Rules for dating women

This Dad’s ‘Rules For Dating My Daughters’ Finally Gets It Right

Image via J. Warren Welch

We’ve all seen the viral, “rules for dating my daughter” posts, right? The ones that use intimidation, fear, and sometimes even the threat of a firearm to warn teenage boys just how to behave around the girls they date? They’re creepy at best, downright disturbing and misogynistic at worst.

Yes, these messages are actually printed on shirts, that some dads proudly wear. One dad was sick of the stereotype of the overbearing dad needing to protect his “property” a.k.a. daughters. So he amended the “rules” a bit — and his version is going wildly viral.

As J. Warren Welch explains, “I ain’t raisin’ no princesses.”

“You’ll have to ask them what their rules are. I’m not raising my little girls to be the kind of women who need their daddy to act like a creepy, possessive badass in order for them to be treated with respect,” he writes. “You will respect them, and if you don’t, I promise they won’t need my help putting you back in your place.”

In his blended family, he has six daughters total. And do you know what raising six daughters has taught him? That they are fierce, competent women who will be able to make sound decisions and take care of themselves — without a dad looming over their dates and scowling in the background.

“I was raised in an extremely religious home,” Welch explains to Scary Mommy. “I was home schooled so I wouldn’t learn any of the words that I love to use so much now.” He’s a talented poet who’s not afraid of a few well-placed “fucks,” — religious upbringing be dammed. “I watched my mother try to play the role of the ‘submissive wife’ for years. It just never sat well with me, even when I was far too young to completely understand why. Later in life, I had a daughter… then another one… then ANOTHER ONE! Now, I am hyper sensitive to anything that even closely resembles misogyny.”

Image via J. Warren Welch

He told Today Parents, “I was a feminist long before I had daughters, but it wasn’t until I was blessed with the task of raising young women that I realized why: these girls are amazing humans, and I can take no credit for that other than the fact that I at least knew that the best thing I could do for them is not try to ‘mold’ them.”

How refreshing is that? How many times have you rolled your eyes at the dad who claims it took having a daughter of his own to understand the importance of respecting women? Warren turns that whole narrative on its ass — and it’s fantastic.

“I had been thinking about posting this particular thought for a while, based on an actual conversation I had with a grown ass man who was bragging about scaring a little boy who came over to pick up his daughter for a date. How sick is that? Then I saw several of those ’10 rules for dating my daughter’ posts, that seem to be everywhere these days…and I decided to respond,” Welch explains.

Well, we’re glad he did. Now can someone get this message on a shirt, please?

Follow: @mariaguido

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