Viral Video ‘Dear Daddy’ Urges Men To Take A Stand Against Sexual Violence Toward Women

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There’s a powerful viral video circulating on the internet that is getting a lot of people talking about an important subject: sexual violence. The video we’re talking about is ‘Dear Daddy’, from CARE Norway, who are specifically targeting Norwegian men but also say the message extends to men all over the world.

The 5 minute video, which has already racked up over 6 million views since early December, is told from the perspective of an unborn girl who narrates the video. “Dear Daddy”, she begins as we see an image of a pregnant woman being driven to the hospital by her partner.

“I need to ask you a favor. Warning: it’s about boys. Because, you see, I will be born a girl which means that by the time I am 14, the boys in my class will have called me a whore, bitch, c*nt, and many other things. It’s just for fun of course, something boys do. But you won’t worry, and I understand that. Perhaps you did the same when you were young,” she continues.

Throughout the video we see a series of scenarios of various young girls hanging out with boys, all while the “unborn” female narrator talks about how the things boys say and how they treat girls in terms of gendered sexual jokes may seem like harmless fun, but the more ingrained they become in a young man’s mind, it could potentially have very serious consequences.

As the video progresses we hear the girl talking about being pressured by a boyfriend to have sex, feeling like she is not control of her own body when she is drunk while making out with a guy, as well as being raped by a guy she knows.

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It is an interesting a clever perspective to use in terms of sending an important powerful message. We often hear men being told “just wait until you have a daughter!” as way to let them know they will only really understand more closely what it feels like to be on the receiving end of sexual assault or harassment when they have a first-hand emotional connection to a girl they want to protect more than life.

“One in 5 daughters have been subjected to violence by a partner. Daughters of all ages, in all countries and in all walks of life are at risk. Everyone can do something, and the father has a special responsibility and a unique opportunity to [prevent] their daughter from becoming a victim of violence,” says an English translation description on the CARE Norway website.

The World Health Organization states that 1 in 3 women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner.

There has been considerable push back on this video and its message a from a number of advocate groups claiming it paints men in a bad light and makes the assumption that all men are rapists. While we can’t speak on behalf of CARE, we can share our point of view which is that most people in the world are aware that not all men rape, not all men commit acts of sexual violence, and not all men are prone to sexually harass women and girls. But when the statistics show that globally, women are the disproportionate victims of these times of crimes, to ignore the overwhelming numbers would be a great shame.

In an interview on the CARE Norway website author of the book ‘Daddy for the First Time’ Find Beam talks about how he views his role as a dad in taking care of his daughter.

I think the most important thing one can do is to have small mouth and big ears. It is important to listen to the girls what they say – not to mention what they DO NOT say. Advice, tips and admonitions should share out with a teaspoon, but let them know that you are always right behind them,” he said.

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Author of ‘Tough Dad’ Alex Rosén who was also interviewed by the organization talks about his role as a the father of 2 boys.

“I think that one of my main tasks as Dad is showing respect and care. It’s about understanding that there are consequences for what one does, and especially towards others. My sons must learn where the boundary is. I must explain my sons about the power they are carriers of. The power that can move mountains, starting a war or make peace. If the power is used wrong it can really wear the wrong direction. That’s where my responsibility lies. It is the same power that allows men perpetrators,” he says.

The more men can raise their voices about how they feel about this issue, perhaps it will not be so taboo, or considered just a woman’s issue. We can understand that some men and boys would feel offended by this message, but in our eyes, we hope they are offended to the point that they want to change the statistics and prevent further attacks from happening.

Ever since Emma Watson declared her He For She message for a generation of men to stand up, raise their voices and play an important role in the fight for gender equality, we need to hear more messages aimed at including men in the conversation. It is not enough to tell women to protect themselves, stay away from danger, and know what signs to look for. We are at a point in our society where we are aware enough to know how vital it is to have all gender parts of the conversation and collective effort to stop sexual violence.

“Dear daddy, this is the favor I want to ask: one thing always leads to another, so please stop it before it has the chance to begin. Don’t let my brothers call girls whores, because they’re not, and one day some little boy might think it’s true. Don’t accept insulting jokes…because behind every joke there is some truth. Dear daddy, I know you will protect me…without even thinking about danger to your own life. But dear daddy, I will be born a girl, please do everything you can so that that won’t stay the greatest danger of all,” the video concludes.

The bets part about this video is that it is opening conversations about sexual assault in even greater measure, even if it is to criticize it. The way we see it, if men and women become angry enough to want to do something, then it has already become a success. Less silence, more action.

One Comment

  1. I have a daughter. I am someone else’s daughter who is also someone else’s daughter who also came from another mother’s daughter.

    Teaching our sons is the key. Because we have been there and done that in terms of having to hear the things that we hear (we cannot stop other people from saying horrid things, but, we can dismiss what they say as not being true. To create a law that would stop this kind of verbal assault would only make it so that those who do this will not expose the truth of themselves publicly and will go on to become abusers.), my own thinking is because of the way that their mother was not only raised, but also what she was raised to believe is normal.

