Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is Father's Day

(Updated Twice, scroll down.)

Can we imagine mother's day being presaged by newspaper & magazine articles reminding us how so many mothers are so bad, that they are the primary perpetrators of child abuse and equal contenders in the competition for most domestically violent? Perhaps one day, in the week before mothers' day, we'll hear about their pre-eminence in the the divorce courts and how often they use the children as a weapon against their ex-husbands; we'll see studies of their contributions to delinquency in teenagers because their fathers have been pushed out and how of the thousands and thousands of fathers who lose contact with their children each year, a major fraction are in point of fact innocent victims of Machiavellian motherhood.

How about a Hallmark card greeting: "I'd wish you a happy mother's day, but given the crimes of your gender, I don't think you deserve one"? Or just "Screw you, mom" might be more direct and carry the same sentiment, don't you think?

I'm not holding my breath, and anyway, it wouldn't be right, now would it? Instead, I will note that the lead-in to mother's day includes a definite spike in all the women-as-victim rhetoric. In the last couple of mothers' days, I have noted various charities, nominally concerned with child victims, have started staging domestic violence "awareness" campaigns, built around what dad supposedly does to mom. That is, on mother's day, it's not enough that mom's the heroine, dad's gotta be the bad guy too.

But now dad's gotta be the bad guy on father's day as well. We get editorials who think that fathers' day is for complaining about deadbeat dads and Time magazine claims that fathers don't deserve their day based on gender politics masquerading as "science". Seriously, guys, Time thinks monkeys are better than we are.

I'm a father, and I'm not going to have any kind of a father's day, whether these people want me to or not. I don't want you to feel sorry for me, I just want you to know, and to be outraged, as I am, by the revolting double standard of our age.

(Update: sometimes the logic of the father-critics truly astounds me. Here is a blogger who quotes Baskerville's assertion: "Most fatherless children result from fathers being forcibly separated from their children by courts." then follows it with the statement: "there are still far too many fathers who spend far too little time with their children. And while there are many explanations for this, hardly any of these explanations amount to real excuses." How much of an "excuse" does he want? If contact with your children is illegal and this is not enough of an "excuse" then, God help us, but we're all doomed.)

(Update 2: Two more articles slamming fathers for Fathers Day: The Washington Post makes fun of know-all fathers at the museum with their children, disregarding the positive note that, er, these are fathers who have taken their children to the museum. And NewsMax thinks you're more likely to become president if dad's not around. Thanks guys, see yah 'round (but not if I see you first). Hell, even presidential candidates think it's OK to dis' fathers on Father's Day.

The Onion's cartoon, on the other hand, has a much more valid point to make. How much of this are we supposed to take?)

(Whup! And one more: USA Today thinks that the typical sitcom moron dad is better than the real thing.)


Craig H said...

This is Flag day. There is no such thing as Father's Day. You ought to know that. ;-)

Speaking as one who's learned it doesn't necessarily take a divorce to disenfranchise a father (though it may involve some profoundly bad judgment, but that's another long story) I just wanted to pass along my appreciation for the perspectives.

Anonymous said...

This is just something I saw you might want to read. More studies are done on changes parenthood bring about in mothers than fathers... and someone's upset about that.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, probably in my life this Father's day. My dad would be my bad guy and I guess the rest of my life. Heres why

Anonymous said...

I know it won't feel like it, but, Happy Father's Day.

John Doe said...

c0de, your one blog entry doesn't really tell us what is wrong in your home. In fact, I would propose that you are old enough yourself now to begin to accept some of the responsibility for fixing those problems, even if you did not cause them. I do not defend your father nor condone what little of his behavior you do describe, that is not my aim. I defend fathers in general against a societal climate in which it is all too easy to condemn them for no reason or to hold them to a standard to which mothers are not held.

Anonymous said...

I’m from Spain. Not a child of divorce or anything like that myself, but a university student that actually tries to think about what ideology is being forced into our throats one day after another. It was just plain obvious that there was some kind of antagonism versus men all around the world. It’s just “cool” to bash us. For quite a while I made some unsure and weak efforts to fight this situation, mostly in discussions and such things, were I tried to convince the other part about the nonsensical nature of the “female supremacist” propaganda. I even achieved some degree of success, but my arguments always shattered when some-random-indoctrinated-individual threw at my face all those “studies” that everyone is so used to seeing everywhere. You know... the ones that show that we men are evil. That was until I stumbled upon the MRA’s pages, and I discovered quite a lot of tools to fight back, as well as perfect examples of manipulation and things-that-don’t-get-on-the-news.

It is true that you can find the occasional raving lunatic, but in general your efforts are opening quite a few eyes all around the world. I myself got knowledge of the mensactivism site by an article written on a quite known diary in Spain (the article was actually being FAVOURABLE to the movement, and not inserting the classic “It is nice, but women are suffering more” part that we all have come to know and love so much).

It is not a pat on the back what you wanted, nor an “It’s cool man…” either. I know. What I’m saying here is that your efforts may have more impact that you believe, and don’t be surprised by not finding comments. You know how hard it is to speak up against these things. Even by leaving anonymous messages, the stigma and the feeling of guilt are still there.

Heh… You wanted comments? There ya go! And have some pretzels too!

Make sure you don’t touch my post too much, though. My English is so rusty that you could catch the tetanus by merely looking at it.

publius said...

You are not alone.

Angelmiette said...

Well I've been reading your blog on an occasion and you said you want a comment so I hope you don't mind this comming from a female...

I guess you'd say I'm rare in my thoughts as a woman in todays society. I will admit I'm not perfect though.
I have a daughter who I love dearly who's father I am not with. I was very angry at him for a long time, but even though I felt that way I did what I thought was best for my daughter. She lives with him full time now because his care for her was more adequate than mine at the time I sent her to live with him. I've never allowed myself to say anything bad about her Dad in front of her because I feel that could be extreamly damaging to her. I see so many kids hurt by their parents (especially mothers) saying and doing damaging things against the other parent. I feel it's very wrong and that children should not be in the middle of these things and it should be considered a form of abuse. My daughter is a "Daddy's little girl" and I wouldn't want that to change for the world because she is happy. I live kinda far away now so I don't see her as often (this makes me feel sad sometimes) as I did, but I'd never want to seperate her from her Daddy because she would be devestated.
I have a husband now who I love dearly and we're about to have a baby girl any day now. I was hoping she'd come on fathers day as a present for her daddy, but I think she's gotten too comfortable in there. :-)
I think every child should have a daddy who cares and is allowed to see them. I know that my little girls will always have their daddy's and no one is going to say anything to make me feel different about this. Dad's are really an important part in a child's life. I wonder if our society will ever wake up and realize this.
By the way I don't watch much tv other than DVD's my husband aproves of. I don't read the paper although I do read some magazines on children and homemaking. We do have the internet which I find a lot of good things to read (like your blog) and I am able to weed out the excessive propaganda that the media puts out there. My husband is very helpful in guiding me in this also.
I guess if I had some advice for single men wanting a family it would be to look for a "country" style girl who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty with housework and other chores, a girl who isn't worried about the cloths she wears all the time but knows how to dress nicely for special events, a girl who doesn't watch much tv or have to see the latest and greatest things the media is talking about, and would be with you even if you are poor as dirt. If you have money pretend your poor as dirt just so you don't attract the wrong girls. Get a really junky car or if you live in the city don't get a car at all and go on really cheap dates and have her pay her portion of it. This way she'll think you're poor and love you for you, not your money.
I hope this comment is sufficent enough.