June 17, 2007, - 2:00 pm

Happy Father’s Day, Dad (& the Rest of America’s Patriotic Pops)

By Debbie Schlussel
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
While most American fathers love their children and want to be involved in their lives, the Mainstream Media has spent the last week attacking them in anticipation of today, Father’s Day. The annual drumbeat against Dads is getting louder and louder in a manner you’d never hear regarding Mom.

father.jpg

Photo by Trevor Romain of Trevor’s Blog

(Read Trevor’s Touching Letter to His Father)

Instead of hearing about the many dedicated, loving, concerned fathers, we hear about sperm donor fathers who sleep around and aren’t their for the kids they fathered. Or “deadbeat dads” (which I prefer to call “deadbeat parents”–there are, indeed, mothers in this group). And, for those who are in the picture, we hear about absentee fathers who spend all day at work, slaves to their job. Because, after all, their role is . . . not to be a breadwinner and put food on the table? A hard-working father is now a national villain.
I frequently site studies done by the National Fatherhood Initiative that fathers and dads portrayed on TV are largely idiots, screw-ups, losers, jerks who womanize and sleep around, and other assorted malefactors. That’s in the cases where there even is a father figure around on TV. Usually, there is not, though even in those cases, he is referred to negatively.
But now, on Thursday, USA Today informed America that America’s dads are not even good enough to measure up to Homer Simpson, and that–again–they work too hard and should be home more. Ludicrous. McNewspaper tells us that slacker dads who stay home as Mr. Moms are preferable. Puh-leeze.
Sorry, but I just can’t believe most people would rate Homer Simpson as better than their own Dad. TV really is having a negative “Defining Dad Down” effect:

Fathers in the USA are a lot less supportive and accepting than TV sitcom dads, even falling short of the low bar set by Homer Simpson, a study of college students’ views suggests.
Many young people blame constant work demands–seldom portrayed on TV–for draining their fathers’ energy and time from parenting, says Janice Kelly, a communications researcher at Marymount Manhattan College in New York.
She showed episodes from eight comedies to 108 college students. The programs were as diverse as The George Lopez Show, The Simpsons, My Wife and Kids and Everyone Loves Raymond. She asked the students to rate TV fathers and their own on such qualities as support, guidance, acceptance of other family members and oppositional behavior (for example, ridiculing children). On every measure, TV fathers were rated significantly better than the students’ own dads.
Comments invited during the study were revealing, Kelly says. One young person wrote: “My father works two jobs to support the family. I don’t get to see him when he comes home, he’s tired.” Children from white-collar families portrayed their fathers as tethered to BlackBerrys and e-mail, fearful of losing their jobs. “One girl said: ‘So that’s why he makes pancakes on the weekend. He feels guilty,’ ” Kelly says.

These are bad Dads?! Sounds like they gave birth to a bunch of very spoiled, unappreciative brats. Me, me, me. If kids complained about their mothers being tethered to Blackberrys or working too much, the media would call them sexist and misogynist.

Everyone knows TV isn’t life, “but still, the real dad is being judged poorly compared to these television daddies,” says Glenn Good, an expert in the psychology of men at the University of Missouri. “There’s a lot of research showing these programs can create norms of what’s right.”
Many fathers see holding on to jobs as key to good parenting of their kids, he adds, but it’s a challenging economic time. Men’s real income from all sources fell from 2000 to 2005, according to U.S. government figures.
Several studies confirm that fathers are spending more time than ever on child care, says Vincent DiCaro of the non-profit National Fatherhood Initiative. It’s unknown whether Gen X and Y fathers–born between 1965 and 1994–will be seen as more nurturing than baby-boom fathers, DiCaro says. There’s very little research on the parenting of earlier generations of men, he says.

Sounds like Dads are being rated on whether they are good mothers, not good fathers. It used to be a father was a good father if he provided for his family. Now, that doesn’t count. Instead, he’s rated on nurturing?! Al-Qaeda is laughing at our girlie-man nation’s mentality.

