My father is much, much older than I am. I won’t give away his age here, but he was nearly 50 years old when he had me. That means he was past the age of retirement when I graduated high school (though that man will never retire), and he was developing grey hairs when I graduated from elementary school. You see, I am the product of one my dad’s many marriages—an interesting dynamic in and of itself—and one of the factors that comes along with that is the simple fact that my dad and I are a couple of generations apart. We are more divided by age, and the cultural and societal differences that come with age, than, say, a daughter who is just 25 or 30 years younger than her father.
What do we know about older generations? They aren’t quite as advanced in the areas of women’s rights as the current one is. I won’t say it’s true of all people from my dad’s generation, but, in general, his was an era in which it was surprising if a woman worked and concerning if a woman wasn’t married by age 30. My dad doesn’t mean to have old-school views on women. Those views don’t seem “old” to him—they were quite on trend when he was a young man. But his ideas on how women should be and what it means to be a woman are so vastly different from mine, mainly because of that huge age gap.
I know we aren’t supposed to “excuse” the older generation for their outdated views, but it’s not so easy to be hard on your pops when he is still, well, your pops. But it is funny and frustrating at times to have a, for lack of better words, sort of misogynistic father.
Correctness with his secretary
I have had to tell my dad that he isn’t supposed to call his secretary “Hun,” which was very difficult for him to understand. “That’s what I call women!” he said. “You’re hun. My wife is hun. I don’t mean anything by it.” But I had to tell him that, though some of his older secretaries in the past put up with it, his newer (twenty-something) one might file a complaint.