There are many reasons why Transformers: Age of Extinction is a terrible movie. My husband made the joke that the only thing that went extinct was the audience, and I agree because we shut off the movie a little over halfway through (and I was horrified to realize there was another hour and twenty minutes left). Yes, I know it’s a Michael Bay movie, and no, I didn’t have high expectations. I was mildly entertained by the sight of Optimus Prime with a gigantic sword, riding a mecha-dinosaur into Bejing. But what annoyed me most about the movie wasn’t the excessive explosions, or the bad dialogue, or the ridiculous plot. What I hated most was Cade’s attitude toward his teenage daughter and her boyfriend.
Look, we get it. Dads are protective of their daughters. Parents are protective of their children – I have two, I understand wanting to make sure they don’t get hurt or make the same mistakes that I did. But trying to own your daughter’s sexuality is misogynistic and wrong. As much as parents are loathe to admit it, your teenage daughters ARE people, and have the right to make their own decisions about who they date and when. Sure, they’re gonna make mistakes and date some douchebags (points to self). But those are THEIR mistakes, and they should own them.
Here’s an idea. Instead of banning boyfriends (or girlfriends), TALK to your kids about respectful and appropriate relationships. Be open about sex, no matter how embarassing it is. Sure, they’ll be horrified when you mention condoms, but that knowledge is important. Talk not only about sex, but about appropriate behavior in a relationship. Model that behavior with your huband or wife. Meet their partner, welcome them into your family. Sure, you might not like them. My dad sure didn’t like my first two boyfriends. But he didn’t forbid me from seeing them, and he didn’t sit on the front porch with a shotgun when I went out on dates. And sure enough, they didn’t stick around forever. I learned something from each relationship. And now I’ve found the man I’m spending the rest of my life with, who my parents adore, and who is an amazing father to our kids.
So Cade, shut the hell up and listen to your daughter.