The time of year when men stereotypically receive a shirt, bad tie, and if you are lucky; maybe get taken out to dinner. Fathers, for the most part don’t want much, expect less and are satisfied with just a little recognition and a card. I do in fact remember asking my own father what he wanted for Father’s Day and he would simply reply “just some peace and quiet.”
Looking back I do not feel that this was sarcasm, or some poor attempt at a joke (ok, probably a poor attempt at a joke). I honestly feel on some level that is all he wanted. The rest was just fluff.
Fathers that work hard to provide for their children (and significant others) are very driven to do just that, work hard. It often manifests itself in overtime and part-time jobs, not so much for something they want, but oftentimes for their loved ones. For many fathers, the ability to provide for their family, and see the smiles on their faces when they can provide something special is rewarding in and of itself. Men like this, though not glamorized, still exist, which brings me to the reason I wrote this piece.
“Happy Fathers Days to all the Dads/Fathers and even the Mothers who are doing the DOUBLE DUTY as MOTHER AND FATHER HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO YOU ALSO.” This was a post that someone once placed on Facebook. Others included, “Happy Fathers Day to all the REAL Fathers out there” (funny how on Mother’s Day no one feels the need to qualify the holiday by celebrating REAL mothers) or some variant of this. And while this may seem laudable or even harmless on its face, I respectfully disagree.
The fact of the matter is that no matter how hard a woman tries, she cannot be a man, and consequently does not qualify as a father. Now I am not suggesting that a woman is incapable of fulfilling the parental responsibilities that a father would perform, many women do. But that does not make her a father; it makes her a damn good mother. And there are plenty of women like this out there.
It is a sad commentary that single parent homes and absentee fathers have become so normative in our communities that people can say Happy Father’s Day to mothers and folks not bat an eye. Once again let me clarify, I am NOT taking away anything from mothers. Nor am I stating that women who are single parents are solely to blame for their situation of raising a child by themselves. I am quite sure a man was involved. But I am suggesting as a good friend said to me, “…a female cannot encapsulate certain intangible qualities that a male brings to child rearing.
In essence… men and women are different. The average 4 year old knows this.” And this is my point; that men and women are different. And that no matter how much we in our politically correct society try and frame it, mothers and fathers are not gender neutral roles; they are gender specific.
So on Father’s Day, there is no room to bash father’s who aren’t around or those that never took an interest in their children to begin with, nor is it a time to celebrate women, but leave this day for the men; fathers, uncles, godfathers, grandfathers, brothers. Celebrate those men who work hard and are positive male role-models. To do this takes nothing away from the ladies; it should just add to the encouragement and uplifting of men who deserve it.