A friend stated it is because women have had to play both roles. They’ve had to be both mother and father. I responded with, “No, she was just mother.” She may have picked up the slack financially, as the disciplinarian and took you to all of your football games, but she wasn’t your father. If it were that simple to replace fathers, we wouldn’t have such chaos in the Black family. There wouldn’t be generational cycles of men not taking care of their children or teenage pregnancy or low self-worth in females. If mothers were taking on the role of fathers, there wouldn’t be such a low disparity of women who understand men. The fact of the matter is, yes, mothers step up and do much more than their share because fathers aren’t around, BUT, they’re still mothers. They haven’t stepped into the role of a father just because they’ve picked up the slack. This is evidenced by the fact that girls (and boys) are still running around with “daddy issues.” If the void was being filled, that wouldn’t be the case.
The fact of the matter is, when men don’t take care of their children and aren’t present in their children’s lives, there is a void there that goes unfilled. The relationship between a father and his child is important (we see what happens when kids-turned-adults go without it). And while it’s true that women have stepped up to the plate to pick up the slack of absentee fathers, they have not replaced fathers. So even though the numbers may be embarrassingly low for [Black] fathers taking care of their kids, they still deserve their day. Let’s not diminish it by giving it to someone else. After all, mothers have a day, and it comes first.
Remember, it was mama who taught us, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” If you can’t honestly say “Happy Father’s Day” don’t say anything at all.