Kelinci Hutan (kelincihutan) wrote in feminists4life,
Kelinci Hutan
kelincihutan
feminists4life

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Asking A Girl's Father's Permission To Date Her

I ended up talking about that to my mom and some other family members last night. My mother loves the practice. I hate it. I think it's anti-feminist and it is a categorical deal-breaker for me. I ranted about this on my LJ if anyone cares to read the entry.

I'm curious what y'all think about it, though. Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not? Am I the only one who thinks all this?
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I find the idea of it really odd for people who aren't doing arranged marriage type courtship. I didn't tell my parents I was dating my husband until we'd been together about a month.
I think "asking for permission" is a little too infantilizing for the woman especially and for her date, as well. Well, if it's taken seriously, that is. If it's merely a formality to respect someone's culture or to be cute, and the permission doesn't actually mean anything, then it can be charming.

To my mind, the main theme behind asking permission, in this day and age at least, is showing respect and seriousness of intention to the LI's family, which I heartily approve of. If someone's not okay with this particular ritual because of its implications (woman is property of her father, etc), then it can be switched out for something else (helping out around the house, bringing gifts to the family, spending time with them).
Personally, I think it depends a lot on the age of the girl/woman. If we're talking a 12 year old, he better darn well show up on my doorstep and ask my husband! If we're talking 16+, I'd like to think we raised her well enough to make good choices about those with whom she spends her time... dating or otherwise.
What the hell, are you sure she's not your great-grandmother with a time machine?

It's nice to have parental approval of a relationship, but that goes both ways and it's ultimately the decision of the people dating each other. Asking the father implies that the woman isn't mature or intelligent enough to make her own decisions. (Obviously, if she really isn't, like if she's really young or developmentally disabled, the father's answer should be no, but that's more like a parental ban on dating.)
I have no idea how I personally feel about that until my daughters are old enough to date. As one is only 16 months old and the other not even born yet, I have a long way to go. This did not happen to me. My dad was not involved in my dating life living 1,000 miles away.
When you used the word "girl" I assumed you meant a teenage girl, so I thought of course she should at least let her parents know whom she is going out on a date with. But I think the guy should ask a girl out directly rather than go to her parents first, which is also what your title sounded like. :)

As for girls 18 and older, yeah there's no need for any parental "permission" though I guess some people like their parents' approval or advice.

Also in either case I don't think father's approval is more or less important than the mother's.