Like many of you I have photos of my family up on Facebook. I even, against the urgings of my very shy inner child, posted a few photos of when I was little. One such photo of little second grade me on the first day of school also featured my dad who would have been around 30. (Don't do the math, my folks are young. 'Nuff said.)
Let me pause here for a second and tell you that my dad is a very handsome guy. And because Facebook is what Facebook is, someone was bound to comment on his hotness.
I guess I should have known. There was that one time… My dad, being the awesome guy that he is, was helping move across own. In the rain. It was miserable. As we lugged boxes and furniture up the stairs in my new (creepy) building, a neighbor lady came out and introduced herself.
“I’m Jenny. Nice to meet you!”
I was excited to meet a neighbor having passed many an evening watching Friends and wishing fervently that I too could have that sort of mad cap lifestyle with wacky adventures and friends in the building. “Hi! I’m Kay!”
She looked down the hall at my dad who was stacking boxes of books at the top of the stairs.
“Is that your boyfriend? Is he moving in here too?”
“Oh no,” I laughed, “That’s my dad.”
“Mmmhmm.” She, I kid you not, changed stances to allow for an almost stereotypical pout/hip thrust combo, “That’s a fine lookin’ daddy you got there.”
“Uhhh, thanks,” I managed, my dreams of neighbor friendship dying the death of the wigged out, “My mom thinks so too.”
She sniffed and disappeared back behind her door. We never hung out and if memory serves that was our one and only conversation.
So, yeah. I know my dad is a good looking guy. In fact, I think he looks like actor Victor Garber (the dad from Alias). But knowing that, I was still surprised when he was labeled a DILF by a friend via Facebook.
Just saying it makes me want to laugh. Yeah, I get it, I know it is the counterweight to MILF (another term I actually find more crude and amusing in that whole “how very low brow and common” sort of way than offensive). But seriously, DILF. It just sounds funny.
It didn’t bug me. It should have… I mean, technically someone just made my dad a sexual object. If anyone had called my mom a MILF I think I might have gone on the warpath. But DILF didn’t really even phase me.
Double standard much? I caught myself. Why is it okay for a man to be sexualized but when a woman is objectified it makes me want to start kicking ass and taking names? If we want sexual objectification to cease, if we really want that even playing field, then it can’t be okay no matter the gender of the individual being objectified.
Now I know the friend who wrote in DILF would never in all seriousness cruelly objectify anyone. I know that because I know them. Sadly, that isn’t the point.
That isn’t the point because I also know that language is vital, that slang and dirty talk directly correspond to society’s acceptance of people and things.
When fourteen year old boys yell things like “That Horde Shaman just totally raped me!” in the general chat of World of Warcraft, that is not okay.
When the word “fag” is used as an insult, that is not okay.
When anyone is sexually objectified, be it mom, dad, sister, brother, friend… even in jest, that is not okay.
Am i being oversensitive. Probably. But I can live with that. It's better than being complacent.
I took the photo down. Again I don’t think there was any intentional aim to disrespect, but on the off chance that my dad would have felt uncomfortable… (Or for that matter, my mom)
And honestly, having the “So, your friend thinks I’m hot.” conversation with my dad is just something I think I can really do without.
Speaking of my dad though, in a few weeks my parents get to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary. Again, don’t do the math… just nod and smile and think “Awww, how cute.”