Posts Tagged ‘disrespect’

For those of us in the United States, last Sunday was Father’s Day. This is a day set aside in the U.S., as well as 57 other countries, to honor fathers and the concept of fatherhood. After all, none of us would be here if it weren’t for a father of some kind, even if his role only lasted for a few seconds.

But on Sunday, Father’s Day was hijacked.

Yes, hijacked.

The video, included below with a commentary by a gentleman who strongly disagreed with it so you can hear both sides of the issue, featured several adult children of single mothers discussing their mother’s hardships as she struggled to raise her children by herself. Most of them said she was both father and mother to them. At the end of the commercial, each person interviewed ended with, “Happy Father’s Day, Mom.”

Now, please understand that I admire single mothers who are left by themselves to raise their children. Many step up to do the very best they can to raise their children to adulthood. What I’m about to say should not take anything away from their effort or their strength through adversity.

But a mother, no matter how hard she tries, can never replace a father in a child’s life.

Men and women have some basic innate differences, and a mother can never bring to a child the same thing a father can. No, I’m not being misogynist by saying that because the opposite is also true. A father can never bring to a child the same thing a mother can. They each bring something different to the parenting experience, and that’s a positive.

Does this mean I’m saying a child without a father-figure is doomed? Of course not. Neither is a child without a mother-figure. But a wise single-parent will recognize that they can’t be both and introduce positive role models into their child’s lives to give them what they can’t.

Back to the video, though. Imagine if on Mother’s Day, some company came out with a video that exalted all the single dads who have stepped up to raise their children on their own, totally apart from a mother-figure. Imagine if that company ended with, “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad.”

Would the PC police stand for it? No, they wouldn’t. Why not? Because, they would claim, that would be misogynist. Would it be? In this case, I’d agree with the PC police. And I also think hijacking Father’s Day in a similar fashion is an equal form of contempt, but it’s a contempt for men, aka misandry.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll explore this idea of misandry (the hatred or contempt of men) in a series of posts.

There are two important things to remember on this topic:

  1. Misandry does not only mean hatred for men because they are males, but it means contempt as well. Outright hatred is often easier to distinguish than simmering contempt, and men and women have a different perception of what appears to be contempt.
  2. Acknowledging misandry exists takes absolutely nothing away from the existence of misogyny.

One person I discussed this topic with gave a huge long list of atrocities men have committed against women over the entire history of the world. Then she implied that until men have paid for all of those “sins” against women, they are not allowed to even mention misandry. Sadly, this viewpoint appears to be common among some groups of women. It seems they believe that until all offense deficits are paid up by the male population, men are fair game to treat however women want to treat them and they’re not allowed to complain at all about the treatment.

I hope my readers can see how unfair that attitude is. Basically, it means because more women are raped than men doesn’t make a man’s rape experience less devastating than a woman’s. Rape is rape, no matter who the victim is.

In my opinion, there’s a basic foundational belief in feminism that it’s all about power, and power is a finite commodity. One gender can’t rise up without those who are above being pulled down. Power is finite, so when one side rises, the other side must go down.

From a Christian worldview, though, I see this differently. The problem between the sexes has nothing to do with power. It has to do with respect. God created Man and Woman as equal in substance. Yes, God set the Man in the leadership role, but that doesn’t make him superior to Woman. Superior has to do with substance, not role. God created them equal in substance, but not in role. (I cover the role God asks men and women to play in this post. It might not be what you think it is.)

I can respect my employer, but that doesn’t mean I believe he or she is a superior human to me. Respect, unlike power, is an infinite commodity, one that grows the more you show it. The more I give respect to others, the more respect returns to me.

Respect is about building other people up and, by doing so, we raise ourselves higher. What if someone meets our respect with disrespect? We have a choice. We can repay disrespect with respect and raise ourselves above them, or we can lower ourselves and pay them back in the same currency they paid us.

Responding with disrespect, hatred or contempt only lowers us. It will never raise us to a higher level.

So when you view this video, notice how the ad is based on the power concept stated above because it implies that fathers are unnecessary because mothers can do it all. When Angel Soft was met with outrage, they said they were sorry for offending—and yet they continued to run the commercial.

Did their response acknowledge the subtle misandry in their ad? Or was it more akin to the woman’s response I mentioned above, that men aren’t allowed to complain about how they’re treated until they’ve paid for all sins men over the centuries have committed against women?

When I started researching this topic, I had no idea there was as much controversy over it as there is. While I don’t intend for this blog to be all about misandry, I’d like to think through these issues along with you as readers. Remember, I’m not ignoring misogyny. But I believe that any form of contempt toward someone because of their gender should be unacceptable in our society if we truly want equality. (Next week: Perceptions on Bullying)

“A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.” Proverbs 11:16 (NIV)

This video gives both sides of the issue so you can shape an informed opinion. Please don’t take this to mean I completely agree with him, but he does a good job in presenting why some men were outraged over the ad. Hearing only one side of any matter will always result in a skewed viewpoint, so please take the time to watch it all.