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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/15/10

He's Both Father And Dad

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These days it's hard being a father AND a Dad. There are so many bloody competing interests and in these recessionary times many fathers and dads are really under the gun. I don't want to start on a bad note but fathers and dads are now getting separated. People are making an artificial distinction between who is a father and who is a dad. The conclusion? Anyone can be a father but it takes a special man to be a dad.

That's so much horse dung and I beg to differ. A father and a Dad I believe share the same value systems, care for their families, love their children, and defend their brood. Of the actual origin of "dad" we have no evidence: but the forms dada, tata, meaning 'father', originating in infantile or childish speech, occur independently in many languages. So to all you philosophizing heads, you moralistic yahoos, and you holier-than-thou who like to separate the two it's just baby talk plain and simple.

I have been reading about the derogatory language hurled at fathers by all kinds of sentimental morons. They call us fathers "sperm donors," "deadbeats" and "absentees" among other names. Funny, I never heard about a "deadbeat mum" or "an egg donor mum." Guess it's the new-age, unjustified drivel and unadulterated nonsense that "all men are dogs." So in order to pull up the other tango dancer the one wearing the dress we have to pull down the other the one that wears the pants.

So Father's Day is seen simply as a boring ho-hum routine, let's-get-it-over and give the old coot a tie or a gift card to Sears to buy a vial of perfume. Or better yet let's get the old boy a pair of zebra-striped socks and a silly singing card playing "How much is that doggy in the window." Want to know something? Genuine fathers will accept these gifts with a smile because it came from you. The giving is what's important not the always poor, thoughtless choice of gifts.

You see fathers have had to go to war, die on the battlefields, work in the coal mines, drive trucks, get wet in the rain, walk miles to get snotty nosed little whiney Junior that red fire truck that he set his little heart on, and then still has to get up and go to work after he foolishly rocked 3-year old Jessica to bed whose "Daddy my head hurts and I'm soooo stuffy" just was too much for him to resist. Now he's all sniffy and snorty but he doesn't mind at least his little girl got to sleep in his arms. Actually, he'd have walked through hell just to make her happy so what's a little cold and fever?

Yep, that's what fathers do each and every day without complaining. So let's stop the dad-bashing. Most fathers are responsible, loving and caring even when external situations like poverty and high unemployment make it very difficult to "deliver for their families." You see, fathers are expected to deliver all the time. They are the original providers and while modern times have changed this traditional role, fathers still believe that that's what they do best.

Now I grant you that there are some fathers richly deserving of the horrid names they get called for not taking care of their progeny. And yes, they are those who contribution to the family was a teaspoon of fluid that was the end result of a few minutes of pleasurable intimate physical activity. But I submit that they are the exceptions rather than the rules. There will be some fathers who even fall of the wagon and become distracted by the sheer peer pressures of the day. But fathers, dads, daddies or pops or whatever you call him is still a great guy and he's going to answer to all you call him.

Thing is fathers have very limited access to organizations that are dedicated to, well, fatherhood, especially of young, immature fathers (who should not be fathers in the first case). Then there is the male machismo and swagger that makes fathers feel indestructible. Whining and complaining is not their forte suffer in silence is the way to go. There is a very simple explanation for this behavior: as the head of the household father is the rock even though there are shared responsibilities. Little Johnny runs to mom when he stumps his toe but runs to dad when he gets bullied on the playground most of the time.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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