A woman I know once told me a story of a family friend of hers, a dad who had a teenage daughter. One day, a boy came to the door to pick up this man’s daughter for a date. The dad met his daughter’s prospective date at the door and said, “You are not taking my daughter out.”
The woman who told me this story was appalled that a dad would do such a thing, that he would assert his power like that, that he would put his daughter in such an awkward position.
I was appalled that she was appalled.
And I realized that she and I we were on very clearly opposite sides of an important moral, and primal, issue.
The woman who told me this story had a big problem with a dad doing that, ever. I have a big problem with a dad NOT doing that, ever. A father who lacks the will to protect his family from potential harm is not a real man in my eyes. In fact, I believe he is a contemptible weakling.
I believe a man should be a protector. I believe one of the primary functions of a father is to safeguard his family. If this man had a strong impulse to repel a particular boy from his family, and he acted on that impulse, then I salute him. He is doing his job. He is being a man.
If I had daughters, I’d be the kind of dad sitting on the porch with a shotgun across my lap, greeting the boys if/when they came calling. I would want to put fear into those boys. And the boys who respected me for that fear, they would be the ones who would eventually earn my respect.
It is a healthy and character-building thing for boys to fear the fathers of the girls they want to take out.
The Purpose of Authority
Whether family, city, or nation, the protection of its members from harm is the most basic function of authority.
Whether family, city, or nation, it is a healthy thing for any potential interlopers to fear the authority of the entity into which they are interloping.