We live in a world dominated by men, often at the expense of women. So we expect that some people would have negative reactions to lessons that inspires a young girl's self confidence and promote the social, psychological, emotional, and physical power of women. Why? Because they think these kind of ideas bash all men as abusive or evil and don't identify the behavior of bad women.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that some people have objections to a list of items cited in a post titled: 21 Things Your Daughter Should Know About Men Before She Starts Dating.
Most of the objections missed the point and wanted to change the narrative. Some felt the advice should also "apply to males", was "unfair in its portrayal of men", was a "Gross over simplification of the male species," should have been a "gender neutral list", or should have also included "lesbian" relationships.
But the post wasn't about men. It was about giving young daughters and their older siblings a relational frame of reference with enough self-confidence and self-reliance to recognize in men and in potential relationships some of the red flags men present women. We should do that so that our daughters are not surprised, stymied, and confused about what to do when they encounter certain behaviors in men.
The article did not suggest that all men exhibit behaviors defined by the list or that a woman should leave if she encounters any of the behaviors on the list. It did suggest that there are red flags which no self- respecting emotionally healthy woman should ignore.
Whether any of the items on the list are deal breakers is always a personal decision that should be made by a young woman who has not ignored a behavior merely because she had no frame of reference with which to make a judgement.
Otherwise, you get an older woman married or single who is caught up in a bad relationship and writing to Dear Abby or some other advice columnist about what she should do about her circumstances, circumstances that other readers might see as absurd or having an obvious solution.
Or you get someone like the reader of the article who said, perhaps tongue in cheek, about #15 on the list: "15 wish I knew before, I thought he was just shy."
Frankly, it should not matter that some men think it is unfair to men to suggest to your young daughter that some of the behavior with which men may present her should not be ignored. You owe it to her to let her know what some of those behaviors are.
One person suggested that the list of 21 things were "just a bunch of dressed-up fluff, because two rules cover better than 90% of all relationships with anybody, not just intimate relationships between men and women: 1. Respect yourself, and respect the other person. 2. Don't allow the other person to disrespect you or themselves."
However, generic rules that protect the male ego because they are gender neutral are not specific enough to provide your daughters with a frame of reference adequate enough to build a strong emotional foundation.
Check out the lists and decide for yourself which of the two lists serve your daughter better--the list of 21 or the list of two. You decide--and act accordingly. Give them something. Your daughters deserve nothing less from you.