We’re a part of a generation who is heavy set on the “blame-game.” We have become dependent on placing negative attention elsewhere. For example, a student fails a test? Obviously, it’s the teacher’s fault. Did you cheat on your ex? She made you mad and you were vulnerable that night. A girl who sleeps around? Apparently, she’s looking for love in all the wrong places. (Chill. Maybe she just enjoys sex. Guys don’t get questioned about it, so why should she?)
But there’s one comment that tags along with this and it never fails to make my blood boil – this is what happens when your dad doesn’t love you. I see picture after picture of young girls doing promiscuous things and the captions are always something along the lines of when your dad doesn’t love you enough, or thank you to all the dead-beat dads. Since when was this a matter worth joking about? Lacking sufficient parental guidance is funny nowadays?
There is an abundance of statistics involving the long-term effects that paternal neglect could have on a child, specifically in this case, a daughter. Father involvement provides females with positive male/female relationships and increased self-respect. One study done on women in their early 20’s shows that “participants expressed difficulties forming healthy relationships with men and they associated these difficulties with their experiences of father absence,” while another study shows that a girl who portrays a higher involvement with her father is less likely to partake in sexual activities before the age of 16.
We need to realize that paternal issues affect men just as much as they affect women. Jokes are always promoting the sexualizing of girls with “daddy issues,” but we neglect to realize that boys without father figures are just as likely to develop certain issues; socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. According to a survey reported by the U.S Census Bureau, “24 million children in America – one out of every three – live in biological father-absent homes.” 1/3 of children grow up without a father. One in three. This DOES NOT exclude boys. Boys with non-active/abusive fathers grow to be more hostile, and more prone to juvenile incarceration. But you don’t see anyone looking at an incarcerated teenager and think “thank god for the dead-beat dads,” do you? No. Because it doesn’t get you laid. And if it gets you laid, I guess it’s okay to joke about.
It’s sad how little we try to sympathize, and how quickly we joke about something that affects people’s lives forever. “Daddy issues” are serious and should never be the joke of slut-shaming. Why, do you ask? Let me explain.
Number 1 – Just because someone is sexually active doesn’t mean she has parental problems underlying her free choice to accept and explore the intimate side of her humanity.
Number 2 – If someone DOES have parental problems, why do we feel the need to judge? I’m sure none of us would want memes portraying our personal problems.
Number 3 – Try to imagine yourself attempting to fill a void, and wind up being the brunt of a joke that took over the generation. It’s not that funny anymore, is it?
Let’s get serious – there’s nothing funny about a broken home. I’m sure this era can survive with some other form of ill-mannered humor. It’s time to put the insensitivity behind us.
This article originally appeared on Unwritten.