A friend posted this on Facebook: “Happy Fathers Day to all the Fathers who actually have jobs and support their children.”
HOWEVER!…it would seem that this person’s priorities start with the fear of someone getting something they don’t deserve, right? In this case, that undeserved something is praise for being a father, although — as an expression of spiteful privilege — I suspect this goes deeper than that. Nevermind that none of us is who we are today without the support — direct or otherwise — from others.
Some of us are given the gift of fortunate birth, such as someone born in the United States versus the slums of Kibera. Among the fortunate born, most of us do our work in an economy that is the result of the law, cooperation, and sound governance, not singular effort alone. No one enjoying economic success today can escape this fact. No one could “support” his children — as my friend seems to suggest — without this fact.
On the other hand, some are born into great disadvantage despite being surrounded by opportunity and success. These might be children of poor parents or even absent parents. Isn’t that right? There are parents who don’t have the luxury to ridicule others and still other parents who probably shouldn’t have been parents in the first place.
But to qualify your praise of fatherhood on whether or not a man has a job is despicable. (Sorry.) If we accept this narrative, that only makes it more difficult for the struggling father to support his children. After all, “support” is about more than having a job. That isn’t obvious?
I’ll shut up.
(Apologies to my half-dozen readers…there are two copies of this post floating out there. When I hit update to delete the draft, it seems to default to the draft. Working on it.)