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wundayatta's avatar

Women: what did your father tell you about men and how to handle them?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) November 12th, 2011

My 15 yr-old daughter was telling me about an incident on the subway the other day. She handled it successfully and had no trouble, but I told her that she could have told the guy to fuck off if she wanted to. I told her this because I feel like a lot of girls are brought up to be too nice. They are trained not to say “no” and this makes it difficult for them to do so. They get very uncomfortable when they have to say “no” and this may cause them to say it too late and not strongly enough.

This makes me wonder what other women’s fathers have taught them or told them about how to deal with men. It doesn’t have to be on this subject; it could be any topic at all with respect to men. What did your father tell you?

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19 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

No. My father was a fairly old father compared to my peers though and he had some old fashioned views (not a bad thing but frustrating for me at times). I think it’s great you gave your daughter that advice. I agree with your suggestion that girls especially can be raised to be polite and may find it difficult to be assertive and direct if they think they are being impolite. Good guidance.

tedibear's avatar

Nothing. Seriously, not one single thing. And likee @Bellatrix, I agree with your advice to your daughter.

EmptyNest's avatar

Unfortunately, my father was not the type to talk to me much :*( But my mother did. She said “men who want to have sex with you will tell you anything…however, sex between two people who love each other is a beautiful thing…you will have to be very discerning about which is which” I ADORE my mother!!!

zensky's avatar

Nothing, but my mom did.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

No, my dad never told me anything about boys. I’m pretty sure one time I was fighting with my boyfriend, and my dad said “if he doesn’t make you happy, leave.”
But that’s all I remember.

Aethelflaed's avatar

“Yeah, um, I’ll be home late again tonight”.

lonelydragon's avatar

Not a blessed thing. He didn’t talk to me much. I learned more from watching peers navigate their relationships.

JLeslie's avatar

Nothing really. What he did do was make sure I always had money when I left the house, and that I can always call him to come pick me up.

MilkyWay's avatar

Nothing. My father really isn’t the kind of person that tells you things. Or really talks to you much at all.

marinelife's avatar

Absolutely nothing.

snowberry's avatar

Unfortunately I’m another one where my father told me nothing about men, except he hated my fiance. I’ve been married 35 years, and he hated him until the day he died.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ll answer since he considered me a woman. My father taught me to defer to men, to respect men especially those within the family without question and that I am not worthy of same honors as men. He was furious when I left my ex-husband though he knew I wasn’t paired well because his indignant feelings about a woman leaving a man without punishment trumped my feelings. As usual. My father and I didn’t get along.

Aethelflaed's avatar

This question is a huge bummer. Kinda seems like even when fathers are physically there, maybe bringing home the bacon, they aren’t really there for the kids, especially the daughters. Super depressing. And Wundy? Good on you for actually saying something to your daughter.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Aethelflaed Yes, that’s how it is for many of us. It’s why we’re feminazis~

Judi's avatar

My dad died when I was 10, but he knew he was dieing and wanted to cram as much fatherly wisdom in me as possible. He taught me that I was just as good as anyone. (man or woman) and to never let anyone intimidate me.
I have had moments where I took his advice, asked stupid questions and was embarrassed, and I have had times that I didn’t listen and allowed myself to feel “less than.”
40 years since he’s been gone and I think he would be pleased with my husband. I sure am. :-)

AshLeigh's avatar

I usually would tell you my father is an asshole, and I would like nothing more than to forget he exists.
But there was a time he was a good dad. Before the abuse started. Before the fighting. Before all of that, he was a good dad. He taught me a lot.
He raised me to be tough, and not take crap from anyone.
He never told me not to put up with a man who’s going to hit me, or basically be the way he became to my mother. But in a way he taught me that. After the first time I heard them fighting, and I heard my mother slam into the wall I knew that I would be stronger than she is. That even though she’s so strong, and she went through all of that, I’m going to be strong enough not to let it happen. And when she left, and he started treating me the way he treated her, I didn’t deal with it.
I got out of there right away. I slapped him right back, and I left.
I bet he never thought I’d be that strong.

Symbeline's avatar

Going on the nature of the question, my dad made it quite clear to me that people can’t do whatever they want to me, and that if I feel uncomfortable by something, to be assertive. Polite, but firm. Get the point across. Politness can hit the dirt if it doesn’t work. Like you, my dad wasn’t shy of suggesting a nice big fuck off, or even a kick in the balls if it had to come to that.
He also told me that if I get in a relationship with someone who’s abusive, to not even ask questions, and gtfo.
Whether it’s a man pestering me or some female bullies, my dad often said that I have a right to my private space and happiness, and that it should never be compromised, no matter how much some people may want me to believe that it can. He was really strong on shit like that, and said I should take the means necessary to make sure people don’t step all over me. This isn’t something he came out of nowhere and told me, but it basically encompasses a series of events when I went to him with problems or for advice, or when he had stories to tell that shared the nature of this subject, and ended up turning it into advices. He often emphasized on this stuff because obviously, he knew I was really shy and not very assertive, so he tried to pound it into my head lol.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’m pretty sure you won’t mind, so Imma say it…your dad sucks. :(

augustlan's avatar

I only had a dad in the home from the time I was 4 until I was 7 or 8, so we never had that talk. My uncles, though (the good ones), basically warned me about what horn dogs guys could be. One of them taught me how to defend myself and how to throw a punch, and to kick a guy in the balls if he didn’t get my message.

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