• Jibriel Holloway

Open Letter for Men & Boys - Part 5


I don’t think any man knows how under-appreciated his role is like a father does.

I had a great father. My dad is one of the greatest people I’ve ever known. During my late childhood, I was insecure about this for two reasons. One, because almost everything I was hearing about fathers was that they’re abusive and/or deadbeats, and I felt selfish for talking about mine. Two, because some of my peers would get offended if I said positive things about my father because they either didn't like theirs, or didn't know them.

Their mothers were far from saints, with issues ranging from drug addiction to child abuse. The abusive one was a neighbor with two boys and a girl. When I was 8, I saw her take a lit incense and press it against my 9-year-old friend’s arm because she spilled juice on the kitchen floor and left it sticky. Right in front of her boys who were about 4 and 5. I once saw her belt her 4-year-old son for being too full to eat the rest of his food. She was constantly looking for a reason to hit her kids and even other people’s kids. Everybody in my building knew how unstable this woman was, yet it was treated like the most ordinary thing.

But few of my friends — including the girl who was burned — had an open grudge against their mothers. Most of them would call out or even fight someone who didn't like their own mother for any reason. The logic was that since the mother is the one who gives birth, everything she does or does not do is okay. But if a father screws up, it’s okay to hold it against him.

This mentality gets turned up to 11 on both parent holidays. On Father’s Day, the main focus is on bad fathers. When people do acknowledge good fathers, they often take time to also bring up the deadbeats by saying “Hey, look what real fathers can do! You need to step up!” Meanwhile, Mother’s Day is so respected that most people praise mothers throughout the whole month, plus Father’s Day with that retarded “Happy Father’s Day to all the single moms playing the father and mother!” It’s considered disrespectful to talk about abusive and deadbeat mothers, let alone shove them down everyone’s throats. Ironically, mothers are just as guilty as the fathers and we don’t even know it.

Why are we not celebrating dads who won custody of the kids from mothers who made false criminal accusations about them? Why are we not talking about situations where fathers lose or share custody with abusive mothers, only for the child to be killed by her? Where’s all the praise for the dads who died protect the mother and kids? What about the dads who stayed by their wife’s side while she was giving birth? What about the men who work extra hours to afford a phone for their kids to get on social media and type things like #endfathersday? Why are the 2 million single dads in America so rarely acknowledged?

Are those guys not “stepping up” high enough for you? If kids who have been abused and abandoned by their mothers have to sit through our constant putting mothers on a pedestal on and off Mother’s Day, then kids with good fathers shouldn’t have their one day used as a platform for endless vitriol towards fathers.

Dads deserve better than to be openly lumped into a group with deadbeat fathers and abusers. They deserve more than to have their role treated like just above that of a babysitter in some stupid “Take Time to be a Dad Today” commercial. Kids deserve better than to constantly see their fathers slandered over a stereotype.

Here’s something positive for the dads.

Make a nice day and if you’d like to give your support, join the #phenoMENalAct campaign! Oh, by the way, did you think of a male empowerment song, yet?

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