Bimbo-Proofing the Nursery: Dude Self vs. Dad Self

Like most men, Steve Almond liked to gaze at scantily clad, nubile women - but all changed with the birth of his daughter Josephine. That's when Steve realized that there were two people inside of him fighting for control - he called one the Dude Self and the other, the Dad Self:

Here’s where things become complicated. Because despite being a dad and having all these noble dad concerns about my daughter and all the daughters of the world, I still gaze at media sluts on occasion.

What I’ve come to realize is that there are really two people inside me: the Dude Self and the Dad Self. The Dude Self has an evolutionary mandate. Namely, to get his DNA into all available fertile females. This is how I explain the compulsion toward media sluts, who, after all, sow the fantasy that women exist only for the carnal pleasure of men.

But then there’s the Dad Self. The Dad Self has to worry about the survival of his wife and offspring. It might be said that his genetic material is heavily mortgaged. He regards women differently, especially if he has a daughter. Now he must think about the kind of world in which he’d like her to grow up, and especially how he’d like other males to treat her, which is to say not as a sexual chew toy, but with kindness and respect.

It’s here that my old Dude Self and my brand-new Dad Self come to blows. Because as much as I want to check out Paris and Lindsay, I know I’m harming my daughter by doing so. For one thing, I’m sending her a very clear message: Daddy loves sluts. Be a slut and Daddy will love you. And if you don’t believe that a 1-year-old picks up on messages, you’ve never seen my daughter in action. She is intensely focused on everything in her environment, especially whatever I happen to be looking at.

Steve wrote an interesting article at BestLife on "Bimbo-Proofing the Nursery," i.e. his plan to make sure his daughter doesn't turn out like Lindsay Lohan: http://www.bestlifeonline.com/cms/publish/family-fatherhood/Bimbo-Proof_the_Nursery.shtml - via Locust & Honey


Evolutionarily speaking, a father would want his daughter to be promiscuous. It makes her more likely to mate with a strong male and further his genetic line. So, bullshit.
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I've observed this on numerous occasions with some of my friends who now have children of their own. At first they would want the typical life of many women and promiscuity but once they had a daughter or a son they realized they didn't want anyone to treat their own kids like sex objects or trash.
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A stronger evolutionary tactic would be for the woman to give an appearance that indicates sexual maturity while retaining a strong sense of discretion in her choice of reproductive partner(s).

Steve Almond's own unresolved issues with the appearance of sexual maturity in women, and his response to those issues, doesn't leave much room for hope that his child will develop a comfortable relationship with her own sexual identity. At the very least, she's guaranteed to have a difficult road ahead of her thanks to her father's misguided efforts.

It's quite possible that his child will develop a healthy sexual persona despite how her father deals with his unresolved issues, but it's extra sad to see, here, how he's laying his damage on her in an attempt to do exactly the opposite. It's downright infuriating that this psychologically damaged jackass is writing up his abusive approach to parenting in the form of advice to other parents!

What you can learn from your children is vastly greater than what they need to learn from you.
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I agree that the rules he's set out are stifling and will probably end up causing rebellion if carried through, but let's face it: the guy just became a father, and some overreaction is inevitable.

He has, however, struck on the core of the problem by recognizing that it is himself (and his wife) who will ultimately have the most influence in shaping his daughter, rather than just passing the blame onto "pop culture". Removing the offending media from his own life will do more to keep his daughter from becoming a bimbo than trying to keep her fenced in with arbitrary rules that his own actions don't support.
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Seems pretty rational to me. What father doesn't dread the day his little girl starts trying on mini-skirts and slathering on make-up? The whole "no dressing like a skank or befriending one who does" and "no associating with boys we don't know"... aren't new ideals in the parental lexicon. And of course they've almost never been obeyed. But that's also what teenagers will do. He's concerned about how his daughter will view herself as she grows up getting hammered by "media sluts" and wants to make sure he can instill a non-sexual, non-superficial feeling of self-worth in her.

If only more parents were so "abusive" (as Stickarm called it).
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Fisrt you need to clean up those toys flyers. Pinky pages with toy Hoovers, kitchens and baby dools...

AAAARRR! Isn't there another color than pink for my daughter's clothes?!!! D*mn the pink stylists!
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Um... Did any of you all bother to read the article?

"
Which brings me to rule number five, the only one I plan to enforce: Josephine can do anything she likes with her life, so long as she asks herself first: Is this behavior worthy of the love I deserve? If she flouts this rule, the failure will have been her parents’, not hers.
"

Abusive indeed . . .
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'Because despite being a dad and having all these noble dad concerns about my daughter and all the daughters of the world, I still gaze at media sluts on occasion.'

I want to punch this guy in the balls.

Firstly, he's projecting an awful lot onto evolution. What, so evolution wants me to refer to women as 'media sluts?' Thanks a lot, evolution! Evolutionarily, I'd want my infant daughter to grow up to be a 'slut'? Will do, evolution!

This guy is little more than a sex-obsessed misogynist and I fear for his daughter.
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The article gets more reflective and intelligent as it goes along, if you read the whole thing. I still don't like the "slut" usage, though. I'd rather see the word go out of fashion, instead of having guys identify who "is" a "slut" and then teaching their daughters not to be that "bad" girl.
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yea i think the guy has a reasonable argument for himself, and calling them 'media sluts' isn't that far off.. i mean, what would YOU call them? i'm sure he didn't really want to sugar-coat his opinion because of how fiercely the images lie on his conscious (yea i know, this sounds like i'm supporting his lure to sexy babes, but i'm merely giving an example of his dilemma). it can't be easy to be male and have hot, naked women available at the click of a mouse, the turn of a page, and really, the turn of his head. again- not trying to justify sexist male behavior, just saying it has to be hard to hide your boner when sex is screaming at you from all directions.

i'm just glad this guy made the realization while his daughter is still very very young for two reasons: first, having this new-found perspective will definitely help him develop a more mature view of women as his daughter grows up. second, his daughter will likely have a better upbringing and won't end up a madia slut. hopefully she'll deny the images altogether and take the alternate route of modesty.
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