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Men are always left out of the equation when it comes to anything that has to do with childbirth. Seems like men are only good for– need I say– their sperm. After conception, the woman primarily takes control over the entire process. From dealing with excruciating birth pains, frequent doctor visits, and even constant bathroom breaks around the clock, it’s easy to see where the power lies.

Hell, women have to carry the baby around, not me. So I get it.

But many times we forget to figure men into the equation–even after the pregnancy. Hence the semantics played when it comes to the term of labeling a father. Words like ‘baby daddy,’ ‘father,’ and ‘dad’ all carry different connotations that speak to the man’s connection to the child. But can we simply not have fathers anymore? In a world where two-parent households are under attack, baby daddies tend to be a variable in the Black community that has not changed.

Women having babies without being married is nothing new either. Although I would never blatantly encourage broken homes or single parent households, let’s face it, pregnancy happens. However, one would think that in this day and age the unwavering snickers and snares would stop when a woman chooses to have a baby out of wedlock. However, seeing how it takes two people to create a child, we should begin asking ourselves why are we so hard on baby mamas yet remain virtually silent about baby daddies?

For the past two weeks, the blogs have been abuzz with details over the recent pregnancy announcement made by Fantasia. The former American Idol winner was performing for a small crowd when she felt compelled to share this information with her fans. Before she started to go into her next song, Fantasia confirmed she was pregnant, and she did not have to hide it anymore. Fanny has been roundly criticized for her relationship with Antwaun Cook, who is rumored to be the child’s father. Although she is not the first woman to have an affair with a married man — and will definitely not be the last — people relentlessly judged her choices. We are all adults, so we know it takes two to conceive. So in this instance, there is no excuse to shift all the blame on Fantasia. However, the guilt constantly falls on the woman, and the baby daddy just becomes an innocent bystander.

While sex might be casual for some, the consequences are  definitely not. And I’m not giving baby daddies any passes for anything they have done wrong. However, we have been socialized to believe that it is the woman’s role to control a man’s sexual desires. Since a man does not have to carry the baby, the evidence lies with the woman for nine months. And again, there is no hiding that.

Statistics indicate that if you’re black woman, and you want to get married, you might have a difficult time. Almost seventy percent of American black women are unmarried, and over half of black women’s marriages to black men are said to end in divorce. But what are statistics when we are dealing with real life? Marriage does not negate the possibility of producing offspring — planned or not–who can be abandoned by one of their parents.

With the increasing trend of people having children outside of marriage — among other circumstances –more and more guilt surrounds women and their wombs. This observable fact begs the question…are we are too silent on baby daddies? Women need to make a place for their baby daddy.  There has been a shift from saying, “We’re pregnant” to “I’m pregnant.” Because women are typically tied to “the home,” anything that happens there is seen as her fault. Pending the circumstance, it can be very difficult and frustrating, but holding the father accountable is important to a children’s future. If this situation is going to get better, we have to stop being silent on baby daddies; it is not always the woman’s fault.

 

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  • shushumama

    SMH at the majority of these comments. Marriage does not guarantee that your kids will grow up in a two-parent home. A husband can leave his wife (or vice versa) just like unmarried man can leave his unmarried girlfriend. For some reason, a divorced single mom seems to be more highly regarded then a never-been-married single mom. Of course a two-parent home is ideal, for numerous reasons. However, it’s like y’all missed the point of the article. (Focus). You can say what could have or should have been done to prevent a pregnancy in less then desirable circumstances. And I would agree. However, once the child has entered the world, what is the point in shaming the mother? Especially if you’re not going to shame the father EQUALLY. It’s like y’all still believe that “men will be men”. Miss me with that backwards ass thinking.

    • B

      Totally and completely concur! Lots of backwards a$$ thinking exhibited in the comments on this blog post (and in the comments on this site in general most times). Smh. Get your heads out of your a$$es women, with all the bourgie self-righteous thinking (yes, I said, bourgie: as my grandmother would say, “all that education and not a drop of sense”). I mean, what good does it do to shame the mother when the kid is already in this world?

      It’s like I always said – we (black women) are our own greatest enemies (no matter how many black women on here want to claim the black man is our greatest enemy). It’s us – because all we do is tear one another down, and then ironically turn around and blame society and/or the black man for tearing us down. Damn shame.

    • thetruth

      @shushumama

      a man who was married to the mother of his child is more likely to be involved in his child’s life than if they weren’t married, statistics prove this. don’t try and devalue marriage.

      @B

      for such a pretty woman you’re a dumb#ss.

    • B

      @thetruth: Interesting. I notice that people like you often use statistics (or declare: “statistics prove this”) in lieu of making an actual argument. Bless your heart that you really believe your own self-righteous drivel. There are single mothers out there who are trying to do right by their children but unfortunately due to individuals like you they are deemed to be a problem and lost cause (and if you view the mothers this way, you obviously view her children the same way) before they even have the chance to prove otherwise. So, you enjoy your little high and mighty throne, while other folks who actually care about the condition of our communities (like myself) actually go out there and do the work of helping these mothers obtain the resources they need to give their children a good life and a future. (sidebar: I notice we never talk sh#t like this about single fathers. No. We praise the hell out of them. What was that article we had on this site a few months ago about single black fathers? Hmm, and you still want to deny that we (black women) don’t tear each other down constantly?)

      btw, do believe I will not be respond to any further comments you make on this post. Conversation over.

    • Faithful

      Thank you! Very little is ever mentioned about single mothers after failed marriages in this type of conversation. So much blame without considering how complicated life can be.

    • I couldn’t agree more with your comment. Say the single full-time working mother of one beautiful little girl.

      I sat here and debated with myself whether or not I could’ve even comment. But I guess I feel as though I need to.

      Most of these commentors seem to believe that marriage is the key…when like you said what happens if the husband leaves? You will be come a single mom. I pride myself on owning up to my poor lack of judgement and providing for my child when her father shows up when he feels like it. I learn that thru that bad judgement, I had to step up and become a good provider for my child.

      Sometimes birth control/condoms don’t work… so you can have an unplanned pregnancy…so what then? From what I’m reading the next step would be abortion? SMH.

      This is why I don’t get a long with small minded people.. I just I hope you don’t find yourself in this sistuation. Will you stick to your words…or become a single parent..to be shammed and judged by other small minded people like yourselves.

  • FauxBLAsian

    People go hard on the mothers because unless they were raped, they made a choice to get pregnant. Yes, whenever you have sex especially unprotected sex you are rolling the pregnancy dice. And the men are not off the hook as far as “blame”, it’s just that they are not around to criticize. I think women AND MEN are equally triflin when they have children with multiple people.

    • I got sense!

      Agreed

    • Alexandra

      I also agree, especially with that last line. You have one baby daddy/mama and then you go have another? And another? I feel like people in general could save themselves a lot of stress/struggles if they took longer to have kids and with people they planned to build a family with or just faced their responsibilities.

  • What is normal tha ese days, should be abnormal but if everyone is having a baby, it becomes the norm.