All Articles Tagged "fatherhood"
Ask A Black Man, The Fatherhood Episode: Do Black Women Understand The Value Of Fathers In The Home?
In this episode of "Ask A Black Man" six fathers share their co-parenting struggles, the personal highs and lows of being a Black father, battling the stereotypes of deadbeat dads, and whether Black women understand the value of fathers in the home. Check out their perspective in the video above and weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments section.
To see all footage from the second season of Ask A Black Man, click here.
I think Diddy, Sean “Puffy” Combs– so there won’t be any confusion among generations, was the first man I heard say something to the affect of knowing he could be a good father, yet being unsure of his ability to be a good husband.
It’s a concept with which I’ve continued to struggle. In my mind, you do the best by your children when they see the love and devotion you have for their mother. (Not to say that always has to be in the context of a marriage.)
Watching recent clips from OWN’s “Where Are They Now,” helped me to see that more clearly in the thoughts expressed by comedian and radio host D.L. Hughley.
On the one hand, Hughley talks about his numerous affairs throughout the course of his almost 30-year marriage to his wife LaDonna. If you’ve followed Hughley’s career in any way, you know that this is not the first time he’s opened up about this. In fact, in 2012, he told the whole world about his philandering ways.
But in this OWN interview, he mentions it again.
“I just thought it was just part of being a man. I never thought it was a horrible thing to be or to do. I never felt like it was anything I was doing wrong. I think monogamy is what you give your woman so she don’t leave. Honestly, what I attribute us being married that long is her ability to love me in spite of who I am.”
And he continues.
“Being public about my infidelity, obviously is hurt. Listen, I don’t know that men have a moment–I will say for me, I’ve never had an epiphany — I think you just get exhausted. I don’t know if you ever rehabilitate. You just run out of wind. You get tired of hurting people. I think a man can love a woman and still have other women. Everybody you read about in the Bible– you know Solomon 900 wives, David, several wives and concubines, Job– you know?
But when you see how the pain registers on somebody’s face. Then you might… I just…I think, more than anything else, I felt entitled. I felt like that my whole life. I don’t think that [monogamy] is a natural condition… at all.”
Then Hughley started speaking for others.
“The idea of a man that women claim to want. ‘Oh, he’s faithful, he’s dutiful and he’s honest’— does not exist. That dude is in a movie or a book . What you got is me and cats like me. And if you got the dude that you purport to want, he would bore you to death. And the one thing you can never do with a woman is bore her.”
Hughley is no stranger to making wildly misogynistic remarks about mostly Black women and relationships. So I can’t say I’m surprised. Yet, what I find most troubling about his views are the fact that initially he’s talking about himself; but then he starts talking about all men and then, at the very end, he takes a gigantic leap to profess to know what women, want.
Hughley, who has openly admitted to not liking or understanding women, now knows what we want. He says that we couldn’t possibly want a man who is dutiful, honest and faithful because that man would certainly bore us to tears. And women don’t like to be bored.
First, and perhaps most simply, who likes to be bored? I don’t think women have a monopoly on wanting to be stimulated. Furthermore, when did being honest and faithful become synonymous with being boring?! While I know there are some couples who live for all types of relationship drama, a great number of people simply don’t.
Secondly, and lastly–because I’m tired–, it would just be best if Hughley spoke about his own dysfunction and left the rest of us out of it. Please.
But there are complexities to this thing called humanity; and perhaps, even a bit of truth to Diddy’s statements about being a better father than he would be husband. During that same interview, Hughley spoke about his son Kyle dealing with Asperger’s syndrome and an accomplishment he recently made. And though I listened to his thoughts on monogamy first, I have to admit my heart softened when I saw the love he undoubtedly has for his son.
“He graduated from college but everything has to be the same. He goes to work at the same time, he eats the same thing. So three weeks ago, I had to get gas and he says ‘Daddy, I’ll do it.’ And I’m a nervous wreck.
And he comes back in and gives me the receipt and the keys… And I could not stop crying because he did something he was afraid to do. I just didn’t believe he could do it, he did it…And I held him and I said, ‘You’re going to be all right.’ And I think sometimes I don’t know, for sure. But he’s going to be fine. He’ll be fine.”
I think what I have to say about the duality of D.L. Hughley, and all of us really, can be summed up in this quote from a very wise, seemingly young man who was recently photographed for the popular photo blog, Humans of New York:
“I can’t stand moral absolutism. You know, there’s always that guy who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife– as if he obviously couldn’t have been a great person if he did something like that. Or someone will bring out an inspirational quote, and get you to agree, and then inform you that Hitler said it. As if a good thought couldn’t come from Hitler. Moral absolutism keeps us from learning from the past. It’s easy to say: ‘Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad seeds.’ That’s simple. It’s much harder to say: ‘Is that humanity? Is that me?'”
