Saturday, June 14, 2014

For All the Father's Day Haters Out There

I have discovered that there are Father's Day haters out there who would just as soon abolish a day set aside to honour fathers. Apparently, it has to do with the evils of masculinity and patriarchy. I know this will probably get me labelled a "white male without a clue" by those feminist extremists who want to do away with Father's Day, but I can't help thinking there is a bit of misandry (hatred, dislike, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against men) behind all this. The message I'm getting here is "all men are evil". 

I will admit, I have know some pretty evil men, like my alcoholic physically abusive grandfather. I have also known some terribly evil women, like my alcoholic psychologically abusive mother. I have also known some good men and women. 

One thing I will not abide is being lumped into the same category as my physically abusive alcoholic grandfather simply because I happen to be a man. That's patently unfair. I would also like to think it's untrue.

Admittedly, I could hate Father's Day. Such hatred would be easy for me. Before I became a father, I did hate it. I had my reasons.

My mother divorced her first husband, my biological father, when I was an infant. I never really knew my "real" father. I never even saw a picture of him until a few years ago, when, through, I found some old photos of him when he signed up to serve in 'Nam. I gather he's now living in Florida, but I've never had contact with him. I don't want to have contact with him. As far as I'm concerned, he's a non-entity.

My mother's second husband, my step-father, is an unkind, uncaring, selfish, verbally abusive man. He and I got along okay at first, when I was a grade schooler, but when I entered my teen years, his obvious dislike for me grew. Things got so bad that I was basically kicked out of my parents' house. After a particularly nasty incident, I was given a choice: move in with my grandmother, or go to jail.

My step-father has never said he was proud of me, even when I graduated with honors from Hudson Valley Community College, even when I graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Albany, even when I was made a member of Phi Beta Kappa, even when I worked at the NYS museum. You see, such things seem beyond his comprehension. When I was in-between jobs, all I ever heard was "go get a job at McDonald's".

After I got married, my step-father's dislike of me became even more obvious. More often than not, he would be elsewhere when my wife and I would visit my parents. Even if he was around, he would hardly say two words to me.

I should hate Father's Day, but I don't. I don't consider my biological father or my step-father real fathers. I tried very hard to be a real father, the sort of father my step-father never was.. I'm sure I made mistakes, but I'm a proud father.

I was also a home-educator for almost ten years, until my daughter went to college full-time. I tried very hard to make sure she got a good, well-rounded education. I'm immensely proud of the fact that my daughter graduated with honours from Hudson Valley Community College and then went on to graduate summa cum laude from Russell Sage College, a prestigious women's college. She was also named a Kellas scholar. I'm also proud of the fact that my daughter is a damned fine photographer as well as a capable writer. She has written several stories and articles that appear on her HubPages, as well as some articles for Yahoo Voices.

 I try to encourage my daughter's creative endeavours. I can't say my parents did the same for me. I also hope my daughter knows I'm there for her if she needs me. Again, I can't say I was able to rely on my own parents.

Is it so wrong to want a day set aside to honour my accomplishments as a father?

Anyway, I am a proud father. I'm proud of what my daughter has accomplished.

Because I'm a proud father who is proud of his daughter and her creativeness:
Stephanie Fay's Redbubble.

Because I'm a proud father who is proud of his daughter and her writing abilities and accomplishments:
Stephanie Fay, Contributor on Yahoo Voices.

Again, because I'm a proud father who is proud of his daughter and her writing abilities and accomplishments:
Stephanie Fay on HubPages

For obvious reasons (I'm a huge Godzilla fan), I'm especially proud of the fact that my daughter wrote a damned fine Godzilla article:
Why Godzilla is Far Deeper Than You Think

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