    Human beings running their mouths isn’t new. Male human beings believing that they are somehow smarter than we are is also not new. What is new is the idea that my generation of mothers have a unique issue on our hands in that, we are the generation which was spawned by the last generation of blatantly abusive parents, and we are the generation of mothers who collectively and consciously chose to do what we could to make everything that we have gone through somewhat public. It is a shameful thing when a society of people have to tell an entire generation of people that we do not like that some of your sons like bullying our daughters about things that those sons have been made to believe is our weakness – our gender, but, on that note I must beg to differ. It is THAT we are female that makes us terribly and incredibly strong. It is THAT we can bear children that makes us more empowered. It is THAT we have the ability to experience the entirety of emotion in one instance and NOT freak out because of it. Smart men acknowledge that indeed, science is correct in that we are the more superior of the human species.

    We have to protect our daughters, but we cannot do so in the same manner that we, their mothers, were, because that is not the safest option. Mine is the generation that publicly humiliated our abusers, even those who we called “Mom,” Dad,” “Auntie,” “Uncle,” and we are the ones who made them face their truths and we are the ones who are not scared to tell them the real truths. The real truths are that men are not as evil as we portray them to be, and women are not as innocent as we want the world to believe, and if each of the genders could just understand that there isn’t some strange competition between us to be better or more stronger than the other. This is where we made it difficult, meaning we as a collective, and long before any parent who is currently in their 40s and raising kids, namely girls – that we were supposed to be fighting with each other for, of all things, validity. There is a lot more to all of this than only what we are seeing is there. On the top of things, we are standing in our own way in terms of progress, because a lot of us have not been able or willing to create this thing called Balance.

    Balance allows us to see both sides of the gender map, allows us to bother with ourselves better and in relation to the guys. Balance is the thing that causes us to stop ourselves from blowing things into a mad mess of emotional stuff that most men understand, but cannot express very well at all. This is why abuse has become so prevalent – it was the way that the generation prior to my own kept people in line and were able to keep on telling the lies that we heard. In my culture, which is Hawai’ian, the sad thing is that we each and all grew up in an energy that told us that violence is the answer to making certain that people follow what rules there were and that had to be adhered to. No one told anyone else that this is not normal, that wearing the energy that is “hit first and ask questions later” was not and is not the way to go. The thing that has been spawned from this is that in Hawai’i and in many Hawai’ian communities throughout the country, our women are already dying from things such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure problems (stroke) and breast cancer. The other preventable disease is Domestic Abuse. When I first found out that the editor and creator of a yearly literature anthology had been shot and killed by her husband in the early 2000’s, it struck me then that what my own mother believed was something that I would not, should not, could not bring myself to believe, and that was (her words) that “Hawai’ian men do not beat our women, are not violent towards them,” and this was something that she believed for a very long set of years. When the abuse began happening to me, she chalked it up to the fact that my kids’ dad is white. (“See? white men are who beat women, not Hawaiian ones…”)

    I suppose that the one thing that we CAN do is NOT try harder to prevent ugly people from doing ugly things, but, to teach our daughters differently than we were taught. I was taught, through the actions of the women who I watched while I was growing up, that there is only one person in charge of the family, and that no woman could be. This is false. There is a growing portion of the population here in the states that are all headed in households run by women. There is a growing proportion of women here in the states, myself included, who have returned to college, not only for the purposes of being able to work in the new world, but more, because we are mothers, and since this is so, and since it is that we have all been taught, whilst growing up, that mother knows best, we have chosen to return to the halls of academia, so that not only will we be heralded as being the new leaders of the world, but so that that phrase I just wrote will become more important and more needed to follow, because truly, it will be that the mothers of the planet will do what it was that we were born to do – nurture, teach, inform, educate, and most of all, give care and love.

    Care and love are the things that we were not taught but learned from what was the opposite of those things. The thing that we have been void of for generations is the very thing that is needed and the very thing that we are all, the moms of the planet who each and all hail from another time in history and another time and place in the lives of women, and that one thing is Love. We do not know how to Love. We have been taught that the reality of Love is between two people who marry and eventually learn to love a stranger who would never do for us what we have done for them. it is kind of a big deal to think about the idea that we are meant to Love the world, one child at a time, one heart at a time, and with people constantly telling us, still, that we are less than anyone else is the thing that keeps us all victims of a collective abuse on women for generations.

    We need to STOP taking things head on, live our lives as best we can, refuse to adhere to the tenets of behavior as set out for women many, many generations ago, and instead of trying hard to change the minds of the populace, change our own minds in terms of what is and what is not a woman, and LIVE THAT WAY….only in living that way will truth in behavior be seen and will actual change in our world come about….

    Thanks for reading !!
    #LosAngelesKahuna
    #ReverendRoxie22
    #TheManaoBlog

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