You are Not the Father
You are Not the Father ~The phrase, “you are not the father” became popular over the last two decades — as millions of Americans tuned in to the Maury Povich Show to watch mostly impoverished individuals air their dirty laundry before the world. A significant part of the show was about men who claimed that they were not the father of a child that was born under questionable circumstances. Never in a million years did I think that I would have to use this phrase, especially in relation to women. However, it has become a growing trend for Black single mothers to not only claim that they are the mother and father of their progeny, but to actually celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. To those mothers who have taken on this mindset, I will begin by saying, “you are not the father.”
From a Common Sense Perspective
I want to take enough time to address this from both, a common sense perspective and a mildly technical scientific perspective. While I have absolutely no problem acknowledging that far too many of our women have been left to raise children on their own, meaning that they are taking on double the financial and emotional burden of raising their children. There is no justification for this, and I want to be lucidly clear in expressing that this is not what this article is about. Our men have to do a better job of being present.
During the 1960s, approximately 75 percent of African American children were born into a two-parent households, and that number has completely flipped since. According to the most recent statistics, only 25 percent of Black children are born into a two-parent household (Staff R. , 2010). While there has also been a decline in traditional families across the board, including Whites — dropping from 90 percent in the 1960s to 70 percent today — the negative repercussions have been felt at a much greater level in the black community.
While the Black woman has definitely had to shoulder more than her fair share of the burden of this nefarious and socially engineered dynamic, it still does not qualify her to be a father. The most simplistic explanation of why it is impossible for a mother to be a father can be presented by simply pointing out that she is not a man. Being a father is more than simply a role carried out by an individual. It is a state of being. It is a role that is designed for masculine energy and the modeling of manhood. While a mother can talk about the qualities of what makes a good man, she cannot model it. Children learn far more by what is modeled before them than by what is verbally expressed.
Whether we are looking at the male or female progeny, the ramifications of failing to understand the dichotomous dynamic of parenting will lead to confusion and being ill-prepared. The father is the source of identity for his progeny — male and female. He is the example that will set the standard of what his son will aspire to, and what his daughter will seek in a mate. When the mother attempts to assume this role, a role she cannot effectively model, she inadvertently passes on feminine traits to a male progeny that are subtle, but nonetheless inhibiting in his quest to become a highly functional Black male. He may be highly successful in his career, and he will even check off a lot of the boxes that many Black women are looking for in a man; however, he will struggle in roles of leadership where he may be challenged, especially by women. He will tend to be more emotional in the manner in which he deals challenging situations — making him more capricious.
The daughter will also face a substantial amount confusion concerning her identity and self-worth. She is wired to be affirmed and confirmed by a man. While the mother can tell her that she is beautiful, and even explain her heritage, she needs to be connected with the man who explains — by his very existence, her last name. She will look at the mother, and sense the contempt she has far the father, and she will tend to take on that same contempt for men — seeing them as a necessary evil.
The Role of a Father Figure
There is no way to completely replace an absent biological father; however, this does not mean that a child should not have a father figure in their life. Because of our intellectual development, and ability to reason, humans often forget that at the core, we are still mammals — meaning that we function best in social groups that allow us to protect and nurture our young, as well as thrive in our environment. As we attempt to become more independent with every passing moment, we become less effective in what we must do as a collective — making us more vulnerable to those who are hostile toward us.
When we function within social groups that are supportive, our youth, who are without fathers, will be exposed to father figures that can fill in some of the gaps of an absent father that the mother is incapable of filling, biologically, psychologically and emotionally. However, for this to take place, the mother has to accept the fact that she cannot fill the role of the father. She has to develop a lucid perspicacity of the dichotomy of parenting — the balance of masculine and feminine energy.
The Psychosocial Implications
When it comes to young black males, I would say that one of the most toxic environments to grow up in is a single mother household. This is not because the mother will intentionally bring harm to him, but her frustrations associated with the father will normally be expressed in multitudinous ways — without consideration of how it impacts this young male. It is important to keep in mind that this child is psychologically and physiologically one half of the father, carry 23 chromosomes that genetically links him with the father. The older the child gets, the more masculine he will become, and the more naturally he will identify with his father, even if he does not know him. When the mother speaks ill of the father, it will have a negative impact on the son. When the mother, in a matriarchal home despises men, especially the father of her children, it can lead to the male child despising his own manhood.
As far as the disrespect of Black men, it is hard to find something so directly disrespectful as a mother claiming she is the father. It disrespects the father, but more importantly, it disrespects and marginalizes the role. It says that anyone, regardless of gender, can be a father. This is something you don’t see men doing, even those who are raising their children by themselves.
Also, when the mother claims to be both, the mother and father, she creates role confusion and presents an immensely nebulous impression of what a family looks like. In the most serious cases, a boy can literally develop a hatred for the role of the man, which creates a host of other problems.
This can also lead to the female offspring, along with the male offspring, developing a contempt for male authority and authority in general. Only a man can model manhood, which is essential for both boys and girls. When a single mother confuses her sacrifices that cause her to bear more of the burden than she should with being both a father and a mother, she has allowed her contempt for the father and her ego to become infused, and she is not functioning in the best interest of the children.
One of the most important components of holistic education is the proper development of a positive self-concept or self-image. The father plays an integral role in the development of a child’s self-image as their source of identity and the strongest source of affirmation. It is not simply the words that he speaks, but the power of his presence that is hidden in his masculinity. This is something that cannot be emulated by a woman.
A substantial portion of this dilemma is due to a misunderstanding of the role played by adult males and adult females as it relates to parenting. Over the years, male responsibilities have become synonymous with paternal qualifications. Being a provider is a primary paternal responsibility, but it is not a qualifier for fatherhood. Being a provider, protector, leader and spiritual covering are all exogenous qualities or virtues that represent a father’s ability to be highly efficacious in his role. Those things that actually qualify a father to be just that, are all internal — beginning with his masculinity and strength — making his very presence powerful. This explains that feeling that a woman and the children feel when daddy walks through the door after a day at work. The feeling of security, safety and order return to the home, simply due to his presence. No matter how hard she tries, the mother cannot emulate this.
While a single mother may be assuming certain responsibilities historically ascribed to the father, it does not qualify her to be the father. By claiming that role, she subconsciously blocks her children from having access to father figures who can provide what she cannot.
I will close out this article by saying that what has been presented here does not, in any way, release the Black male from his responsibility to be a present force in the lives of his progeny. It is not a justification for the failure of Black men to effectively fill that role. Neither is it an attempt to ignore the sacrifices of Black women who are raising their children alone. It is a much needed clarification of two distinct roles that are essential to the development of our children.
We have to be smarter about how we rear and educate our youth. The distance and separation between the Black male and Black female is not a coincidence; it is the result of more than 300 years of social engineering. You can see it even today. The only racial group that has targeted with greeting cards for females on Father’s Day is the Black race. There is a reason why this continues to be promoted. The fact that it has gained traction in mainstream media and advertising speaks volumes in identifying is pernicious potential. It takes both, masculine and feminine energy to effectively raise a well-rounded and well-prepared child to be equipped to face a world that is inherently hostile toward them. So, to all of the Black women claiming to be the father of their children, you are not the father. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.
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Hymwitz, K. S. (2005). The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies. The Social Order “Public Safety” Politics and Law.
Staff, E. (1995). Black Matriarchy: Deconstruction of the Black Family. Tulane University, 5.
Staff, E. (2016). Statistics of a Fatherless America. Facts on Fatherless Kids.
Staff, R. (2010). The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of New Families. Pew Research Center.