In Defense of Dads
It all started with Pinterest, as so many things do.
The cute little e-cards, pithy sayings, snarky remarks…but I’ve noticed a trend. Guy-bashing, male-bashing, whatever. Jokes about the incomppetence of fathers. The uselessness of men in general.
I did a search: All men are dumb. And this is what I found, among pages and pages of others.
I did another search: Men are idiots. There are entire pin boards dedicated to this topic. Here’s one example:
But then I found this on the blog Raising Arrows:
I started noticing it several years ago. It seemed every child’s cartoon, every television show, every movie featured men who were downright stupid and fathers who were worthless to their families. The families of the sitcoms and popular movies were driven, not by strong father figures, but by moms who could juggle everything, including the occasional dumb male.
Because we don’t watch a lot of television and have been pretty choosy about the movies we watch and own, I had all but forgotten my disdain for the typical big screen family. That is, until my children, who had been watching clips of PBS kids cartoons online, mentioned the stupidity of a certain father on one of the shows. As I sat down to watch this show with the kids to see what they were talking about, I noticed that he wasn’t just ignorant, he was a buffoon. His only purpose on the show was act like a child and refer his son to his all-knowing mother.
What was this teaching our children? And worse yet, what was this teaching our young boys about the role of husbands, fathers, and men in general in today’s society?
Maybe I’m not the only one who sees that there is a problem here.
I’m raising men. I don’t want them to watch TV and see that fathers are useless and stupid. I don’t want them to think that there is no such thing as a nice, smart straight guy.
I want to raise men who are strong, who are confident, who are not afraid to stand up for themselves or those who need standing up for. I want them to see that strength lies in their integrity and humility. I want them to see these things as good, and manly, and esteemed. I want them to be admired for being a man, not ashamed.
If you saw one of these images on Facebook, or Instagram, or Pinterest and they weren’t about men but say, some other demographic group. Ethnic group. Gender – what if something like this were created about women? Would that be tolerated? Would you think that was ok?
Men are not moms. I don’t want my husband to be a mom. I want him to be a DAD. I like that he does the heavy lifting. I like that he’s better at stuff that I’m not so good at – like MATH, and COOKING! I like that we have equal but different roles in the home, and that his work is important and so is mine. I am not subjugated by his very size or strength, I am honored that he chooses to use it for good. Often, my good. The good of my children. The good of others.
Single moms, I salute you.
I couldn’t do this alone. You have a gigantic task, but you also have the ability to raise your sons different. Tell them stories of real heroes, and teach them that strength lies in humility, that integrity is invaluable, and that real men do cry. Teach your daughters what to look for in a real man – a man who loves God more than he’ll ever love her. A man who respects her mind and her talents, but who also wants to protect and nurture her.
First-time moms, I beg you: let him be a part of your world.
He doesn’t have breasts, he cannot feed your child, but he can do just about everything else. Let him. Even if he does it differently than you. Even if he does it wrong a few times. Let him be a father. You are over-protective now, but later you will moan that he never does anything to help you.
Make him feel useless and incompetent, and he’ll likely stop trying. You weren’t a baby expert when your first child was born, you had to figure stuff out for yourself, too. Let him do the same.
All mothers, all wives:
Let him toss your toddlers in the air, and play crazy games. Let him rough and tumble your daughters and let him hug and kiss your sons. Let him feed them Dad-food (like pancakes for dinner and pizza as often as possible.) They won’t die of undernourishment Let him do the things he’s good at, and you do the things you’re good at. Speak kindly of him in public. Honor him for his differences.
Let him be a man.
Not a mom.
Different. Not wrong.
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