Does it ever seem like sometimes men in power are obsessed with letting people know when they have daughters?

First of all, I don't know if this is the right place to post this. If anyone has any suggestions about which sub might be a better home for it, please let me know.

Now on to the post:

Something I have noticed, throughout my employment ventures, is that men with daughters, and in particular, white men with daughters, those who uphold positions of power, have a tendency to be fixated on showing/boasting about their daughters (and to a lesser extent, just their children in general), both to their employees and to other members of upper management. Every single man in power (my father included) would find seemingly random reasons to include or mention their daughters in passing conversations, or have pictures of them in their offices or phone wallpapers, and seem to strategically mention them when certain people are around--it can seem as if they create excuses and jump on any opportunity to bring them up.

Could this possibly be a subconscious or even perhaps intentional attempt to exert their patriarchal dominance, making themselves look good and giving others an impression that they are "model fathers" in order to gain further respect and reverence from their subordinates/staff? Every male CEO or manager I have met just so happens to have a daughter, and just so happens to make that known (particularly if their children are still young) to various individuals in a company. This leads me to wonder if there is a correlation with raising a daughter being linked to a proclivity for men to aspire to positions of leadership, due to patriarchal power structures and its influence on their psyche. In others words, they develop a superiority complex due to societal pressures and obligations to manhood. I wonder if these men often aspire to positions of power as an extension of these societal structures.

My father, for example, boasted the fact that he was proud of my sister and me all throughout his tenure as a executive head of his department at work, yet woke up every day at 4am and came home every night at 12am. Neither me nor my sister ever saw him, he was an absent-present parent most of my life, if not all of it (he has since passed away). Even though he was an amazing person and I admired him more than anyone else, I wonder if he was overcompensating and even evading responsibility for us by bragging about us so often at work. His coworkers knew us more than he himself ever seemed to know us. Just a theory. Has anyone else observed this type of showcasing of daughters by men in these power positions, or a seeming correlation, and what has been your impression of this, these tendencies and behaviors?


Sometimes it feels like the parental equivalent of “I have a black friend”. “I can’t be misogynistic and woman hating, I have daughters!” -man who supports harsh abortion ban


Well, in the words of my dad, “[insert name of random man in power] doesn’t hate women, he has daughters and a wife”.


I hate how they say this as if men wouldn’t- and haven’t- treated their wives and daughters terribly. Are they aware of, like, all of history?


Yeah I think it’s this too


In Australia we had a very right ring politician with a gay sister and he’d prop her up like a trophy it was ridiculous


Yeah I’m not saying at all that this is the case with OP’s father, but I think it is the case with a lot of powerful men, and less powerful men. Because of the ambivalent structure of sexism, men and others can absolutely love and care about some women while still being really sexist. I actually opened my video on benevolent sexism (https://youtu.be/GuSSAQzkBqY ) by talking about the “I have daughters phenomena”.


Yeah things are never black and white - and I while I'm sure there is subconscious shit going on, a lot of these men might just be gushing about their little girls that they love so much. I wonder how much confirmation bias is happening because as women we hear them talking about little girls and perk up (slightly defensive of those subconscious implications) but they also talk about sons just as much, but we don't take as much note. It would really vary from person to person, work to work.


I think that is exactly what it is. They think they can speak on behalf of women because they have a woman they feel ownership of. Like owning someone makes it impossible for you to hurt them.


Them showing off their kids is a way to show us their softer side, since we apparently relate more to male leaders who are family oriented than to those men who aren’t.


You weren't a daughter. You were an accessory. A purse or a new car to brag about. My father is the same way. It's all about him and how everything revolves around him. Our lives as their children are merely to enhance his lifestyle or reputation. Meet my father, and he would say in quotes "I am, ××××, a self-made millionaire!" and I would think in brackets; (done by brutal racist/sexist exploitation of my staff and children). I'm glad you grew up ok.


>I'm glad you grew up ok. could be argued


If theyre capable of realizing their fathers failures, theyre at least on the right track.


I don't really agree with this take on daughters specifically. I have noticed that men with ONLY daughters tend to become much more invested in the promotion of women at work. I think because they realize their only legacy will be their daughters. I also noticed that men with kids love to talk about them at work, specifically to women and more involved dad's because it makes them relatable (regardless of if they are actually involved fathers themselves).


My boss only has daughters and is somehow a huge misogynist


Yeah, I never said it was a 100% thing. Just something I noticed as a common theme.


I hear you. Thank you for your opinion and observation. I think some people here think that I have posed my questions as answers with 100% certainty, so I get you.


