“Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex”

In a a provocative and refreshing post, Ferret Steinmetz encourages his daughter to “get out there and find all the things you fucking love, and vice versa.”



Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex

7 thoughts on ““Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex”

  1. A criticism of this article (and some insight into the author given his past work, and some reasons to be extremely wary of anything the Good Men Project says is okay) can be found hereabouts: http://halfsquaretriangles.tumblr.com/post/58292773876/kawaiiancruise-dear-daughter-in-case

    Some highlights:
    “dear daughter,
    In case you thought that it might be okay for you to cultivate your own preferences, let the record reflect that actually it would be unfeminist and insufficiently liberated of you to not have all the sex that i think you should be having.


    “I think it is not a great rhetorical strategy to assume that if a thing is bad, the opposite of it is necessarily awesome and should be pursued wholeheartedly and to the prejudice of taking any other factors into consideration. i think it is especially not a great strategy in this case, because girls are already being coerced into sex they don’t want to be having and girls of colour are assumed by our racist culture to be sexually available because of their race and it is not a choice. sexual availability is not the sine qua non of sexual liberation.”

  2. When society has reduced a woman’s worth to her body and constantly identifies a woman as an object for the pleasure of men, engaging in “playful” activity only perpetuates this idea, regardless if we are “doing whatever we want with our bodies.”The fact is that women and their bodies are repeatedly objectified by men, and going out and just “having sex” encourages this objectification. Great for this father to speak from his privileged position about how wonderful sex is, but it is experienced completely differently for women, no matter how much we try to make ourselves feel that is “our free choice.”

    Not to mention that I’m not sure it is a truly “free” act for women to have sex, since the minds of many women have been diluted to believe that our worth resides in pleasing men sexually. can’t expect women to just shut off the negative societal repercussions and live in a bubble believing that they are liberated because of their “free” actions.

    As a woman, I agree, it’s extremely unfair that we are objectified so much by men that having random sex just feeds the oppression. But given these unfortunate circumstances, the answer is not to continue to engage in frequent sexual activity because we “feel liberated”—the answer is to not give those who oppress us another opportunity to do so.

  3. …while I certainly agree with comment #2 that women are objectified, it’s far from clear that “the fact is” that “going out and just ‘having sex’ encourages this objectification.” Would women really be objectified less if they had less sex? I find it pretty implausible. I also suspect that many women who enjoy sex, especially sex with multiple partners, would rightly point out that this smacks of victim-blaming.

  4. Even if it is an MRA-lite site, a broken clock and all that. We can separate the virtue of the messenger from the value of the message. (Though thank you for pointing out the problematic context of the author and website for those of us not familiar with it.)

    Though the piece could have been more explicit in stating that refraining from sexual activity is also legitimate, nothing the piece claims is robustly inconsistent with that. Furthermore, the letter explicitly claims that it’s perfectly valid for the daughter to do things the father doesn’t like or agree with when it comes to romance, sex, and hobbies. So, though this one white dude’s letter to his daughter should not be taken as the end all and be all of advice for teenage women in regards to love, sex, and individuality, I don’t see it contributing to the shaming of women for not engaging in sex. Though if people who have felt that shame don’t see value in this letter, that is valid. We shouldn’t claim that there is something here for everyone.

    I know I can say that I wish I had seen a letter like this when I was 16; I think that would have been helpful in challenging some of the pernicious ideas and tropes I was starting to adopt back then. (I would have also liked a few feminist and de-colonial primers back then, too.)

    As for the objection from objectification, I think this letter addresses that partly by focusing on the pleasure of the daughter, not on sex just for sex’s sake. He doesn’t say, “go out there and be sexy because that makes you valuable” but “go out there and find stuff you love that makes you happy and feel good.” It’s certainly not the pinnacle of feminist manifestos, but it definitely is a helpful challenge to stuff like “ten rules for dating my daughter.”

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