Sunday, December 27, 2009

Equal Rights for Fathers...The Fallout Part I

Well...I suspected that this would not be pretty. So I am going to post the responses as they come and my responses...for those that might be interested in keeping up. First up to bat was a gentleman whom we shall call Bob out of respect to him...and Bob writes...

Forgive me if i am wrong, but based on your essay,
i'm sorry you did not have a good father Julio.

i did.
My Father, born in 1928, was at least as nurturing as my mother.
he came to every baseball game i had.
he helped me all the time.
he loved me in more ways than i can count.
I am sorry you choose to believe that judeo-christianity causes men not
to be nurturing.

because you have a particular ability does not mean others have that
putting people down with the typical "pull yourself up by the
bootstraps" is not that helpful.
Instead it is probably elitist looking down on others.
It is saying "you are a victim because you want to be a victim,
and i am where i am because i deserve to be here".

A major problem is a system that does not SEEK justice.
It does not SEEK truth.
It is a system built for bias.
It is a system which says the criminal court failed let's get them some
other way.
And let's not give them a real chance.
Let's create a legal system you have to maneuver through
and only those in the system are allowed to do so.

I responded....


Allow me to start out first in complimenting you on your patience in reading that post! lol I am honored you took the time to read something you obviously disagree with, and I do appreciate your time as well in responding. This argument I felt had gone on too long without the involvement of any single dad's discussing how we felt about it, so I appreciate your input!

As I said in the "essay" I posted, they were my opinions and mine alone as I would not dare be so arrogant as to claim all single fathers felt the same way, heck I wouldn't dare claim any other single father felt the same way...they were quite clearly...My opinions.

As I read your response I was alternately saddened, ammused and enlightened. And I will attempt to answer as concisely as possible.

(1) Let me clearly state I did not have a "bad" father. My dad fit the classical stereotypical roll of "breadwinner" and there wasn't a lot of time to be had between us. I do not blame him and do not consider him a bad father for it. Were there things he could have done better? Yes..but then such is the case with me and my children. My dad is a Pastor, and is a good man. I homeschooled because my parents were missionaries, so there were no games to go to. However, just in case I gave the impression that my dad was a bad father, allow me to correct that impression, because nothing is further from the truth.

(2) I will stand by my statement that the roles are clearly set by Judeo-Christianity. This was not meant as an offensive or accusatory statement and I apologize if it was taken as such. It was intended as a statement of fact that can be validated. As already mentioned I come from a Christian home, I actually also went to Bible College, was teaching theology in a Bible institute at age 24 and pastoring myself at age 26. That was a lifetime ago and my life is very different now from what it was then, but my knowledge of the Bible is still fairly sharp.

The Bible clearly outlines the roles. When Adam sinned God himself in Genesis chapter 3 assigned the man as the bread winner. He was to earn what he had by the sweat of his brow. The woman at that point and time was placed in a subservient position to the man. She was to "bear" children. That word "bear" in the original carries more conotations then just child birth, but also includes the thought of carrying, tending to and nurturing.

This thought of the roles in the home were also carried over into the New Testament, where Paul refers to the woman being silent in the congregation, and if she has a question to ask her husband. Proverbs mentions that a wise woman buildeth her house but a foolish one plucketh it down with her hands. Time after time the Bible states and restates the respective roles for the husband and wife. Given this fact I continue to stand by this statement as the proof is in Judeo-Christianity' s most sacred Book, the Holy Bible.

Now having said that I do not think it is fair to say that all men and/or women fit their respective roles completely. And I totally respect your views. However, I think it is safe to say that Hollywood has made a fortune on the stereotypical father that is always work work work and not the nurturing one for a reason. A stereotype exists for a reason, and the situation you described (of your father) is the exception rather than the rule; an exception, I might add, that you have every right to be proud of and uphold as an example for yourself and your children.

(3) I know the "essay" was long and in some points may have rambled a bit, but I am sorry if you missed the part where I stated that I have not reached my goals, not by a long shot. My post was more about attitude Dale than it was about the reality of this bias. I repeatedly admit through my "essay" that the bias exists, even going so far as to explain why it exists. I do not deny its existence. However, I do draw your attention to the portion of my "essay" where I compare the father's struggle for equal parental rights to the women's struggle for equal rights in the professional world. It is really painfully evident that the traditional role of men was being 'broken into" for lack of a better term, by women, and they had to fight to get equal rights in it. At the same time, men are now trying to break into the traditional role of women and they have to fight for it as well. The movement for father's equal parental rights is a direct parallel to women's equal civil rights. The comparison truly is uncanny if you take the time to think about it.

(4) I was slightly amused at being called an elitist. I am the liberal in my family and generally I am being called the bleeding heart and I call THEM the elitist, so it is a little humorous to me to be called an elitist for a change. The phrase "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" is a simple term that simply states do not depend on the world to take you by the hand and pull you up, sometimes you have to buckle down and find the strength within yourself. It is not easy. It is not an 'ability" as you refer to it. It is a choice. So the system sucks....Tell that to Hillary Clinton who very nearly became the first female presidential candidate in our nation's history when 30 years ago she couldn't be mayor of her town, she couldn't be the CEO of a company...women faced a system that was biased and set against them. They fought it and look how far they have come.

I disagree, not with the facts you present, but rather with the defeatist attitude that you and many men have about it. And I say that respectfully. I am not an elitist...but I am an optimist that refuses to believe that this system cannot be beaten or changed, and as long as I wallow in my own pain and suffering I cannot do anything to change it and I cannot do anything to salvage what is left between me and my children.

It is the victim mentality that I reject, and continue to do so. I respect your views and your opinion, but "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" is not looking down on somebody, it is simply have to be willing to help yourself. You cannot change what is done to you, but you can change how you react to it. You cannot choose the circumstances you are faced with, but you CAN choose on whether you are a victim or a victor. Simple as that.



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