How mistrust of men prevents fathers from parenting daughters

Stuart Schneiderman explains how the war against men has made it harder for fathers to parent their daughters.


In today’s America a man knows that he can be sued for workplace sexual harassment if he looks at a woman in the wrong way, if he makes a sexually suggestive remark, or if he touches her inappropriately.

He also knows that children, especially female children, are strictly off limits. Speak to his daughter in the wrong way and a man can find himself charged with child molestation. Even when the charges are false, it is very, very difficult to restore a reputation tarnished by the suspicion of child abuse.

It isn’t easy being a man in America today. The culture has made men into a threat, into the enemy of women and girls.

Not everywhere, not for everyone, but enough of the time for men to be wary in their dealings with female children.

The attacks on men, the stigmatization of men, the distrust about their motives have created a cultural miasma. If you were a father living in such a culture, would you want to talk about sex with your preteen daughter?

The toxic environment produced by the war against men has made men more likely to shut down lines of communication with their daughters.

Then, these same men are criticized for being too reticent, for not opening up, and for not expressing themselves.

The culture strongly encourages girls to discuss intimate matters only with other women. Who but a woman would understand a woman’s experience?

Of course, this deprives girls of a good relationship with the most important man in their lives. And it also tells them that the only people they should listen to are people who are just like them.

His post was linked by Instapundit and Helen Reynolds. It’s a great post. Some women are so busy bad-mouthing men that they don’t realize that men shut down and withdraw from family life unless they get encouragement and respect. Men rise to the expectations of women.

9 thoughts on “How mistrust of men prevents fathers from parenting daughters”

  1. Talking about sex with dad? Ewwww.

    As for being charged with workplace harassment due to sexually suggestive remarks and inappropriate touching…you got a problem with that?


    1. Thanks for this, WK. This is really important.

      Just this morning, I was listening to a radio broadcast about parenting of little girls. One of the things mentioned was how important it is for fathers to provide love and affirmation and be closely involved in parenting their daughters. If this doesn’t happen, women will seek this out elsewhere – often in the embrace of some jerk who claims he loves her and gives her the attention and affirmation she craves, but with the intention to use her and discard her once he’s done.

      This comment from WK is spot on: “Men rise to the expectations of women.” It makes me angry when women belittle good men. Watch the difference it makes in a man’s motivation when you praise him for doing good things and tell him he is capable of great things. He practically swells with pride and you can just see how encouraged he is! He wants to go out and be just the sort of man we want. He wants to slay dragons and protect women and be honourable. I love doing this for my good male friends.

      The culture doesn’t do this. The culture keeps saying how bad and useless men are. So genuinely bad men use this as an excuse. After all, they’re just living up to expectations. They “can’t help it”. And many decent men feel so discouraged that they underperform – they don’t achieve what they’re capable of achieving.

      Of course the same is true of women. Women rise to men’s expectations of them. But the culture has gotten to the point where it realizes that breaking women down is bad. Some men still do it, but it’s not socially acceptable in circles that consider themselves civilized. Man-bashing, on the other hand, is perfectly socially acceptable.

      And, worst of all, feminists will try to build women up by the horribly counter-productive mechanism of breaking men down. For one thing, this is just evil. And for another, it’s actually, ironically, anti-woman, as this article shows. Good relations between the sexes need building up on both sides.


  2. Just a few notes. First, if you don’t talk about sex with Dad, who will you talk about it with? Hopefully the other option is Mom. If not Mom, then I guess it is friends. And then other influences will be culture. Given that most children will be exposed to pornography before they are 12 years old, the sooner the topic is broached by parents, the better.

    One point caught my eye in the post that was linked:

    ‘As Time Magazine says: “Previous studies have concluded that girls who have open communication with their fathers — about everything — tend to have intercourse later in life and also have fewer sexual partners, both of which can be very good for sexual and mental health.”‘

    Of course, having fewer partners means that you’ll have a better chance for an intact marriage. But alternatively, what about the masses of children who are growing up without a dad? I think it’s a straightforward extension of the post to note that a man can have his life ruined due to no fault divorce, with the expected consequence that his children are no longer under his direction. That, certainly, is demoralizing.


    1. I think it’s fine for dads to say what is appropriate/innapropriate behavior, but as for the mechanics and other cringe-worthy aspects, best to leave that to mom, older sisters and counselors. Girls and women do not want to discuss these sensitive topics with their dads, though I think they do want to know that their dads value them as girls.

      I wish dads would discuss sex with boys, though. Perhaps they do, but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference in how boys are treating girls and vice versa these days.


  3. Most fathers these days take it for granted that their daughters will be chased around the playground by little boys trying to kiss them.

    However we’ve told our daughter in no uncertain terms to punch any boy squarely in the mouth if he trys that with her.

    Such an attitude of triviality towards sex or opposite-sex relations is the bedrock on which the rest of their sexuality will be built.

    As a father my chief aim, especially for my daughter but also for my sons, is to lay a foundation that both acknowledges their sexuality and at the same time builds them up in such a way that they will not settle for anything less than excellence.

    I learned that from a dear friend of mine while talking with him for hours on a porch in west Ohio ;-)


  4. I was walking early one morning before the sun came up.

    Some old guy was coming out of his house very quickly. It scared me and I started crossing the street.

    When he saw me and saw my reaction, he put his hands up and said, “All I’m doing is getting my mail.”

    I laughed out of relief.
    But as I thought back to it, it made me sad.
    My view of it then and now is this.
    It’s a crying shame that so much evil is going on. And it is totally not fair to the good men of the world. They don’t deserve this much prejudice against them.

    But the evil still goes on and women don’t always know who to trust.

    When a man is walking down the road that a woman doesn’t know, how can she tell if he’s one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. (or pretty much neutral)
    They are both out there, and you often can’t tell by first impressions
    This is the reason women are always instructed to be defensive, like being a defensive driver.

    It’s too bad what is resulting.
    These things should not be.


  5. Mara, that’s a good point. I live in a country with a high incidence of assault, rape, and murder. As a result, I tend to be very wary when in lonely places or among strangers. It is indeed sad, but to not be wary is dangerous. It’s different with men I know and have grown to trust though.


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