Author: Jennifer Mustapha
Jennifer Mustapha is an educator, writer, feminist, and mother who lives in London, Ontario with her family. Professionally, she spends most of her time in Academia and the rest of her time trying to figure out if she wants to stay there. She lies awake at night worrying about patriarchy, parents not vaccinating their children, Donald Trump, and raising her daughter in a world where all of these things continue to exist. You can follow her on Twitter at @JenMustapha.
A few different items recently making the rounds on social media have been drawing my attention as both a feminist and a parent. You might have seen this video featuring a Scottish dad having a spirited exchange with his 4-year-old daughter on the subject of boyfriends. In the video we see the dad threatening to "break the legs" of any future boyfriend. Dad is also, apparently, going to hold future boyfriend’s family members "hostage in a cupboard" and is seen telling his daughter that she is "going to be a nun" and not have any boyfriends at all. Initially, I assumed that this video was being shared disapprovingly. But then I realized that the narrative from all of the posts sharing the video was Oh look at this dad and his cute daughter! How FUNNY. This fills me with unease. How funny is it really to replay these tired old tropes of fathers owning their daughters' bodies and seeing boys as nothing other than threats to their daughters' "virtue"?