I've been to at least one daddy-daughter dance. (Maybe more than that, because I think my high school kept doing them for another year, but I don't remember. Sorry, Dad. I'm sure we had a great time.) I only remember the first one.
I was a freshman in high school at an all-girls' school. My friends and I and our dads (and my one friend's hot, young, cop uncle) went to Bob Chinn's for dinner, then went over to school for the dance.
The girls spent the night on the dance floor, bopping around like idiots to, I don't know, Salt N Pepa, while our dads (and other assorted male relatives) stood on the sidelines drinking beer and chatting.
It was a fun dance. One of the best I recall from high school, probably because all the "find and then impress a date" pressure was off. They dropped balloons filled with money from the ceiling, I mean, come on.
Apparently I was wrong to enjoy myself. I should've been disgusted that this dance even existed.
Last night, my husband took our daughter to her first daddy-daughter dance. She spent the entire day super excited about it. We bought her sparkly new shoes to go with her yellow Belle dress. I attempted to curl her hair, basically using whatever candy goo she'd gotten caught in it as gel. Her dad bought her pink flowers. They walked over with her cousin and uncle, while I stayed home for a fun evening of video games and Legos with my son and nephew. (Anecdotal, but neither of them felt slighted in any way. They thought they'd won the life lottery. They were not aware that what they should've been feeling was outrage.)
The girls ditched their fathers as soon as they got to school and danced/ran around with their girlfriends all night.
There were no purity pledges or anything like that. But it was a dance for "fathers and daughters" and I guess that's the inherent problem? Because it's exclusionary on its face? But I'm not sure if it was exclusionary in practice. If my husband hadn't been able to go, I would've for sure taken my daughter myself. Would someone have tried to stop me? I don't know. If they had, this would be a different blog post for sure.
Should there be a reciprocal Motherboy dance for women and boys? Sure. Why not, if there's a desire for it? People in my community are already talking about doing one next year. And then I'm sure we'll all hear about why this, too, is ruining society--because it's excluding dads and daughters, I don't know. Because anger is our default, and Twitter threads are our truth, and everything is terrible and unfair, and you should feel bad about enjoying things when they don't pass every societal purity test.
What happened last night was that a school full of girls had a fun night out with their friends, and their dads happened to be there. Take my feminist credentials away, I don't think this was a travesty.
We're so quick to assume that there's some ulterior motive to everything. We've been trained to think this way, to point out places where things are unfair and wrong and damaging and fuck all that. Sometimes things are just fun. Sometimes putting on a pretty dress is fun. Sometimes wearing a flower on your wrist is fun. Sometimes walking home carrying your shoes is fun. An orange ogre is in charge of our country and I'm tired.
Not everything is a sinister plot by the patriarchy designed to hold us down.
Sometimes a dance is just a dance.
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