kevin Arnold

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Every child has a moment when he or she realizes that the sacrifices that a father makes are all for their children's benefit. Every child has a moment at which he or she understands that a father is only human, makes mistakes and has more aspirations than meets the eye. It's eye-opening to comprehend that our father is a normal people like you but somehow makes him all the more of an inspiration.

“A dad is someone who wants to catch you when you fall. Instead he picks you up, brushes you off and lets you try again.” —Unknown

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If there's one thing your fathers teaches you, it's perseverance. And you couldn't love him more so for it.

Father's Day is one of our greatest holidays, so this father's day, remember to thank him for all he's done for you.

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