The curse of the father of Daughters
Matt Damon, the actor, is a Father of Daughters.
Asked by Deadline to comment on the revelations that Harvey Weinstein has been a serial predator and abuser of women, Damon responded: “Look, even before I was famous, I didn’t abide this kind of behaviour. But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night.”
When he was a pleb like the rest of us, Matt Damon was against sexual assault. But now, he is a Father of Daughters and the thought of it haunts him so much that he cannot sleep.
This is the curse of the Father of Daughters. Becoming one is a difficult and under-discussed process.
Until men become Fathers of Daughters, they’re not certain that women are people. They would ask their wife, good old what’s-her-name with the, I wanna say, brown hair. But she’s always complaining about how hard it is to be a woman; there’s just no talking to her. Not until the metamorphosis happens can they truly understand.
It happens suddenly without warning over a period of nine months or so. One minute, they are standing there thinking Man Thoughts and watching the wife pant, push and holler. Surely, the Man Thinks, she could be a little less dramatic about this whole birth thing. After all, people are trying to think Man Thoughts over here.
Then a ray of light bursts from his body. His trousers turn into multi-pocket convertible cargo pants. His skin turns coarse like sandpaper. His eyes see a tiny being and the mind, without prompting, thinks: “I shall teach her how to use a hammer.” He is now a Father To A Daughter.
The Fathering is a special occasion, the moment a man realizes that a girl is a human being and that that is a good thing. Clearly, it’s a lot to take in, which explains the whole coarse skin thing.
Some fathers are lucky to become a Father to Plural Daughters. And each daughter enables them see more clearly. To be a Father of Daughters is to be a highly evolved mutant in a world of mortals, although Mothers of Daughters get mad if you say that out loud to them.
The Father of Daughters uses his newfound clarity with pride to say things that only — only! — he can. Like Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who said last month: “As a father of daughters, I want ensure that genderbased stereotypes have no place in Canada or Canadian politics.” Presumably, before the Daughters, he was super into gender-based stereotypes.
Daughters are givers of wisdom. For some Fathers of Daughters, it is almost too much.
Or as another Father of Daughters put it: “I’ve said, If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
Vicky Mochama is Metro’s national columnist. She appears every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.