Before Father’s Day even hit, I started to see them. The Facebook posts and tweets wondering when the anti-Father’s Day status updates and tweets would begin rolling in.
Like clockwork, as soon as Sunday rolled around it happened. The shouts out to all the single moms holding it down for the dead beat dads, the Facebook posts putting “bitch ass men” on blast for not taking care of their children, the angry tweets recalling fathers who were absent—they were there, for the world to see and many more to cosign.
It got so bad that even positive reflections, like the one from Denene Millner of MyBrownBaby, shouting out great fathers were co-opted by those whose dads or baby daddies (I hate that term, by the way) were not, for lack of a better word, shit.
I get it.
Some of us had horrible experiences with men, and particularly men with children. And it hurts, and we are still trying to process the pain and the void his absence left behind. But damn, good brothers can’t get love (on Father’s Day no less) because a few knuckleheads messed it up?
I am always astounded at the level of vitriol hurled at men come Father’s Day. Reading some of the Facebook statuses and tweets would have you believe that most of us had rolling stone papas or made babies with men who could care less what happened next. For some, this might very well be the case, but I’d wager that most of us had a father (or grandfather, uncle, etc.) who served as our guide, our protector, our positive male role model. And even if that wasn’t the case, if you missed out on the love of your daddy, must you use this day—Father’s Day—to dishonor those men who have run, arms open into fatherhood?
For me, it all comes back to hurt, anger and bitterness. While I totally understand that some of us have had horrible experiences with men, and even men who were our fathers, at some point we cannot keep letting it dictate how we interact with others.
Just as you wouldn’t hold all men accountable for that “ain’t shit” man who broke your heart (I hope), you shouldn’t blame, diss, or discount the good works of fathers who are doing what they’re supposed to do.
Is it a shame we have so many absent fathers in our community? Hell yes! But being the first to point out a man’s flaws (or even worse, hunt for them), instead of critiquing from a place of love isn’t exactly productive either.
I think Badu said it best when she implored us to let go of our bags. If we take the brave and difficult step to lay down the bitterness, the hurt, the anger, the negative attitude, the animosity, and the need to get them before they get us, I bet we’ll be surprised at how quickly things can change.
What do you think Clutchettes and Gents? Why do so many people continue to hold onto bitterness? Speak on it!