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Internet Meme Demolition Derby: New Rules for Dating my Daughter


The very first Internet Meme Demolition Derby featured the image to our right. Rules for Dating My Daughter was roaming across Facebook and Twitter, revealing the inner Neanderthal Conservative on your friends list and getting “Hurr Hurr Hurr, so true…” laughs from the usual chuckleheads whose comedic tastes stopped evolving at “Here’s your sign.” daughter t shirt

So we had a good laugh as we snarked through the list. This post really laid the groundwork for a lot of what we talk about in this recurring feature. Baseless nostalgia, the inherent and threat of violence behind Patriarchal Norms and the insidious allure of authoritarianism cloaked in “harmless” humor form the backbone of our feminist critique of internet culture here at the Derby.

But there’s only so much you can do with words. To fight a meme what you really need is a better meme. And thanks to Zazzle creator  MyFeministHeart, we have one. May I present the New Rules.

Bigger Picture because Better Meme!


Rules for Dating My Daughter

  1. I don’t make the Rules

  2. You don’t make the Rules

  3. She makes the Rules

  4. Her Body, Her Rules

This is completely made of AWESOME. It’s succinct. It’s simple. It builds off the original design. It’s perfect. Please share this meme whenever you see the original piece of crap clogging up your timeline. And if you happen to have $49.95 to spend on a T-shirt, we’d love to see one of these in the wild!

Featured Image Credit: Joseph Novak

Meme Image Credit: MyFeministHeart



PS. While I was looking for this image on Facebook I stumbled across a Facebook Group called “Rules for Dating my Daughter.” They have expanded the original list to 23 items. It is as awful as you can imagine.




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  1. Trying to control your children’s dating choices is like trying to hold sand–the tighter you hold on and squeeze it, the more it slips through your fingers. The more your parents try to restrict your choices, the better you get at finding ways to subvert their rules, and it’s even worse because then your children aren’t engaging with you in a meaningful way.

  2. A vast improvement, although, to be fair, you’re still making the patriarchal assumption about the sexual proclivities of men and women: i.e. that boys/men “always want it” and that women/girls are the gatekeepers.
    The rules, it should be clear, are to be negotiated between “You” and “My daughter” with each possessing an absolute veto on what is done with his or her own body.

  3. The way the message is written could easily be misconstrued as saying girl makes the rules for the relationship overall, not just her body. I don’t know how it could be clarified while keeping its punch, unfortunately. Taken with its intended meaning it’s a good response to that odious “10 Rules” thing.

    Is it seriously $49.95?

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