Dad Bullies and Intimidates Daughter, Posts on Facebook for All to See

This video has been making the rounds on facebook lately, accompanied with commentary like “best dad ever!” and “brilliant! Way to show that disrespectful teenager her place!” Okay, I thought, let’s see it. I was repulsed. I couldn’t articulate why. So I thought I’d check out the comments, to see how others felt.

Again, I felt repulsed.

A summary, for those who cannot or do not wish to watch: a middle-aged white man, is sitting on a lawn chair in a grassy field. He tells the viewer how his teenaged daughter posted a rant on her facebook page about her parents and the chores she’s made to do. He mocks her for trying to restrict her parents from being able to view said post, and brags how he was able to see it anyway, when he was updating the software on his daughter’s laptop. He’s an IT guy, you see. How foolish of her, thinking she could hide something from him.

He reads the rant from a printout. He tells the viewer that since she had the temerity to complain about her parents on facebook, he is going to show her up by recording this video and posting it on her facebook, to humiliate her in front of all her friends. He lists the chores his daughter must do every day, and mocks her for complaining about a paltry amount of work. He castigates his daughter for being disrespectful. Then he gets up and pans the camera to show a laptop sitting on the grass. He tells the viewer that it is his daughter’s laptop, that he’s going to destroy it, and that his daughter is going to have to work to pay for the destroyed laptop, and the software he just uploaded on it. He pulls out a handgun and shoots the laptop. He shoots it again. And again. All the while reveling in it and mocking his daughter: “your mother said to do one for her, too.” He shoots it again. “You’re going to pay for these bullets, too. These are two-dollar bullets.” He shoots again, until his clip is empty.

The comments were reminiscent of a bloodthirsty mob, cheering the destruction of the laptop, mocking the girl, and raging about “teenagers these days.”

I have a problem with the idea that teenagers must “respect” their parents, when “respect” means they are never to say or think a negative thing about their parents, never to express their feelings unless it’s unconditioned praise and adoration, and certainly never to say such things to their friends. This degree of control over another person’s thoughts and feelings, and the expression of the same, is borderline abusive.

This man’s complete lack of respect for his daughter’s privacy is astounding. I’m sure he felt he was well within his rights as the one who paid for the laptop–people like him always do–that is, feel that once they have paid for something, they own it forever, along with rights to control whatever is done with it. (Apparently the concept of gifts is far beyond this man.) I’m sure he was absolutely shocked when he found that status while snooping–people like him always are–because without a doubt his daughter has never felt safe or comfortable enough to speak to him directly. He snooped, he didn’t like what he found. Shocking. His daughter will never trust him again.

This man felt humiliated (and probably emasculated) because his daughter spoke negatively of him to all of her friends. His response was to humiliate her in front of the entire virtual world. He responds to criticism by bullying. What a fabulous lesson to teach a teenage girl!

Not to mention the implied threat of shooting up his daughter’s laptop. I find this to be the epitome of irresponsible gun ownership. Guns are deadly tools–dangerous, deadly tools, meant to be taken seriously. The only way they should be used is for sport target shooting, hunting, or self-defense. They are not to be used as an outlet for your frustrated emasculation. He felt embarrassed by his daughter, so he destroyed the tool she used to do it with a gun. That he went to his weapon as the answer to his anger is a sign of a lack of control, and a bad temper.

In fact, the very reason I was so frightened of guns for so long is that, as a teenager, someone close to me vented their frustration by going outside and shooting into the air. They would wave it around and describe how they should use it on people who wronged them. This made me afraid for my life. I felt threatened, despite that they never pointed it at me, or threatened me specifically. Just that their first action when they were angry was to grab their weapon was a very bad and scary thing.

This man does not respect his weapon.

He has no business owning a gun.

That he told the offending person that they must pay him back for the bullets he used is psychological abuse–making his daughter participate in her own intimidation.

I feel for this girl. I hope she gets as far away from this sorry man as soon as she possibly can.

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About Brittany-Ann
Brittany-Ann is a proud, self-identified feminist with fictional tendencies. She currently writes for LouisvilleKY.com and moderates at My Fault I'm Female. She smokes camels, reads Dumas, and navigates a conservative state as "one of them darn liberals."

