As an avid watcher of such silly programming as “Parenthood” and “10 Things I Hate About You” – and yes, I am referring to the television shows and not the movies on which they are based – I have to ask a question. How have we decided, as a culture, that the natural and acceptable reaction of a father to his teenage daughter entering the world of dating is that of a jealous boyfriend? Why do we not regard that reaction as vaguely sick and problematic, or at least wholly inappropriate, instead?
As a note, we do tend to see mothers who view their sons’ dating this way as wholly inappropriate and maybe a little sick. Is it that we are more judgmental about mothers? Or more judgmental about teenage girls’ dating lives? Or both?