“Can we make them talk about your father?”: Reclaiming Respect for Fatherhood

In my review of the Simpsons pilot from 1989, I detailed how the series initially dealt with Homer Simpson; illustrating how the already decaying respect for Fatherhood was razed to the ground in a relatively short period of time by Feminists.

From the initial patriarchy smashing of first wave Feminists, the goal was always for manhood, and subsequently Fatherhood, to be a thankless position. It would still be dutiful, it would still carry the same responsibility, but the sense of entitlement to that responsibility would increase infinity.

A Father was not entitled to respect for existing as a Father.

It wasn’t difficult to decimate the respect Fatherhood carried; it was artificial anyway- only not in the way Feminists would like you to think.

Men were always disposable. While their work was integral to the survival of our species, nobody cried over the death of a man outside of the family he was born-into and the family he forged. Others may have cared in passing, but otherwise it was business as usual.

The reward a man had for working himself to death, building and maintaining civilizations, and putting his family first was the support and respect they gave him.

This was a fair trade.

But the western world collectively decided that men were not entitled to respect for fulfilling what was considered the expectations of their identity.

Millennials are the product of a modern world where fathers are perceived as losers, clowns, and idiots.

In the short minute between rounds a heated Teddy Atlas, boxing expert extraordinaire, corners his man- fighter Alexander Povetkin. Atlas knows that he needs to choose his words carefully, he needs to motivate his fighter to push harder than he ever has before in the biggest fight of Povetkin’s career- one for the Heavyweight Championship of the world.

“Do you believe in magic? Magic…  Sometimes we can bring people who left us back… We can bring your father back tonight. You want to know why? Because they’re going to talk about his son, the new world champion, and when they talk about him, they’re going to be thinking about his father. Can we make them talk about your father? Your father’s son, the world champ?

Individual pride isn’t what motivates Povetkin, Atlas understands Russian culture, but a deep reverence for family and legacy- respecting a father’s legacy by way of creating his own.

You are the only person who is able to care about your father.

You are the only person in the entire world who can recognize your father’s humanity.

You may have had a wonderful mother who loved your father very much, but she loved him from a necessity that obscured his humanity. His failures were always difficult and unsightly for her; his value- his ability to provide- engendered her love for him.

You may have had a more typical mother, with a fragile ego, in a post-Feminist world. A woman who resented his leadership when its consequences made her feel subordinate; who attacked, shamed, and emasculated him for any failure of expectation; who slowly chipped away at his masculine identity and self-confidence.

This became the man who you got to know as Dad.

Maybe when you met him he was already weakened. Maybe he was overwhelmed with responsibility and couldn’t cope. Your father was alone to navigate the dark sea with misinformation and no outlet for discussing the masculine experience.You’re an adult and you can understand how difficult and unforgiving life can be.

Even if  your father is a shell of his potential, it’s your responsibility to care; to listen to him, to learn from him, and to be sympathetic to his struggle. Being an adult is showing him respect, finding success in your own life, and making them “talk about your father.”

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One comment

  1. Tarnished · November 26, 2015

    Your Father, like the majority of men with families, primarily existed as social utility. He volunteered to be meat for the grinder. He felt pride in being meat for the grinder. He willingly committed to this because it made him feel like a good person, a worthy man, and he derived a positive identity from it.

    For what it’s worth, this doesn’t describe my biological father at all, and only describes my stepfather as much as the picture of himself he presented to the outside world. Neither of them are men I actually love, and yes, I’m fully aware of just how horrible that sounds to someone who is looking at this without the information I have and the abuse or lies I grew up with.

    However, all of my friends are men, and have been for most of my life. I can definitely see the struggles the married ones go through, the exact ones you’ve listed above (though to varying extents). It is my great honor and duty as their friend to be a shoulder for them when they need it, and to appreciate them as fellow human beings trying their hardest, because we all know that the mindless machine of our society won’t be.

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