Good fathers want what’s best for their daughtersa strong education, a loving family, a healthy life. But what happens when these same parents tell sexist jokes to their friends or build disparaging remarks about women in front of their sons? What is the connection between that behavior and the terrifying reality that one in three women will be a victim of sexual or physical violence in her life?
CARE Norway, a branch of the anti-poverty global confederation CARE International, addressed these questions in a new PSA, #DearDaddythat debuted on YouTube on Dec. 4. It’s narrated by a newly-born daughter dictating a letter to her father, in which she tells him about the dangers she will face during adolescence and adulthood. She describes growing up in world where micro-aggressionssmall slights and jokes that seem harmless on their ownquickly snowball into major, un-ignorable aggressiveness. She explains that a culture that allows boys to stimulate taunting statements about girls being “whores” and “bitches” is what gradually makes acceptance of assault, rape, and battery.
Its a powerful yet difficult video to watch: Accompanying the narrators words are re-enactments of violent situations, including a drunken assault at a party and a physical altercation between an adult woman and her boyfriend.
“One thing always leads to another, ” the narrator says, before asking her father to “please stop it before it has the chance to begin.”
The video’s call-to-action fosters fathers not to let their sons call girls by hurtful names, and to not laugh at sexist remarks made by friends or strangers. If such behavior is deterred when it can still be classified as a micro-aggression, it may aid in preventing much more serious violations later in life.
“Dear Daddy, I will be born a girl, ” the narrator pleads, in a heartbreaking conclusion. “Please do everything you can so that that won’t stay the greatest danger of all.”
Already, #DearDaddy is striking a chord in the hearts and intellects of people across the globe. In the two weeks since CARE Norway uploaded the video to YouTube, it has garnered virtually 3 million views. To learn more about CARE Internationals work to end violence against females, visit their website.