First Daughter Malia Obama turned 12 earlier this month, and her daddy (aka the president) made a reference to how relieved he is that she still has braces.
After all, as Barack Obama said, "she looks like a kid. She's starting to look too old for me."
Sounds like any parent musing about how fast kids grow to me, but not to Stanton Peele, PhD.
Peele's blog over at Psychology Today comes thisclose to calling the president a pedophile.
Peele says this is a direct reference to Malia Obama's "sexual maturity," and as further evidence that our president is "icky," Peele pulls up a presidential reference to his daughters' well documented obsession with the Jonas Brothers:
"The Jonas Brothers are here; they're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But boys, don't get any ideas. I have two words for you, 'predator drones.' You will never see it coming."
Brushing that off as a dad being a dad is bad, m'kay? The author of a host of books about love and addiction, Peele has the president pegged: He's preoccupied (addicted perhaps?) with his daughters' sexuality.
Is it really effective for keeping your daughters from having sex to begin chiding them about doing so when they are pre-teens? Second, when his kids actually reach sexual maturity, how far will the President take this preoccupation?
Let's just say this: Peele, you're taking some serious leaps here. He said braces ... not boobs.
And the notion that a father's interest in his daughter's sexuality is somehow dirty is a reverse sexism of sorts. The subtext of this statement: Men are supposed to pretend their daughters are asexual; mothers are supposed to take care of all that.
On the other hand, today's man is supposed to be more involved in their children's lives than any previous generation, taking on the roles their fathers eschewed in favor of the pipe and slippers.
Sorry, ladies, you can't have it both ways.
It's our job as parents to have an interest in our children's burgeoning sexuality. In a superficial, role model/supervisor role only, but still, to be aware. To know when the "talks" need to begin, to acknowledge our daughters not only as kids but as sexual beings.
Studies have specifically linked involved fathers to less sexual risk taking by teenage girls -- not more.
A father's job may not be to stand on the front porch beating his chest and loading his shotgun when a boyfriend comes to call, but banishing him from the table when the birds and the bees are the topic is sending the wrong message.
Image via Obama-Biden Transition Project/Flickr