Daddies, don’t let your daughters grow up…

…to date losers. Derb shares an email:

I have a friend, a very busy, worldly & successful guy, who is a great dispenser of advice, mostly good. His advice on raising a daughter: “Sure, education, orthodontistry, moral training, all that is good stuff. It’s secondary, though. You must concentrate above all else on this one great objective: DON’T LET HER MARRY A LOSER. Corollary: Don’t let her date any losers.”

I had a very sad reminder of this today. I learned that an acquaintance recently lost his daughter. She committed suicide at age 30. She was married to a hopeless ne’er-do-well, a drug addict. She was sure she could put him right.

“Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington,” went the old song. I think my first friend is right: never mind the stage, or anything else, just keep her away from losers. And from the illusion—widespread among women, in my experience—that she can change a loser into a normal person by the power of love. Perhaps it can be done once in a while, but it’s not the way to bet. Not from what I’ve seen—and I’ve seen a few, and this is not the first one that ended tragically. May the poor girl rest in peace.

Teach them how to read. Tell them they’re pretty. Don’t buy them inappropriate clothing. Keep them off the pole and don’t let them date losers. You can’t control a child, you can’t control any human being, but you can certainly influence them by making your approval and disapproval clear and refusing to bankroll idiocy.

The idea that it’s impossible to reduce a girl’s interest in a loser and that any criticism will only drive her further into his arms is incorrect. Women, especially young women, can’t bear ridicule. Few girls will continue to harbor interest in a laughingstock who is openly regarded with contempt, they tend to value social status more than their brothers.