On June 30, The New Yorker released a short film titled “If You Ever Hurt My Daughter, I Swear to God I’ll Let Her Navigate Her Own Emotional Growth.” In the comedic short, Jon Hamm voices an enlightened father addressing his daughter’s boyfriend directly.
The film opens up with a snarling father’s face. The father’s gruff language sounds familiar at first:
“Know this: At every moment I am watching….”
But the beauty of the video is what comes next:
“…. myself and actively resisting my ingrained urge to infantilize my daughter and deny her a normal and healthy evolution into mature adulthood.”
Ultimately, the twist of the video is the father’s realization that he must train his daughter to navigate the ever-daunting dating world and cultivate her own emotional growth—modeling an excellent form of fatherhood feminism.
In doing so, this father flips the stereotype of an over-protective father—allows his daughter the space and maturity to advocate for her own happiness. He trusts that if she does undergo heartbreak, it will allow her to build the much-needed coping mechanisms to take on the world. He continues to shatter conventions:
“I’m glad that you and Raina are having fun together. But listen up, buddy. And listen good. It’s 2020, and if you do anything to hurt my daughter, I swear to god . . . I will be concerned and disappointed, but ultimately step back and let her navigate her own emotional growth.”
Produced by Brave Makers and directed by Meghan Ross, the film is an adaptation of Sophie Kohn’s “Daily Shouts” column.
“And if you want my honest opinion, no boy will ever be good enough for my princess. . . is a thing I’d say if I didn’t acknowledge that princess is a fundamentally patronizing epithet.”
The overbearing patriarchal father is often still the societal convention. The clever nature in which the film breaks away from this mold is inspiring and an excellent model for fathers everywhere to strive towards.
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