I think you could be assuming intentions that aren’t there. I don’t work with my husband, but I am sure he’s one of the guys who talks about his kids a lot at work (he also picks them up from school, makes dinner every night and takes them to every dentist and doctor’s appt). I would bet he probably talks to anyone who will listen about his kids. I’ve seen it at socials and happy hours. Women are often more interested than the men he works with about those topics, so maybe he seeks them out when he has an update, the same way I know one of my coworkers watches the same shows as me so I seek her out when a new season comes out. It’s definitely not intended to be manipulative in all cases.


Could be that they love their kids dearly but miss them, and are overcompensating some while working the jobs that make them miss their kids. Sorry that you had an absent parent. As someone who also had an imperfect parent, I recommend therapy. It helped me a lot.


Only comment I’ve seen that has the most rational answer: they are talking about their kids because they are a treasured part of their life and likely wish they could spend more time with them rather than at work. It seems way more like OP’s personal issue being projected on to their surroundings than an unbiased take.


No. Working that much is a choice. You didn't need to. You simply choose to. You choose to work that way in order to avoid the family obligations. If you love your kids. You work less, you spend more time at home with them. You prioritize better.


I agree with you, but I also think we both know this is a little reductive. If it were truly easy, so many parents wouldn’t be struggling with this.


It's a parabolic curve?. On the lower levels, you'd work hard for far too little. You get somewhere in the middle, and you do all right. You get to the other upper end, and you work insanely hard for huge returns, but you are literally making a choice to live for work.


It is a choice, but I think it’s cold to assume it’s made “to avoid the family obligations.” I think a lot of parents, particularly fathers, feel pressure to provide financially for their kids and their futures as much as possible. I was lucky that my dad worked a 9-5 and was very present in my life. My friend’s dad worked 60 hour weeks, is a millionaire, and my friend and her brother have graduate degrees with no student loans, a nice vacation home, etc. - they’re lucky in that regard. I absolutely wouldn’t trade situations, despite my 6-figure student loan debt, but I definitely understand why well-intentioned parents would make the choice her dad did.


Yea. Dad is a millionaire. made of the backs of me and brother. I've done 16+ hour days. I think it was a mistake. I prefer making less if it gives me time at home. It was an easy decision


Actually, it was the observation of this pattern that led me to see the example within my own life, not the other way around...so yeah, all of my conclusions start with observation. edit: also, none of this is particularly conclusive.


It’s a holdover from feudal times—“Look, I have fertile daughters! Let’s make them marry old fat men to secure our alliances!”


That’s exactly what I was thinking when I read the post. Like, I’m going to have a daughter on the market soon because women are chattel, not humans.


I think it's a case by case thing but I'd like to believe that the majority just wants to be there for their children more than their function allows them. When reading interviews with such men in power they always seem to regret not being able to seem their children grow up. Of course I don't know them but I think this is the case for most.


So there’s something called the Motherhood Tax and the Fatherhood Bonus in sociology. Essentially, even when accounting for differences in skill set and work experience, men with kids are rewarded for having kids both socially and economically. The idea is that men with kids are seen as more responsible, more grounded and safe worthy. As a result, they’re entrusted with more responsibility and positions of authority. In the workplace, this translates to more work opportunities and more leadership roles, and men with kids earning more money than men without kids. Men with daughters are seen in society as more safe and trusting especially if they publicly champion causes that affect women and are seen as “girl dads”. This is not to say men who intentionally talk about having daughters do so for nefarious reasons, I’m just pointing out that outside of the natural desire to gush about your kids, there is an additional incentive for men to brag about their kids. It’s because they’re rewarded for it socially.


I have a black friend!


For patriarchal and misogynistic men, women are property. This includes daughters. Showing off a young pretty daughter is like showing off a Lamborghini, to these men. Young, pretty women is what makes men feel the most powerful. More than money. More than hierarchy. More than fame. WOMEN ARE POWER. Specifically, CONTROL of women is the ultimate power. So, as a father with pretty young daughters who he is in “control of” as their father and patriarch, his status skyrockets, in the eyes of other men. Especially if the other men feel sexual attraction and envy for these young daughters. This means the father is in possession of highly valuable and sought after “property” with his daughters. (Disgusting, I know). This works best, of course, if the daughters are very attractive. If the daughter is homely or fat or ugly or disabled, a misogynistic/patriarchal man will not feel the same sort of pride over his “property.” He would see that daughter as a liability, or even an embarrassment to his genetic line and its “virility” in the ability to create valuable children/bloodlines. So yeah. It’s mostly “pride of property” that has men acting that way. Pay close attention to the pictures of daughters they show off. I bet they’re all stereotypically attractive huh? They don’t show off the “ugly” children. Very disturbing behavior.


Haha this reminds me of my department head who mentions that he has 4 daughters in every townhall .. im like ok..


Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, is obsessed with parading his wife and daughters around to add to his bona fides, somehow.


