Belated Father's Day post

Sunday I joked to my husband that it was Father's Day, "Time for your lecture from the President!" But it's only a joke to us because my daughter's dad is in her life and that we have the "ideal" family going here. It's not a joke that far too many kids are living without their fathers. And I don't mean not living in the same home, but kids who can't remember the last time their dads came around to say hi. I have too many men and boys in my life who just don't know their dads.

The fact that the Father in Chief spends a lot of time talking about how important fatherhood is is amazing. He praises the strength of his mom and the grandparents who raised him, but you can tell that he still has a hole where Dad would be:

In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence—both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.

That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.

But how do we go about promoting fatherhood? I have issue with the motives behind some of the fatherhood movement despite having awesome PSAs.

I just got "The Daddy Shift" in the mail to review. I'm only through the introduction and I love it. Jeremy frames the book and the shift towards active and engaged fatherhood in feminist terms, not in the "we must reclaim our sons!" patriarchal bull shit we get in other places. I'm looking forward to the rest of the book and of course reporting back here!

by Veronica Arreola
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Professional feminist, former Bitch Media board member, mom, and writer. Creator of #365FeministSelfie.

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1 Comment Has Been Posted

Call me cynical...

...but a dad who hasn't been around in a decade isn't going to have a change of heart from reading a book or seeing a clever PSA. The best way to promote responsible fatherhood? Promote self esteem, birth control, and responsible pregnancy for women; pass legislation to make it easier for single mothers to at least get financial compensation from dead-beat dads.

Ideally the burden of responsible fatherhood shouldn't be on women. In reality, too many times I've known women that made bad choices about who to have sex with and how to protect themselves because they didn't have the self respect or knowledge to do otherwise. Not that you can always predict who will be a responsible father, but if he doesn't respect you then chances are he won't respect your children. We've GOT to emphasize self esteem, empowerment, and knowledge to young girls so they will not make bad decisions when they are older and sexually active.

Until there are affordable and easily accessible means of holding dead beat fathers financially accountable, I think the burden unfortunately falls on women.

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