Kelly says TV writers should show more of this true-life work/family conflict.
But that won’t happen, says Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. “Working families are having a hard enough time balancing child care and jobs. Do you want to sit down and watch this at night? Most people would run away screaming.”
To the contrary, Thompson says, family sitcoms already “are on life support,” fast disappearing, because stressed-out viewers crave “anesthesia” in over-the-top “reality” and other escapist shows.
“It’s disturbing to think that kids might judge their dad as worse than Homer Simpson,” he says. “Ward Cleaver was one thing–nobody could measure up–but sitcom dads today are flawed at best.”

(Agreed on Homer. But speak for yourself on Mr. Cleaver. My Dad does measure of to Cleaver and surpasses him in every way.)
In a TV.com poll, Mr. Bennett of “Heroes,” Homer Simpson, Tony Soprano, Peter Griffin of “Family Guy,” and Commander Adama of “Battlestar Galactica” were the TV dads 6,800 voters chose as those they wish were their dads.
This is just as disturbing. Do you really want Homer Simpson, Tony Soprano, or Peter Griffin as your dad? Are you really that dissatisfied with your own father? Oy. Is this really where we are at in America, today?
Fathers are under attack, not only from the Mainstream Media, but our legal system and laws. According to divorce attorney Dennis Vatsis, in over 70% of divorce cases in Michigan, for example, a father does not get physical custody of his children. When you add in cases where the father does not get any form of custody (such as joint custody), the cases exceed 90%, where the mother has custody, not the father.
The laws are skewed against fathers. We should not wonder why psycho-liberal Alec Baldwin attained a new level of crazy in a voice-mail to his young daughter. There are so many cases like it, in which mothers who have custody of their children turn them against their fathers forever. We should not condemn the frustration of fathers who are fed up with being shut out.
On a happier note, this Father’s Day, I salute my Dad, a devoted, mainstream American Dad who served his country and loves his family. My dad taught me so many things in my life and has always been there for me. My father gave me love, education, sage wisdom and advice, and moral support. I am so fortunate and appreciative. Most important, my father taught me to have the courage of my convictions and to passionately fight for them above financial gain.
The Greek Philosopher, Epicurus, said, “Of all the things that wisdom provides to help one live one’s entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is friendship.” Thanks for being my greatest friend, Dad, and Happy Father’s Day! I’m lucky to have you, and I hope there are many more Father’s Days with you.
I love you very much.
***
Let’s also not forget that there are hundreds of thousands of American Dads who are not in their children’s lives at the moment, not by choice, but because they are busy sacrificing and fighting for our country overseas. Many of them try to stay in their kids lives–many of whom were born while they’ve been away and have yet to see them–over the phone, e-mail, etc. Let’s recognize them and their important contributions on this Father’s day.

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13 Responses

Actually on a lot of levels, Homer Simpson is a good dad. He sacrifices for his kids, works a job he hates to support the family. Sadly, that’s more than a lot of kids get in the real world.

D*Rek on June 17, 2007 at 5:35 pm

I had an admirable father–an adequate provider and a good role model. My ex-husband, father to 3 children, is a very good provider. To be such a provider he is nowhere near his kids 8 months of the year. He is not a role model, in my opinion. He is a wallet. Big difference. And I struggle to support my teenage son in his teenaged male problems. I cannot be a father to him.

fatgreencat on June 17, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Well, you expect the death busters running the media to attack the father in america. It’s more about the jackass guy “knocking up” a woman and then leaving her becuase he wants to be a Plaaaaya. That’s what guys below my age are being taught to be by the media just to be “relevant” as a guy. It makes me sick. I’m tired of being classed in with this generation of “pimp” males. While a guy like me can’t find a decent woman becuase you can’t tell if they’re “mindsluts” or not.

Squirrel3D on June 17, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Debbie, are you friends with rabbi tisdale? is she cute?

