The Broad Spectrum: Misogynist Dad

Ivanka's not the only girl who's had to grow up with a father whose ideas about women are less than progressive.

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I’ve never thought I had much in common with Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, but when everyone was freaking out recently about Donald Trump’s “Grab ‘em by the pussy” comment, my thoughts were with her. See, I too know a little something about having a dad that’s a misogynist, and loving him despite it.

Girls like me and Ivanka, we’ve perfected the art of the disdainful eye roll, which is generally accompanied by crossing our arms, a sigh, and subtle shaking of the head. “Gaaaawd Dad, why do you have to be so gross?” 

A while back I wrote about the real Florida Man, and my biological dad fit the bill in many ways. The part about how they catcall out of their trucks at young girls walking down the street — that was true of my dad, even when I was in the truck with him as a teenager myself during summer visits to where he lived in Panama City Beach. You can imagine my disgust. 

And I can imagine Ivanka’s. 

In a way, we daughters get used to it. That’s how dad is. Mine’s a former Merchant Marine, a fisherman and all-around salty dog. He never hid his vulgarity, whether it was making a show of lifting his leg to fart or saying all manner of crude things about bodily functions or sex stuff. No filters. 

Because of that kind of exposure all my life, it’s hard to offend me, my sense of humor is dark and not without vulgarity, and I swear like a boss, something my dad thinks of as unladylike, naturally, since women should either be June Cleaver or Jenna Jameson. 

Because of her dad, Ivanka gets to be rich; but she’s also well-educated and poised, and she’s the only thing I like about Donald Trump. I picture her at home hearing of the news of what he said to Billy Bush back in 2005, rolling her eyes and shaking her head with a “Come on — seriously, Dad?” But also an acceptance, because she knows him and that’s part of who he is. 

The weird thing about having a misogynist dad, though, I think in both of our cases, is that they always loved us and put us on a pedestal even while objectifying other females who they deemed fuckworthy. 

But we, their daughters, are different. We’re their baby girls, whom they are proud of and are the best thing they’ve ever done. And they are our Daddies, and even with all their crassness, we have memories of being spoiled and loved as children and we know that guy too, and we love him unconditionally. 

Which does not preclude us from cringing and evoking that long-ago-perfected eye roll every time gross Dad thinks it’s awesome to grab women by the pussy, because no matter how much we love our fathers, it's always disappointing to be reminded that they are, in fact, misogynists.

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