Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fathers Day Collection

Perhaps I'm wrong and maybe it's the economy, but this year I seem to sense a "Rising Tide" of awareness at how "Fatherhood" is generally mistreated.

To wit:

Ottawa Citizen June 23, 2009 - SOUNDOFF Blog
"Fatherhood can be a thankless job" by Paul NATHANSON

Nathanson recounts his relationship with his father:
From my perspective as a boy and young man, he seemed overly judgmental. ... And his standard for honourable manhood, which he applied to himself no less than to me, did seem unattainable. Worse, it seemed to me, his notion of manhood focused heavily on duty and sacrifice. Worse still, perhaps, he expected me to learn skills that didn't interest me.
He also realized years later that his personal accomplishments were in part due to his fathers relentless expectations.
Dad lived long enough to see me take my place in the world. I knew that he respected me as a scholar. One day, in the middle of some argument, he suddenly turned to me and said, "Paul, you're a learned man." Okay, I was much too old by then for those words to give me a sense of self-confidence. But we both realized immediately that this was a moment of profound fulfillment; a father had symbolically conferred manhood on his son.
And he encapsulates why fathering is still important but different than mothering.
Fathers, unlike mothers, must require their children to earn love -- respect, which is a form of love -- in order to leave home mature enough to give and receive it as adults. And fathers, unlike mothers, cannot measure their effectiveness adequately in terms of immediate emotional gratification. Moreover, they often resent having to meet expectations or endure constant testing. In short, fathering is inherently more complicated, more ambiguous, and more perilous (though not, of course, more important) than mothering. It requires a massive cultural effort to promote fathering and not merely to bribe or threaten fathers into providing material resources.
Nathanson calls for public debate on the important issue of respecting and valuing fatherhood in today's society.
I'm dismayed to find that our society seems hell-bent on undermining the culture of fatherhood. My research indicates that every person and every group, to have a healthy identity, must be able to make at least one contribution to society that is distinctive, necessary, and publicly valued. Boys must know that society will indeed need them, and [at present], they don't.

[Boys are being told in popular society they are only assistant mothers, and]
now learn directly or indirectly, that there will be no room for them as men in family life and that they will therefore have no moral stake as men in the future of society.

If that isn't an ominous sign, what is?

Paul Nathanson is a research associate at McGill University 's Faculty of Religious Studies and co-author alongside Katherine Young of the books Spreading Misandry and Legalizing Misandry.

Ottawa Citizen June 19, 2009 - Columnist David WARREN
In praise of patriarchs

Here are some relevant excerpts.
This is my first “father’s day” without a father; my own father died last November. It is no big issue, really: he was one of many billion fathers, as the world goes on; and besides, no one ever took father’s day very seriously. It isn’t a real holiday: nobody gets off work because of it. The celebration of it is equally throwaway. We “give dad a tie,” or some workshop bauble, as we might (with ideological hesitation these days) give mom something for the kitchen.

I am fortunate still to enjoy the love of my children, or think I do. But I am vividly aware of so many fathers who do not — whether through their own fault, or from the fact that their children were turned against them by a calculating mother, working the family law system. [Yet, we] have a society in North America that is, thanks to the triumph of feminism, progressively shedding the masculine qualities that any society needs to survive. Women themselves are progressively “freed” from masculine protection at many levels; men, raised to be wimps, progressively abandon all sense of duty. I would further argue that dealing with the fallout from the feminist revolution is the most important domestic “issue” in North American society today — for its effects spread thickly across every other domestic issue. And this necessarily requires an attack on the very premise of feminism: its demonization of “patriarchy.”

If fathers cannot be paternal, we have no men.
Toronto SUN, June 16, 2009 by Joanne RICHARD
A girl's first hero - How dads inspire and support a daughter's development

These two Italian-named female psychotherapists seem to be repeating tired cliche's about fathers relationships with their daughter's - but I'll take whatever I can get.
"Behind every great woman, you will find her dad" -- that's if he was an engaged, present, involved dad, says Dr. Mary Jo Rapini.

Studies show that dads give girls 90% of their self-esteem before the age of 12, she says. "What this means is that girls that grow up without a dad in the home, or one who abandoned them, are always going to be a little bit less confident and sure of themselves than peers who grow up with a dad in the home."

The best thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother so that she will witness what to expect from the men in her life, and what she should not have to put up with, adds Dr. Venus Nicolino
Robert FRANKLIN at also picks up on this article, and ties up the loose ends thus:
For decades now feminism has trumpeted the notion that "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

Women, according to this orthodoxy, are strong and men are unnecessary to their happiness and success. To that end they've championed the single-mother family and fought tooth and nail against every effort to ameliorate the radical inequalities of family court. Any initiative that seeks to enhance children's connection to their fathers is reflexively opposed by NOW and other feminist organizations.

It turns out that, to be that strong, confident woman, it is precisely a man that she needs in her life growing up. The very thing girls need to grow up to become the feminist ideal is the very thing that feminist groups most adamantly oppose - a father in her life.

TV Ontario June 21, 2009
The Changing Role of Father: Involved Dads and Their Positive Impact on Education

In the 21st century, the role of ‘father’ has changed. According to the Canadian Father Involvement Initiative (CFII) - a non-profit organization based in Carleton Place, ON there were 4.2 million fathers in Canada in the 2001 census. CFII has compiled clear evidence that school-aged children of involved fathers demonstrate the following attributes:

-They are better academic achievers
-They are more likely to get As
-They have better quantitative and verbal skills
-They have higher grade point averages, receive superior grades, or perform a year above their expected age level on academic tests
-They demonstrate more cognitive competence on standardized intellectual assessments
-They are more likely to enjoy school, have better attitudes toward school, participate in extracurricular activities, and graduate.

Advice for dads who truly want to be more involved with their children: “Just do it,”

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