I’m not sure what to say about this, that there are some men in the United States (or around the world) who are not cognizant of the fact that touching women sexually without their consent is always morally wrong.
I saw this on Twitter, regarding music producer Russell Simmons, by way of The New York Times Arts twitter account (Tweet link):
The image in the NY Times Art tweet has text on it reading as follows, quoting Russell Simmons speaking to his alleged rape victim, Drew Dixon:
“I have daughters and I do yoga now, Drew, and I know what I did was wrong, and I’m sorry”
I am unable to access the NYT article because I do not have a paid subscription to their site.
In what universe is this Simmons deviant living in where he supposedly did not realize that it’s morally wrong and disgusting for a man to rape a woman, whether or not a man has a daughter or takes Yoga classes or not?
It really should not take a man having a daughter of his own to view women as full-fledged human beings worthy of dignity on their own merit.
That this guy is claiming he didn’t see why raping women was wrong until he had a daughter of his own indicates to me that some men have deeply entrenched series of entitlement that they are absolutely blind to.
Of course, it’s possible Simmons knew damn well prior to having daughters his behavior was wrong and is trying to gloss over what he did, but I am just imaging the horrifying, disturbing idea of, “what if this man is not lying about this but sincerely did not see anything wrong with raping a woman, until he had a daughter of his own.”
I’ve never had a son, but I already damn well am aware that raping, robbing, or murdering a man would be wrong. I don’t have to have a son (or a brother of father in my life) to already recognize men as being fully human and deserving of respect.
A lot of my fellow conservatives also remain very blind to how deeply sexism is entrenched in our culture – they really want to assume that sexism is a thing of the past and that all American women have life oh-so-easy easy.
How can one argue that when some idiot men on Twitter are actually running around claiming they do not know what “consent” is, or we see stories like this one about Simmons, where he is essentially claiming,
“By golly, I had no idea exposing myself to women, pressuring them for sex if they wanted record deals, or putting my penis inside their vaginas without their approval was wrong! I had to have daughters first to realize men should respect womens’ boundaries.”
Here are some portions from The Hollywood Reporter story:
by Patrick Shanley
Ten women have now alleged that the music mogul assaulted or harassed them.
Four more women have come forward to accuse music producer Russell Simmons of sexual assault.
In a new report in The New York Times, former Def Jam Records employee Drew Dixon, former music journalist Tonie Sallie and performer Tina Baker allege that Simmons raped them in encounters that spanned from 1988 to 2014. In a report published Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times, performer Sherri Hines alleged that Simmons raped her around 1983.
Also, four more women are coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Simmons. In the Los Angeles Times, actress Natashia Williams-Blach, massage therapist Erin Beattie and two former Tantris employees detailed inappropriate behavior from the music mogul, including groping, inappropriate conversations and forced kissing. These latest additions make 10 women who have gone on the record with accusations of against Simmons.
On Variety: Russell Simmons Accused of Rape By Three Women
There is something very, very wrong in American culture that so many men do not see, or claim not to see, why rape or sexual harassment are wrong, so long as it’s another man’s daughter they are raping or harassing, until they have a daughter of their own.
There is also something troubling in that my fellow conservatives get offended when and if liberal feminists (or others) write essays explaining why it’s just as wrong for religious or conservative men to view their daughters as chattel they own and “must protect,” as it is for a guy to view other men’s daughters as sex objects created only for him to exploit.
There are different types of sexism in the world, including Benevolent Sexism.
And yes, sometimes some men, even conservative ones, do objectify or sexualize their own daughters, even though they think they are being well-intentioned, protective daddies, or have only the best of motives at heart.
I was raised in a conservative Christian family, and I’m here to say, this notion of Daddy Protector can create its own set of problems, and it can be based on sexist ideas about girls and women.
Take those lame dating memes so many conservative fathers like to post on Facebook – the ones that say things like, “Any boy wanting to date my daughter has to answer to my shot gun first, hur hur, ha ha haaaa!!”
In some ways such men are sexualizing and objectifying their own daughters. Really, you think you are protecting your daughter from cads and players, but you too are sexualizing her in the process of defending her or her chastity.
If you’re a father, you should be raising your daughter to make her own choices in life, teach her to be assertive, and teach her to have boundaries, so when or if some guy she is dating starts pressuring her for sex she may not want to have, she feels confident and secure enough saying, “NO!,” and storming out of the room.
Let me tell you, when I was a teen girl and went off to college by myself, my father was not there to protect me. I had to look out for myself. I had to be able to stand up for myself. My father was not there to screen all men who approached me.
The “Daddy protector” trope can be sexist and can be based on patronizing, sexist views of females, though the men who espouse it sit there in confusion, wondering,
“But how on earth can anyone construe my love and concern of my daughter as sexist? I’m just trying to keep her safe.”
I’ve actually seen such editorials the last few days by these very types of conservative men, who are clueless as to the different forms that sexism can take. They tend to view sexism as being of the Cave Man variety, where a man in a stained tank top beats his wife, gives her a black eye, and screams about how all women should be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.
Sexism comes in different types, and that is but one. Other types of sexism are far more subtle – and even conservative men and women hold sexist views.
Acting as though your daughter is a delicate little flower who always needs big, strong Daddy to guard her in life, from boys, and to protect her sexually is, yes, based on, or can be based on, all sorts of sexist notions about girlhood, womanhood, sex, and femininity.
If you are a parent, you should be raising your daughter to be tough, independent, to have healthy boundaries, to value herself, to be assertive – not to be some shrinking little violet who can’t knee a “handsy,” suitor or have the courage to tell a guy “no” on her own.
A woman should not need ‘dear old dad’ to watch her twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, not even when she’s a pre-teen or teenager.
One of your goals as a parent, if you are a parent, should be to prepare your daughter to be independent, to the point she does not need daddy there to hold her hand and escort her through every single thing when she is 15 or 21 or 53 years old, or screen her dates for her.
This, though, is a topic I should maybe save to blog about for another future post.
I am just amazed at the number of men I’ve seen online or on television news programs who
- claim they are ignorant at what constitutes sexual harassment and actually have to be taught what it is and what forms it takes, or the men
- who feel it’s acceptable to rape women until they one day have a daughter of their own and supposedly only then realize, “Hey, women are every bit humans as men are and deserve to have their boundaries respected!,” and
- the conservative men who act confused as to how “Daddy Daughter Protector” shtick can be viewed as sexist in any way shape or form, or as anything less than loving, principled, and wonderful.