So, Justin Bieber has spoken out to fathers everywhere.
I have three daughters. None have caught the “fever” – ever. One of the reasons is that I don’t let it come into the house. I guess I have inoculated them to the threat. In fact, when his name comes up in conversation or when they hear of how other girls around the world fall at the feet of this icon they usually roll their eyes, shake heads and say something like, “I just don’t get it”. And I’m good with that.
When I first saw this message from Justin I was confused with my reaction. Was I offended? I have no hair (just check out the profile pic to the right). But did that bother me? No. I can give it and take it when it comes to the (lack of) hair jokes. Was it the sly reference that all 17 year old boys have one thing on their mind, and that I was that way, too? Justin’s comment waters down what it means to be truly a man – we are more than the one-track mind he suggests here. I think I was saddened initially. Justin has a chance to influence a generation with some positive images of masculinity. Instead, he is trying to influence girls with his own (narrow and immature) view of manhood and in the process giving boys a shallow example of how to treat girls.
But what bothered me most was his assertion that he is the saviour of dads everywhere. Now we don’t have to bother with guarding our girls from the boys next door, we have the Bieber. Now we don’t have to talk with them about boundaries or teach them about expectations and respect. We don’t have to influence their choices in relationships. This all comes from Justin.
Dads, if we let this be true, then we are killing our daughters. No one protects my girls like I do. I am the one who guides them. I set expectations for them to follow. I model what it means to be in a relationship with a man. I show them they are captivating to me – that they have my total attention, care and love. I will not surrender that role to anyone. It is my responsibility. It is my job.
Until I give them away in marriage, if I give my girls any reason whatsoever to look elsewhere for protection and warmth and love, I have failed them. Straight up. There is no middle ground. My job is to keep them safe, from head to toe, from heart to mind. I will relinquish this to no one.
And I pray you do the same for your girls.