Recently I got a comment from a feminist regarding an article I wrote. I’ll spare you all the details but the gist of it was that they felt the “rhetoric of the father as the protector and notions of a daughter’s dependency on her father for protection, (to be) quite disturbing.”
Now, maybe I am old fashioned, but I have never considered a point of view that my child doesn’t crave protection and safety. In fact, my daughter has relayed to me numerous times that one of her greatest comforts in me as a father is in fact the knowledge that I will protect her and defend her no matter what. I never once had been exposed to the idea that somehow a father’s protection was a negative thing.
Now, I don’t minimize the role of mothers, and as a child that grew up without a biological father in his life I understand how one could resent the idea of a strong father and their influence on the family unit. For purposes of this site however, my main focus has always been to uplift fathers in anyway possible. Not only do I firmly believe that it is the duty of every father to be the best father they can be, but I also believe that they are a vital component in raising a child.
That’s not to say that children haven’t been raised without fathers, but it is my opinion that a “good father” is one of the most valuable assets a child can have, while also being one of the most under-acknowledged, and sometimes under-appreciated components of family. This comment from said feminist only reinforced that opinion. We are at a time where we need good fathers more than ever.
As far as child psychology goes, and believe me I have done a great bit of research, safety and protection are on the top of the list as far as the needs of a child. To insinuate that a child doesn’t need a protector from a young age is just ludicrous, however after some serious thought it became pretty clear to me what the real motivation was behind some of these so called feminist views.
I don’t think most people would disagree with a child’s need of protection at all. What is the most troubling is it felt like the agenda of some is to diminish the role of the father entirely. If not protection, what else does this hardline stance deem unnecessary for a father to do? The comment was of the tone that my child (especially a daughter) didn’t need a man for anything at all. Unfortunately, though it is commonplace in our society for fathers to be absent and children growing without a fatherly influence slowly becomes the norm, it doesn’t make it any less true that a father, father figure, or a strong alpha influence is a positive addition and compliment to a mother, mother figure or gentle and nurturing figure of any kind.
As a society I feel like we have stumbled upon a slippery slope where even championing a traditional father’s role has somehow become offensive to those with an agenda that belittles men in general. This is not to say that children cannot grow into happy and healthy adults without a father, but this is also not to say that a father serves no purpose. It is of my opinion that a strong father (figure) is highly compatible with a pro-woman stance when the father loves, cherishes, and respects their daughter and women in general.
I believe it is the duty of the family unit to learn from each other, and work together to raise a child, but never would I concede to the idea that a father should step back and take a passive role when it comes to the protection and defense of their children. Whatever the true intention of this “feminist” was, it surely solidified to me that us fathers have a lot of work to do, and that starts with becoming better role models to all of those around us so that our positive influence as men in the lives of our children is undeniable.
By being a better father, by setting the example of how a woman should be treated, how our children should be treated and protected, and by being a model of fairness, justice and equality we can easily prevent and change the perceptions of those who resent us based on our commitment to the values of a modern day family.