Monday, June 20, 2011


I was super excited to see our friend, local musician extraordinaire, Ross and his daughter, Lola, in the Sunday paper in a feature on Father's Day.  I had seen the photos already and went straight to the section in the print edition that landed on my doorstep.

The part on Ross was cute. The photo was great! There's little leg-warmered Lola and her rock-star hair in living color looking cute as ever.

Except then I read the pieces introductory paragraphs:

Whether your dad's a disciplinarian like Robert Duvall in "The Great Santini," or a mellow sort of man like Mister Rogers, we salute them all on this Father's Day.

The impact of involved fathers goes beyond making kids adept at throwing footballs and enforcing rules.
"Some commonly cited statistics find that 72 percent of murderers grew up without a father," said Jerry Cook, associate professor of family and consumer sciences at California State University, Sacramento. "Children who don't grow up with a father are twice as likely to drop out of high school and five times as likely to live in poverty."

Being Dad isn't easy in these times of layoffs, furloughs and a state unemployment rate near 12 percent. Moms deserve plenty of credit for keeping households running, but a strong father figure is also needed to help steer the family.

"A father keeps the whole family together and provides the instruction and discipline and direction for the house," said Rick Jennings II, chief executive officer of the Center for Fathers and Families in Del Paso Heights.
Now, let's hear from some dads around the Sacramento area for some fatherly wisdom. They range from musicians to politicians to Little League presidents.
(emphasis mine)

I'm sorry, what now?

Now, I know what Mr. Jennings role in the community is and it's admirable, noble work. Getting men to step up to fatherhood and the responsibility it entails is certainly necessary.  Yet, well, I don't know - but you see my problem, right?

Also - Being a dad is never easy, economic downturn or not. Also, economic downturns suck for families, regardless of the family member. If you want to narrow the stress, then, sure, perhaps the stress on the breadwinner is higher than it is on other family members - but the breadwinner isn't always the dad.

I don't care if this is a warm-fuzzy holiday piece - this is indicative of cultural norms and reinforces a certain role for men and women, mothers and fathers.

Amazingly for the Bee, there's only one comment with the story and it's complimentary.  Go figure.  Also amusing: it's posted in the "Sac Moms Club: sacbee's place for complete family coverage."  I suppose, like Amazon, the Bee found "Sac Parents Club" just too crazy a title for "complete family coverage."

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