A dad gets a standing ovation for his message to boys interested in dating his daughter.

We've seen the sitcom storyline so many times.

The lovable, funny dad hates every boy that's even a tad bit romantically interested in his daughter.

It's an old TV trope that's definitely stuck around. It's even the entire premise of some shows ("8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," anyone?).


GIF from "8 Simple Rules."

Clearly, the cliche is good for a laugh every now and then. But here's a question: What does this old trope really say about us?

After all, dads (in both the TV world and the real one) don't seem to get as bent out of shape over who their sons date. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but moms tend to be more open to the crazy notion of getting to know their daughters' male love interests before graduating to threats of violence.

GIF from "Gilmore Girls."

Poet (and father) Jesse Parent brilliantly skewers this overprotective dad trope in "To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter."

In the satirical performance, which you can see in the video by Button Poetry below, Parent hilariously (and maybe a bit disturbingly) goes into graphic detail about the violence he'll resort to if you happen to date his teenage daughter.

GIFs via Button Poetry/YouTube.

Again, the performance is satirical, and Parent is in no way advocating violence. What he is doing is making fun of the idea that a father like himself would be so irrationally devoted to keeping his daughter away from another male that he'd become homicidal.

It's funny in that "haha ... wait a second..." kind of way. Because he's really getting at an unfortunate truth.

"It's a common trope: the man who'd rather lock his daughter in a tower until she's 40 than have to watch some hormone-ravaged 17-year-old paw at her," Beckie Smith wrote for The Telegraph in 2013. "It reflects an insidious and damaging need to control young women's behavior, long after we abandoned the idea that a daughter is her father's property."

Women, of course, aren't their dads' property anymore (thank God). And we live in a time and place where women — at least on paper — are equal to men (I mean, not when it comes to their reproductive rights, or how much they get paid for doing equal work, or the sexism they face in the workplace ... but ... sigh ... those are for another day).

So, is it that big of a deal when a sitcom dad cracks a few jokes about strangling his daughter's prom date?

Well ... yeah.

Girls and women are still fighting to be viewed as autonomous equals to boys and men when it comes to their bodies and decision-making.

When a parent is more protective over their daughter's dating life than their son's, it can be a subtle (and oftentimes subconscious) way of communicating that they trust their son's ability to make positive decisions for himself more than their daughter's.

It can also place more importance on a young woman's "innocence" and "purity" (*eye roll*), which, to be honest, is just a stone's throw away from slut-shaming.

Don't get me wrong: There's nothing wrong with parents being protective of their kids.

But the level of "irrational parent guarding their child from suitable mates" should be the same for both daughters and sons. Period.

Check out Parent's funny, insightful performance below:

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.