Five Movies That Make Me Not Want to Have a Daughter

I’m not exactly sure how this happened, but in browsing my Netflix recommendations the past week or two, I’ve managed to watch some truly scary films focused on one particular type of terror: Parenthood.

Specifically, being the parent of a teenage daughter. Having a kid is a big responsibility, but these five films have now made me scared to have a daughter in particular. As I was never a teenage girl, I never really understood all they went (or at least could) go through, and now I’m freaking terrified for my theoretical daughter. Yes, movies exaggerate, but these five films have made my hair turn grey already. Check out the list below:


Yes, I did initially start watching this film as a joke. I thought the ABC Family production would be something to laugh at while slightly buzzed, but it really killed the mood soon after it started.

Girls are MEAN, man. Like, really mean. I don’t understand it. Poor Taylor (Emily Osment, Haley Joel’s sister) gets torn apart by her classmates after setting up a “Cliquester” page (a more scandalous Facebook, so…MySpace). It starts off with snide comments then escalates when someone makes a fake profile pretending to be a cute boy at another school. Taylor almost kills herself because of it, and she makes out better than the real girl who inspired this story, who actually committed suicide because of online bullying.

Verdict: I’m never letting my daughter on Facebook.


We’ll stick around in the cyber realm and go one step past bullying. Even if “chat rooms” aren’t specifically a thing anymore, there are plenty of ways young girls can be tricked online. Sometimes they’ll meet a guy they think is their age, and when they show up, it’s an old pedo glad he’s not staring at Chris Hansen.

As this movie starred Clive Owen, I figured it would be a badass tale of revenge when his daughter gets accosted by a stranger. Instead, it’s very, very sad and not a film you’d expect to be directed by Ross from Friends.

Verdict: Actually, no computer for my daughter at all.


This is the original “teens gone wild” movie and no, it has nothing to do with Spring Break. Rather, it’s a stark look at what life is like for some thirteen year old girls when culture pushes them into being “sexy” too early, and a troubled home life can lead them to any number of bad decisions.

Everyone assumes that if you’re a pretty, young, white teenager, everything is just peachy with you, but Thirteen shows that there’s a dark side to every life, no matter which demographic you fall into.

Verdict: No tank tops until she’s married.


And to think I questioned why my girlfriend’s father was hesitant about me taking her to Paris on vacation. Granted I wouldn’t invite any strange boys to the place we were staying like what happened in Taken, but I can understand the fear of sending your daughter to a foreign place without you.

And sadly, very few of us are actually as badass as Liam Neeson, so if our daughters were kidnapped by sex slavers, we probably could NOT murder 60 Russians to get them back. Neeson used to seem goofy in the movie for having his daughter call him every hour, but now that I’m getting older, I’d make it 20 minutes.

Verdict: Travel to Europe only allowed if escorted by Liam Neeson himself.


Sigh. Yes, we’ve arrived. Though I’m selecting Twilight for this final spot for reasons vastly different than the others. No, I’m not picking it because I’m worried my daughter is going to be caught in the violent love triangle of a werewolf and a vampire, and then turn into a vampire herself and have a baby via vampire cesarean that ages supernaturally fast (yes, this all happens).

No, I’m scared to have a daughter because I’ve seen the way teenage girls react to this series and it scares me. To paraphrase Steven King, “Harry Potter is all about loyalty, bravery and friendship. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

Things reach an insanity peak when in the second film, Edward breaks it off with Bella and she resorts to purposefully having near-death experiences just so she can hallucinate a ghostly vision of him. If that’s not the worst message in the world for a teenage girl, I’m not sure what is, and for that reason Twilight is the most dangerous out of any of these.

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  1. “Travel to Europe only allowed if escorted by Liam Neeson himself. Note: For men, Liam Neeson companionship is required when traveling to Alaska.”

    You know, girls think that when we hang out with our bros, we only talk about boobs and videogames and movies and boobs and beer and money and gadgets and boobs. But there are other topics, like this one, that are relevant to most men. Just a couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend about how scary and hard it would be to have a daughter and you know, the pros and cons. Good one.

