Internet | October 29, 2020 11:10 am

Wayne Brady Would Like You to Stop DMing His Teen Daughter

Sliding into an underage girl's DMs is weird. Obsessively monitoring your teen daughter's social media is also weird.

Wayne Brady
Wayne Brady is coming for creepy men sliding into his daughter's DMs.
Getty Images/Getty Images for Allen Media Group

As we know, men have a habit of harassing women on the internet. Men also have a habit of pursuing underage girls. Sometimes, as TV personality Wayne Brady noticed when he started monitoring his teen daughter’s DMs, these habits tend to overlap.

In a virtual appearance on The Talk Tuesday, Brady called out adult men for contacting underage girls on social media, explaining that he and his ex-wife, Mandie, have kept a close eye on who messages their 17-year-old daughter. The comedian said those parental security measures have even involved posing as their daughter on social media and interacting with an adult man who attempted to contact her.

“Mandie got on the line with one of them and was, you know, texting back and forth and he was talking slick, until he realized that it was her,” Brady said, according to Complex. “And then she’s like ‘What the hell are you doing?’ And he’s like, ‘I just broke up with my girlfriend, and I just saw her.’ That doesn’t mean anything. You tell that to your cellmate when we put you in jail. You can talk all about your post-breakup relationship then.”

Brady went on to call for social media platforms to take stronger measures to prevent adult men from approaching underage girls, adding that he hopes to launch an initiative to address the issue.

“You can try to block a person’s account and report them for hate speech… you can report them for trying to be someone else, but in order to really get to them to say, hey, this person is saying something damning or showing images to a young woman or even to a woman who gets a salacious pic, all of the the tap dancing you need to do to get that person reported shouldn’t happen,” Brady said, adding, “If this is what social media is, make the tools available to deal with these reprehensible people.”

While Brady certainly isn’t wrong to call out creepy older men for hitting on teens, monitoring your almost-adult child’s social media practices as intensely as Brady claims to also seems a bit violating and infantilizing. Sliding into a teenager’s DMs is weird, but going full helicopter parent on a 17-year-old’s social media use is also weird.

As a society, we tend to subject girls and young women on the cusp of adulthood to problematic, often contradictory views that simultaneously sexualize and infantilize underage girls. While a 17-year-old girl is not old enough to be on the receiving end of horny DMs from adult men, she is old enough to deserve a certain level of privacy and respect for her freedom to make her own choices about how she conducts herself and interacts with others — both on social media and elsewhere in her life.