Doubting Other People’s Princesses

Growing up as a teen in Central Jersey and then on into early adulthood, I had a curfew while I lived at home. My brother did not. The reason, as stated by my father, was because I was a girl. I am relating this in an emotionless way. No judgment here. But I want to look at it factually to make a point. Who was my father ostensibly protecting me from? I think I can safely say it wasn’t from women. Fast forward 35 years. Last month I offered to drive my mother to a wake an hour-plus from their home. My father, age 86, objected with this, “What happens if you break down?” My mother told him we’d call Triple A. I am well past the point where I want to change my father. He’s old school and set in his ways. But I wanted to help my mother here, so I calmly said, “I went to Paris, Italy and Germany by myself. I think I can navigate New Jersey.” He was a bit flustered, but he got my point. Again, who did he want to protect two women on the Jersey Turnpike from? Probably not predatory women. There are plenty of protective husbands, fathers, and brothers out there who think like my father. It’s their natural instinct to want to shield women they love from potential harm....

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