  2. Paul, awesome post as always, but just a quick correction; it is Stephen, as in Stephen Edwin King.

    It’s not that important, but being a fan of King and of this site, it should be all awesome all the time.

    Peace, and keep the good work!

  3. we don’t all live exciting dramatic lives to be fair, some of us are content to stay in all day playing the sims and singing the tangled soundtrack over and over again

  4. This is hilarious. I wasn’t expecting your reason for Twilight to be the real reaction of teenage girls. I agree with both Thirteen and Trust. Althought Thirteen is probably a little closer to reality. Trust scared the crap out of me though. I can’t believe she would… after knew…

  5. Well also for twilight (not sure if anyone has said this) when Edward leaves bella, she goes to Jacob to fill that gap that edward left her, and therefore some girls may take it as ‘ooh ok so my guy leaves me and its ok for me to go directly to another guy and use him for that void and to get back at my ex while leading this guy on’. That’s just my opinion.

  6. Twilight worries me in a similar fashion. Bella is a horrible role model for young woman. She’s a fidgety flibertygibbet who’s entire personality is based on who her boyfriend is at the time. She has no identity of her own, and she’s one of the worst literary characters of all time.
    Not to mention its horribly written and these kids treat it like gospel. What happened to Judy Blume?

    I was so revealed when the Hunger Games got popular. Katniss is the strong female character that young girls deserve. Yes she’s caught up in a “love triangle” as well, but she was a person before that.

  7. I read Twilight while I was a teenager, if your daughter is well-adjusted and self-confident, then you really don’t have to worry about it. Then it’s more of just a fun read, and it’s not like every teenager girl takes Bella and any of her choices seriously. I would be more worried about lessons in the first four films though.

  8. The Lovely Bones for me. It shows that no matter how much you try to protect and raise your kid, there is always a pedophiliac murderer who knows his/her trade very well.

  9. Paul: It’s articles like this that keep me coming back to your site; this was a great read for a father of three young girls, and I even forgive you my pet peeve (people spelling my full name with a “v”… It’s Stephen, dude…)

    Now, if only your back up writers were doing original work, instead of copy/pasting stuff from the Final Countdown without crediting the sources…

  10. I totally agree with all your excellent points, especially Twilight! And to think we’ve come so far in this age of girl-power/feminism when this sorry movie comes along and brainwashes young girls into thinking all they need is a sparkly vampire boyfriend who will give their lives meaning (ie they are worthless without a boyfriend)!!!

  11. I think this is a bit over exaggerated… I’m 14 years old and believe me my parents aren’t protective to this extent or any extent if possible because they TRUST me. They raised me well enough to know not to talk to random people on the internet or anywhere (Paris perhaps), not care what other damaged girls have to say about me, and not have my whole life revolve around boys. Don’t get me wrong, I like your article and i think it’s very humorous but believe me you won’t have to worry about all that if you just raise her up to be a good person and trust her.

  12. I get why it seems so scary for you guys to have daughters, but cut the girls some slack. Yes there are alot of pressure from the media to do this and act like that, but as a survivor of the girl-teen years (haha) I feel I should urge you to trust your hypothetical daughters instead. My father was scared shitless (cant really blame him though), but thankfully I have a mother who took my teen years head on, trusted me and gave me tools to understand the culture Ive grown up in and how it can affect a girl if shes not concious of it (read: the sexualisation of all things female from pre-puberty and on). I do wish my father would have been a bit less restrained by his fear that I could brake like a porcelain doll. I have been on several eu-rail trips from age 18, with a few of my girlfriends, we all survived, actually it was amazing and my hypothetical daughters will get to do the same (if I manage to teach my kids the lessons my mom thaught me). Take parenthood head on and teach the girls self respect and they will take a little less of the bs from society and the media. And I think youll do good.
    Sorry for the not so perfect english, norwegian girl writing 😉

  13. i saw “13” when i was 30 and it made me afraid of/for today’s teenage girls. it also made me really happy i don’t have to go through those teen years again. if my girl friends had been anything like those out-of-control teens, i would have asked my parents to homeschool me. what made it even scarier is the fact that it is a semi-autobiographical account of nikki reed’s life. there… that fact should keep you up at night.

