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What Would You Teach Your Hypothetical Daughters?
Considered On Their Own Merit: James’ Answers to Lili’s Things She Really Wants to Know

“What would you teach your hypothetical daughters about growing up to be women, and how would you honor the woman and daughters who contribute to your life daily?”

Daughters are the perennial curse on the father. Sons are his hope, and the daughters herald the end of his line and its extinguishment by competing families. That said, when you sell your daughter, I suggest that you get as much of a return on your investment as possible.

Auxiliary answer: I would use my Uncle Fred as an example. He set an example for his daughters of how to be an assertive man and respectful of his wife. His wife, my Aunt Patsy, was probably the most intelligent person in our extended family, and she was a teacher. She stayed home instead, to take care of the children, while they traveled around the country to different coaching jobs that he had. He took care of what went on outside the house, and when he was home, she was the one who had the moral authority in the household, and she didn’t tell him how to live his life when he was out of the house.

Interestingly, two of his daughters married large alpha males, one of whom is a head coach for a college baseball team. They’ve been extremely happy, have had a lot of children, and have stayed together.

The other two daughters married handsome manginas, and the marriages did not work. Both men completely abandoned their children, and the grandfather stepped into the father role. So he provided for those daughters, and he’s the father figure for those boys. And he’s closer to his grandsons than most men are to their sons. And they’ve taken after him athletically.

To summarize, you have to set a positive example of the type of man that they’re going to look for, so that she’s got a yardstick to measure the guys that she’s considering. The one thing that should not be done is what a lot of men in my fathers and uncle’s generation did: leaving the marriage choice up to the daughter and saying, you made your bed, lie in it. It was very unusual for a father-in-law among white working-class men in Baltimore city, Baltimore county, and Washington county PA, to protect their daughter from the domestic violence of a poorly chosen husband. I think this is one of the things that fueled the second wave of feminism, the domestic violence.

In conclusion: the fact that men are so visual and that so many of them are so stupid, makes it easy for the tactically thinking man to take in a new social space at a glance and determine where the trouble’s going to emanate from.

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