Since I started this little blog, I've had several offers to join "father's rights" groups, invitations that I have sneeringly rejected. Once I looked into the missions of those groups, I saw that these groups were rabidly anti-woman and beholding to extremist "family values" organizations. As the father of two daughters intent on raising those daughters to believe they can be whatever they want to be, it's appalling to think there are men advocating for their right to "slap my bitch up" as some kind of religious dictate.
As you may have read in the article about me for Single Parents Day, a local school official favored "traditional two-parent families" over single-parent families. My response in the article to that statement was I thought it was complete bullshit.
“The traditional makeup is worthless unless there’s an emotionally stable and loving environment involved,” he said. “I think they’re better off in a household where there’s peace and consistency rather than the chaos of a marriage that’s crumbling.”
There's no doubt that single mothers have been the target of vicious and unfair enmity from the religious right. Fathers have been spared that bile mostly because we've been ignored but also because, I think, it's easier for a patriarchal society to kick women than men. It pisses me off that small-minded social conservatives choose to attack single moms rather than consider the welfare of the children. A woman getting out of an abusive or unhealthy marriage is not "selfish" but doing the sane thing - and doing what's best for her children.
However, when I read certain feminist perspectives on the issue of single parenting and those perspectives diminish the role of fathers, I get just as pissed off as I do by the medieval mutterings of right-wing mullahs. I was prompted to compose this rant by this particularly repulsive anti-fatherhood post by Amanda of at Pandagon because it makes me ask "Why?" I'm all for supporting single mothers against attacks by the stupidity and simplicity of so-called "family values" types but why does it have to be done at the expense of fathers? It seems to me that feminists like this indulge in the same kind of hate rhetoric (just a different flavor) that the drooling neanderthals on the right practice. Defending mothers by attacking fathers does nothing in the service of sane and compassionate dialogue.
Go read Amanda's article over at Pandagon and let me know if I'm off base. By no means do I consider myself one the anti-feminist rightards trolling her article at the moment but I find the anti-father slant sexist. And I'm pissed.