How Having A Daughter Makes Men See Women Differently

August 8, 2018  |  
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I’ve seen a few men go through complete transformations after having daughters. Before raising little girls, these men were perhaps hardened, a bit insensitive, at times ignorant, and often impatient. But something about raising a daughter really changed them. Okay, I’ll just say it: it made them more likeable. And for the record, some of these men had sons, but raising a son didn’t quite seem to have the same effect on them that raising a daughter did. The real, significant, noticeable changes only happened when they were in charge of the physical and emotional life of a female. Would I prescribe being a father of a girl to any man who could use some personality adjustments? Probably not—not everyone is cut out for it. But it can be a turning point for men who were just near being great guys. Here is how having a daughter changes the way a man looks at women.

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Exposing outfits: not necessary

After seeing how men will creep on his daughter, when she’s just out in her sweatpants and sweatshirt, a man realizes how totally unnecessary it is for women to dress provocatively to get male attention. That attention will come either way—wanted or unwanted.

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He gives women more physical space

Once realizing how aware he is of the physical space people give (or don’t give) his little girl, a man becomes very conscious of giving women their physical space. If he’s walking behind a woman at night, he slows down a bit to let her feel safer. If he’s at a crowded bar, he doesn’t hover closely to a woman to order a drink.

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Just let them play (dance) unbothered

All it takes is for a man to see his little girl, blissfully dancing and bopping around, for it to click: women don’t dance at the club in order to have men come creep up on them. They just genuinely have fun moving their bodies around. Leave them alone. They’re playing.

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Can’t men just talk without flirting?

Dads do not want anyone to talk to their daughters in any flirtatious manner. And once that’s true, they realize just how many men cannot seem to talk to females without flirting. It seems truly impossible for many males to just have a normal conversation with a woman that doesn’t have sexual undertones.

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More respect for female coworkers

Whether it’s not commenting on how one woman is behind on work because she’s too busy being a mom, or not making jokes about coworkers being upset because of a breakup or their period, men with daughters are just far more respectful of their female coworkers. They treat them the way they hope men treat their daughters when they go out into the workforce.

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And more help for female coworkers

Dads also begin to see how deep sexism runs in the workplace, and how often women are overlooked for opportunities. That’s why guys with daughters might start going out of their way to make sure women get credit for their work, and that women are considered for promotions, challenging projects, and other profile-raising opportunities.

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Even maybe means no

Not only does no mean no but, when a man becomes a dad, he realizes that even maybe means no. He realizes that anything other than a resounding, enthusiastic, confident yes…could mean no. Why? Because he sees how his daughter often feels pressure to say yes when she means no, or even to say maybe when she means no. Or even to say no, but to put it in a soft, ambiguous way to make people happy.

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Touching is almost never necessary

When a man wants absolutely nobody to lay a finger on his daughter, he realizes how unnecessary most male to female touching is. Whether it’s the touching of a hand to make a point in a professional meeting or a touching of the lower back when passing by a woman, none of it is necessary.

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They call out the offenders

Dads don’t sit by quietly when they see another man objectify women, or make women uncomfortable. They start to speak up a lot more for the proper treatment of women once they think, every time something bad happens, “That could’ve been my daughter.”

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It highlights sexism

Once men have daughters who they ask to help them…fix the car, move boxes, and do all kinds of tasks…they notice how often, in the workplace, people only assign what they see as “female” tasks to the women. Like making the coffee for the birthday lunch or holding the executive’s baby.

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Commenting on appearance is not necessary

Dads don’t like when people tell their daughters they’re beautiful or pretty rather than strong or smart. So they start paying more attention to how often men in the workplace tell women they look pretty, or call women “hon” or “sweetheart.”

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Women aren’t princesses

When a man becomes a dad, and he doesn’t want his daughter to act like a princess (spoiled, entitled, too precious for hard work) he realizes how damaging it is when men call women princess.

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But they are queens

While dads don’t want anyone to treat their daughters like princesses, they do want men to treat their daughters like queens—with respect, and with the acknowledgment that they are powerful and wise.

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They want women to respect themselves

Once a man has a daughter, and wants to teach her to respect herself—to speak up for herself, to ask for what she wants, and not to give into gender norms or expectations—he has a hard time watching women make out with each other for male attention or flash their boobs for free drinks. He wants to tell them, “You don’t have to do that.”

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Every woman is somebody’s daughter

Once a man is a dad, he realizes that every woman—every hot woman his friends leer at or his coworkers harass—is somebody’s daughter. And he wants to defend that man by defending that woman.

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