13 Responses to Dad Bullies and Intimidates Daughter, Posts on Facebook for All to See

  1. I saw this video a little while ago and it was so disturbing and disgusting I didn’t know how to react. As a kid whose parents severely restricted my time on the internet and computer, every time I broke a rule (like reading a webpage about my interests when my parents weren’t home), I lived in fear that something similar to this would happen to me. While it was irresponsible and disrespectful for the girl to have posted the note (though nearly every teenager goes through that thought process at one time or another, I’m sure), it’s also really not her father’s place to threaten her very existence and her tools and life with a gun. I got out of my house, and I hope this girl does too, before it’s too late. Thanks for writing this response. 🙂

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      You’re welcome.

      See, my thing is, every teenager does this. Everyone complains about their parents, and even adults complain about chores. (You should hear my internal monologue when I look at a sink full of dishes.) I certainly did, and I’m sure I aired my complaints on the blog I kept as a teenager. I’m sure there’s stuff on my old MySpace page, too. Before the internet, we wrote in journals and complained to friends on the phone. Just picture a paper-journal or the home telephone in place of the laptop. It’s a completely normal stage of development. I’m not convinced in the slightest that these things are disrespectful.

      Some of the things she wrote are disrespectful, like the comment about the cleaning lady. That, however, merits a discussion on respecting others and treating them how you would like to be treated. Complaining about chores? A reminder that she’s a member of the household, and so needs to contribute to its upkeep. (I disagree vehemently with making children cook for their parents, or serving them drinks. This isn’t teaching responsibility or contributing to the household, it is literally serving one’s parents.)

      All that said, even were I to agree that she were being disrespectful, this was a very disproportionate reaction. I’m sorry to hear you had the same type of experiences with your parents. I’m glad you’re free.

  2. Tabitha says:

    Yes, this father was able to use facebook to teach his daughter a lesson. I don’t think it was the lesson he meant to teach, and it certainly wasn’t a lesson that most of the people praising him for it would want to teach if they understood it. He taught her that she does not deserve respect. He taught her that she does not deserve to have independent opinions. I very much hope that the lesson he has taught her does not lead her into relationships with a string of boyfriends who abuse and control her – but at least care enough to pretend they love her. While ‘battered woman syndrome’ is incomprehensible to psychologically healthy women, for someone who’s been taught all her life that she doesn’t deserve respect, what is incomprehensible is the idea that it’s even possible. I sincerely hope that this girl finds someone who can truly love and respect her – and that she can accept his love and respect.

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      This is a very good point. This man was so drunk on his own power-I’m sure he would be outraged if a partner did something like this to her. Yet it’s perfectly fine for him to do so. The absence of human rights that we give to minors is outrageous.

      I hope this young woman has a level-headed adult in her life that can counter the dangerous lessons this pathetic man is attempting to impart in her.

  3. I’ve been digging around since first finding that disgusting video, and it looks like the coward has backtracked on his style of “tough love” now that Child Protective Services are knocking on his door. On his own facebook, he’s talked about how horrified he is that the video went viral, tried to show off his “softer side” by donating money to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and apologized repeatedly for his foolishness.
    The funny thing is, I’ve worked in DV shelters before, and the pattern of his behaviour is *very* similar to a typical batterer I encountered, first they control and intimidate the abused by threatening and destroying their personal possessions, then it escalates to threatening to hurt or kill the abused’s loved ones, pets, and children in order to frighten them out of taking any deliberate action to leave or stand up to them.
    I wonder, if CPS had not intervened, and if the video hadn’t gone viral (or if there hadn’t been a video at all) and the girl disobeyed him again, would he have escalated by shooting her pet kitten or puppy next to teach her some “tough love”?

  4. Fausta says:

    This was beautifully written, and well said. I watched part of his rant and couldn’t watch any more. I just turned it off and refused to think about it.

    You did a great job analyzing what’s wrong with it. I hope she gets away from him too.

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      I’m so glad that so many people feel the same. All those comments on the article and his facebook page were disgusting. Though it’s not shocking, it’s still hits me to my very core to see evidence that there are so many bullies and abusive people out there.

  5. GF says:

    Thank you for writing this — I was shocked when I saw his video

    he read her note

    and even more glad to hear that someone is working to do something about it.

    take the computer away?
    sure — I do think kids need discipline
    but

    destroy it
    and humiliate her?

    punitive and mean spirited.

    G

  6. Pingback: Parents: You Don’t Get Cookies « A Bookish Beemer

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