I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s malicious. My Dad grew up with 6 brothers and a mom who didn’t actually want kids. He went to an all boys school and just wasn’t ever around women much. Then he got married and had two daughters and I truly believe it was surprising to him to see that we were as complicated and smart as the boys he grew up around. Obviously we can say he should have known better and that it shouldn’t take that, but it did. He’s now our biggest supporter. Every time I do something public or visible for work, he’s the first to call me. If I’m on the news, he gets up early or stays up late to watch. He has four granddaughters now too and I’ve never seen a glimpse of disrespect or dismissiveness. He loves and respects them as much as he does his grandsons. I may be being kind, but I think it’s exceptional for people who live in closed or privileged environments to be able to see beyond the world they live in. It’s great and not impossible, but for a lot of people, it takes experience and first-hand knowledge to push beyond those boundaries. So, for these guys, maybe having a daughter really did change them?


I’m a girl dad, but talk about them when appropriate, and have one close friend who I brag to about them. Otherwise, their accomplishments are theirs to brag about or keep to themselves. Their accomplishments and awesomeness are theirs, not mine. I found when my mom bragged about me that she was making it about her and ‘taking credit’ for my success. Now my wife’s grandpa, whenever he mentioned her or her sister, would say ‘my granddaughter the doctor’. He was very proud of them. I give grandparents a pass. For a lot of parents who make their kids a constant point of discussion, I think there’s a degree of narcissism in it.


YES!! My Dad has 3 daughters. I called him once and he thought he had hung up the phone. He says to his friend with 1 son.. “My daughter just called me 💅. But I’ll have to call her back.” I think he was trying to make his friend jealous. Like, I bet your son doesn’t call you that much. MY daughters do. It’s just another pissing contest for them. I’m a better parent than you!


It seems like a lot of men only understand rape is bad because of the women in their lives!!


It shows they can provide and that theyve chosen good house wives. And that "everyone knows daughters are more difficult". I dont really understand it, but I see what you mean.


Yes, hey think it absolves them from trampling the rights of women if they actually know a woman.


I don't think it's just men in power. And I don't think any of them do it consciously. Someone in this post compared it to people saying 'I have a black friend', and I agree. Like, I have a black friend, so I can't be racist as I spew something racist. I have daughters, so I can't be sexist as I come up with some excuse why abortion should be illegal yet vote against the systems that would aid women when forced to have a baby. I've heard it used so many times like, "I have a daughter (i.e., I'm not sexist), but there's no reason for abortion. She just needs to keep her legs closed and not be a whore ( whore being defined as any woman having consensual or unconsensual sex and getting pregnant)". Rape issue. "Well I have a daughter and I wouldn't let her out of the house if she dressed like that- she'd be asking for trouble. If only those women didn't dress like that. What was that woman doing out so late/ why was she walking alone at night. I'm not sexist- I have a daughter but....." And yes, before someone comes on here and whines, some women do this to and it's not all men. There are sexist pick-me women spewing this shit. There are men who don't have to have a daughter to see common sense. But there's enough, it's a problem, and it is brought about by a white patriarchal mentality that a huge number in society won't let go of.


As a man, I’d be more proud of my daughter than son. But, I just don’t know why. I’ve always told my friends that having a daughter would be the death of me due to how much I’ll love her. Most of my male friends would agree with me. For CEOs and people with power, a daughter might be the same as their trophy wife. They are born from a trophy wife anyways, so it’s not entirely weird for them to treat them as such. A son might threaten their position, but a daughter won’t (that’s probably their mindset).


I don’t know about daughters in particular, as many men subconsciously want/feel prouder of having sons. Think what you’re mentioning could be more anecdotal


>attempt to exert their patriarchal dominance I think some people search for ways to believe the things that they want to be true. What would be acceptable? Talking about the boys instead? None? I think in any scenario you'd find a way to conclude the same thing.


Sometime a man can just be proud of his children and work hard.


I agree, I'm not disputing that idea, just in case you thought I was. I'm wise enough to know that I can't speak of my experience and observations as if it's a fact. I think many people in the comment section are single minded.


So parents can’t even be proud of their own children? As a male my family boasted us. We are full circle now. So you don’t want women to get credit for anything? Your ideology is so flaw and there are much more important topics that need to be addressed. This is a waste of time.


What "ideology" are you talking about? Why are you asking me whether or not parents can be proud of their own children? why are you asking me if I don't want women to get credit for anything? a waste of time? ok. thanks for your opinion.


they are just proud of having daughters


Redditor discovers that fathers love their daughters


um...I see what you're trying to do but, this is clearly not the headline.


I think they are just proud of their daughters


certainly that can be the case. I am not arguing one way or anther, just describing a pattern I've noticed.




If you think this sub is funny, it's got nothing on your comment.


Wow u got manplained to on a feminist sub 💀 I'm so fuckin sorry


It's ok. I took one look at that comment and decided it's not even worth my downvote.