Kelinci Hutan
Last night, I was having a conversation with my family that--somehow--meandered over to asking permission from a girl's father to date her. The title quote was what my mother said to me on the subject.

My response to this is a flat no. More than that, as I said to Mom at the time, if any guy I'm interested ever does ask my parents permission to date me, I don't care if they say yes or no. I'm done with him forever at that second. It is a categorical deal-breaker.

Mom did not look very satisfied with this response, but since obviously I don't care whether my parents give permission on this issue, her disapproval isn't going to change my mind any. However, it's irritated me enough that I'm going to lay out my reasons against this particular piece of cultural idiocy for anyone who cares to read it.

First off, this practice, as it functions in our culture, is a blatant double-standard. I'm not expected to ask the parents of any men I'm interested their permission to date him, but he's expected to ask my parents' permission to date me? Why? How does that make any sense? This might, arguably, make a little sense if I were still a teenager, but there I'd be arguing that it ought to go both ways. To an adult woman, this is an excuse to treat her like a child, but the same cannot be said of the adult man in this situation. Double-standard, double-standard, double-standard.

Next, this carries within it an implicit disregard for a woman's intelligence. Obviously men can be trusted to make reasoned, intelligent decisions about the people they wish to date. Women, on the other hand, clearly can't be, therefore it must be up to their parents--specifically their fathers--to point them in the right direction and only grant access to approved males.

On top of that, this confers an authority to both a woman's parents and to her suitors that I don't think they should have. Honestly, I don't even see that there's Biblical support for this (I'm not going to go into this, though, unless someone asks). Simply put, no one gets to decide who any woman is or is not right for except for that woman.

Lastly, it absolves women of responsibility for making one of the biggest decisions in their lives. If things go well, then it's a good thing her parents gave this guy permission, isn't it? And if they go wrong, well, it's not entirely her fault; he did have permission after all. Now, this one might seem like a minor reason when stacked up against the first three, but I feel it's at least as important as the previous ones I mentioned being as it reinforces all of them. Clearly women can not be trusted to make these decisions, so their families have to make it for them. This decision is such a big deal that women shouldn't carry this responsibility! They can't! It's just so big! You can't do it all by yourself! You would fail without our help!

Gee, I've heard that line before used by people most of the "Ask Permission" proponents would be ashamed of agreeing with. And it's completely wrong then, too.

So, in sum, screw that. I'm not jumping on this bandwagon.
 
 
Location: Ivy Manor
Mood: irritated
Music: "Harry Sees Dragons" from Goblet of Fire