  14. I’m a mother of two teenage girls. And, I’m a little dismayed at your reactions.

    If you are going to raise healthy girls, you need to give them the tools to deal with those sorts of realities, not hide them away.

    Teach your daughters that the relationships portrayed in movies like Twilight are unhealthy, and that they should stand up for themselves and demand better.

    Raise kids who are savvy enough to be cautious and examine the motives of people they talk to anywhere, not just online.

    Be around and involved enough that your kids don’t wind up being the kids in Thirteen.

    Our daughters are people, not fairytale princesses. Have faith in their abilities to be strong and able to handle the world, and you will find that those are the kids that you raise.

  15. Yep, raising a daughter does require common sense and enough street smarts to recognise when they could head into danger.
    Don’t let them follow fashions that barely cover their body or make them appear much older (unless you want to escort them everywhere all the time) and……..wiser than they are. No getting away from it, some men take that as an invitation. And let’s face it, nothing more beautiful than a teenage or pubescent girl. When they’re old enough and smart enough to look out for themselves, their fashion choice is theirs.
    Travel unescorted by an adult to a foreign country? Are you joking.
    If they trust you they tell you all their plans and that allows you to intervene if they plan something that could put them at risk. Know their friends, distance them from the ones who are running wild unsupervised.
    I escorted my daughter to a model agent, who suggested he ‘take her away for a photo shoot and they’d stay in a hotel – without me, he’d take care of her’. Ha ha, funny man, goodbye.
    As long as you’re keeping an eye on them and guiding them, they grow up knowing how to take care of themselves.

  16. I have a 14 month old daughter and already scared of her future. I know I can’t protect her forever but I’m just praying that she would grow up to be the kind of woman I am today. I am not saying I am perfect but at least I was never any of these characters from the said movies. I just grew up respecting my parents and never broke their trust in me.

    I do believe that parents are the only people that can mould their children to be the good person they can be. I am hoping and praying that I can continue my parents legacy, that is raising my daughter and future kids well and away from any teenage dramas, boy problems etc. Only then I could tell myself that I have achieved my purpose in life.

  17. Sorry, but as a young teenager myself, I mostly agree with what this guy is writing. Yes, I would be thankful if my parents trusted me more, but I also know that I can live without my own personal computer and going to Europe without an adult. But also, a lot of these movies would have been different if the girls had trusted their parents also. Totally agree with the twilight verdict too.

  18. You spelled Stephen King wrong. Though I generally agree with this article and Mr. King, I don’t think it was classy of him to bash another writer. That, and I am over 30 and love me some freaking Twilight. Lol.

  19. If you are lucky enough to have a daughter just be there for her be involved in her life & have faith, she’ll turn out just fine. There are many awesome young girls out there that aren’t affected by the crap that’s out there in TV & movie land. & most of all make sure that you instill in here that there IS NO PRINCE CHARMING, because that’s the worst thing any girl can ever count on in life.

  20. in defense of Twilight, the majority of the disastrous character flaws are not present in the book… as a matter of fact in the book it is jacob who pursues bella in the second book. and the movie completely spins this into bella pursuing him. as a matter of fact in the book she keeps telling him to quit makeing advances on her. she does still do the near death stuff, but its not so much near death stuff as adrenaline junky stuff. and it isnt just to hallucinate, the first couple times she does it she thinks he is actually coming back to save her. and again if your daughter actually takes said life choices seriously you have bigger problems. on the other hand you could do worse than being lovingly devoted to a man who insists on waiting til marriage and generally is a chivalrous gentleman. so at least her choice in men is decent :).

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