Anonymous1 on June 17, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Debbie: A great article, and a great tribute, to fathers. My own first thought upon reading some of the kids’ reactions to their dads working “too hard,” being “tired” when he gets home from work, was “What a bunch of wimps! How do you think that great dinner you just consumed got into your belly? While you’re watching ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Battlestar Gallactica’ on your 50-inch 1080p widescreen, tell me how the hell you think that got there in your den? How’s that car you’re driving, now that you’ve got your license (and who’s paying or helping you pay for the insurance on it)?”

theendisnear on June 17, 2007 at 11:08 pm

My father died at the age of 59 in ’74 when I was 27. We weren’t rich but we were comfortable, never owned, always rented, but they always got bigger and better all while he was alive. He had five heart attacks the last two years of his life. I think he worked himself to death.

John Cunningham on June 18, 2007 at 1:54 am

My Dad died in ’74 at age 46 from a heart attack. It was the summer between my junior and senior year in highschool. Needless to say, I missed him deeply then, as I do now. I remember he used to travel a great deal when my sister and I were young. When I was about 9 or 10, he had an opportunity to promote to a VP position with his company but we would have had to move. He decided against it because he wanted us to grow and go to school in a good area, surrounded by good friends we had made. He always found time to spend with us, support us in our sports and hobbies, and be an ear for us to bend when times got tough. In the short time he was here, he did more than most parents I see these days and certainly more than any sitcom “dad” could aspire to do. Homer Simpson, Ray Romano, and Cliff Huxtable don’t get it! It’s all a pipe dream, as is most of the by-product of the hollyweird left. The greatest cause of the problems we have today is due to the rapid decimation of family morals and values bolstered by society’s indifference.

1shot1kill on June 18, 2007 at 8:35 am

1shot1kill, I know what you mean. Mine was obsessed with doing a second best. As the family got larger we needed more room, but, we always stayed in the same parish so we could at least not have to change schools. We never lived any further than walking distance.

John Cunningham on June 18, 2007 at 12:27 pm

If they hate Dads so much, why do they even observe Father’s day in the first place? It’s not like we’d throw a fit if they didn’t notice – unlike the MOMS out there.

Infidel Pride on June 18, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Liberals who control just about all media outlets are, of course, anti-Christian. It would be of no surprise then they attack fatherhood by first ridiculing, then negative portrayal, and finally telling us fathers are therefore not needed.
I wonderful analogy I heard was fathers are the hubs of the wheel and mothers are the spokes. The rubber or outer part of the wheel was to be used to run over liberals. (Ok, I made the last part up.)

ReallyReallyStupid on June 18, 2007 at 5:14 pm

ReallyReallyStupid…’used to run over liberals’…sounds really, really smart.

John Cunningham on June 19, 2007 at 4:27 am

What a joke this is all bullshit. This lawyer Dennis Vastis has no clue and defends deadbeat dads. He writes all this father law bullshit and posts it. Well I am a divorced father and very close to my son and my sons mom and I work everyday to keep it that way. From day one I was in my sons life I worked and also did a lot of Mr. Mom things as well as the dad things.

Funny Mr. Vastis took on the case of my current wives ex, who according to the article is a sperm donor. The man he is defending did not have much contact with his son in total the deadbeat he defends is lucky to spend 11 years in his sons life out of 12. This lawyer wants to get the dad the world.

Would you want to have someone come into your life after 12 years and be comfortable. So why do we expect dads too.

Another thing being a dad makes us a nation of soft men. I do not think so maybe the only thing gettingb soft is Mr. Vastis ass in his chair in an office chair.

On that I take offense I am a great dad ask his mom and those who know me and I am also a FIREFIGHTER. So I guess by all the shit in this article I am a pussy Firefighter, the only pussies are the lawyers who ruin a childs life and post stupid shit like this.

Greg on June 12, 2010 at 2:25 am

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masa? pleców kraków on June 27, 2011 at 12:30 am

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