Hold Him Accountable: A Response To The “FYS” Movement
Talented blogger S. Shaw wrote a brilliant post at Front-Free.com explaining and launching the call-to-action movement, “Father Your Sons.” READ the post before reading my response!!!!!
In total support, I began thinking of ways single Black woman with/without children could encourage Black men to take a stand in raising the children created in prior relationships. Modern dating brings awareness that many men (women too) have a child/children from previous circumstances, and this information is divulged at the start of a new relationship. The unspoken relationship dynamic however, is that a man’s actions directly reflect what is allowed in the relationship. Meaning, while a woman can not make a man be a better father, we are in a position to demand that men either step up, or get to stepping.
A man’s relationship with his family (offspring), is a major indicator of decent character. Sharing custody, spending time, and bringing them up in conversation, are examples that a man values his family and makes them a life priority. Providing for one’s family is a clear job description of a parent, no matter the circumstances. If a man has children yet produces a myriad of excuses as to why he’s never with them, barely (or rarely) pays child support, and you can’t recall the last conversation that involved his kids or a family relationship in detail, well, that’s a red flare of distress in the sky. *Frankie Voice* “MAN DOWN!!!”
What would make a “fresh” relationship with a man whose previous track record is sketch based on lack of attention to family, be any different from that with the mother of his child(ren)? Consider he vows to “do better” in the next relationship/with a new family, how have his actions affected his seeds currently walking the earth?? Responsibility is universally sexy to women, so men who make family their #1 priority will forever be attractive to single women (especially women with children). Yet there are far too many single women dealing with men who have abandoned responsibilities to their children. Why treat him like a King when he’s not worthy? “Father Your Sons” is past fitting, but “Hold Him Accountable” should be the empowered single woman’s echo.
Men know that woman have individual expectations and demands, but Black women should be universal in demanding that Brothas father their children?!?! We should stop laying underneath them and calling them our “men” if they’re obviously neglecting the major aspect of manhood: taking care of one’s family. That excludes child support, which is a parental obligation (no gold stars for doing the minimum mandated by a court *eye roll*). No, you can’t make him, but you daum sure don’t have to date him. If more women adapted this mentality, there would be fewer places for men to cower avoiding accountability for their fatherless children. Trust. Women have more than enough power and we should utilize our strengths.
Only we can break the cycle of dysfunction in our communities.