Chris Brown surprised us all with the news that he’s the newest single dad on the celebrity block. But he’s not the only one. These stars have been getting 5 star reviews, but did you know these stars were celebrity single dads too?
“I see my face in him every day and it’s pretty wonderful.”
Did you catch Tyler Perry at premiere of Selma? Just two weeks after his son was born, Tyler Perry gushed about the joys of meeting his son:
“[I’m surprised] how much of a personality he has of his own,” he says. “Just watching his facial expressions and realizing that this kid has come to me with his own life, and mine is not his and his is not mine. I’m just here to usher him.”
Tyler Perry’s not the only dad getting sentimental during the holiday season. These celebrity dads have beautiful things to say about fatherhood as the year draws to a close.
After two seasons of Marrying The Game, most of us couldn’t tell you if the former G-Unit rapper and his longtime fiancée, Tiffney Cambridge, will ever make it down the isle. However, one thing that we do know for sure is that he’s totally in love with his adorable three-year-old daughter, Cali. During a recent appearance on Arsenio, fans ooh’d and ahh’d as they watched the gangster rapper turn to mush and nearly shed tears while discussing the joys of raising a baby girl.
“For any man that has a daughter, she means more to me than life itself. When I look into her eyes, that’s all I need to do to get me going. I’m motivated when I look at that little girl,” he expressed.
The rapper-turned-reality-star then went on to reveal just how enamored with Cali he actually is.
“It’s almost like she’s a friend or somebody else’s child. I’m so intrigued. I study her. She’s like, ‘Daddy, what are you looking at?’ I’m just like, ‘YOU!’he continued.
Not wanting to look like a cry baby on national television, he then joked that if the conversation continued, he’d probably start tearing up.
“She means everything to me. That’s my cut off time because if I talk about her for more than 30 seconds I’m gonna cry.”
“This is my family. This is my balance. Once I walk out that door life.”
How freaking adorable!
Turn the page to see what happens once Cali joined Arsenio and The Game on the set.
As much as we try to push for gender equality, it always seems like there are certain ideals we just can’t get over. Take the birth of a child for example. It’s almost assumed that a mother will take all of her company’s provided maternity leave, and for good purpose. But what about the fellas?
I was surprised to find out that more companies in the U.S. are considering paternity leave so fathers can also bond with their newest additions. According to a report published in The Wall Street Journal, 15 percent of companies are offering paid leave for new fathers. Bank of America for example allows 12 weeks of paid leave while Yahoo! leaves eight weeks on the table for guys to take.
And let’s not forget new daddy Prince William who opted to take advantage of his company’s paternity leave to spend time with wife Kate Middleton and their son, Prince George of Cambridge. Granted Prince William can basically do no wrong in the public eye (and kind of do whatever he wants since he’s the future king), but he has nonetheless received praise for his efforts to put his family first by taking paternity leave.
At least in the U.S., the idea of becoming “Mr. Mom” is often frowned upon by men and even some women, which might explain why the concept of paternity leave is not a common one in the workplace. It also shouldn’t be a shock that the average guy would decline paternity leave from his company. Most were trained from birth to be more of a provider and less of a nurturer in the home. For this reason men who do take paid leave are often mocked by their peers for choosing family life over their job, making them feel like less of a man. Because of this, a good chunk of our men are reluctant to spend time at home with their child.
And let’s talk about black men in particular, who already have stereotypes associated with them keeping a job and being a dad. Would their desire to take paternity leave be considered a Prince William move in favor of family, or just an excuse to collect a check without doing work?
What’s worse is that it’s not always society that thinks this way. We, too, hold on to these gender ideals and expectations of how a black man should be. I have seen black women firsthand turn their noses up at the thought of men of color choosing to stay at home to take care of the kids. He’s lazy. He can’t hold a job. Why is he mooching off his lady? What’s funny is that a few times, he turned out to be a working father who took advantage of his paternity leave to assist his woman. Sure you may see him during the day with his children, but you don’t know the back story and how a person’s household works for them.
How many of us pray and cross our fingers for a good man who will not only hold things down, but also step up on the parenting side and be the ideal father? If so, why not give them the opportunity to do so by encouraging them to take the paternity leave? In the end, it only helps us out as constant feedings and nurturing a newborn is a very taxing responsibility for one person. This is a beautiful opportunity for new dads to bond with their children and studies have shown dads that take the leave are even more involved in their children’s life. Plus it’s paid leave!
Though it’s not mandated in the United States, paternity leave should be encouraged if the opportunity exists. There is nothing sexier than a proud father who wants to spend more time with this kid.
If you ain’t already know, Jay-Z’ Magna Carta Holy Grail album has already been certified platinum, though today was the official release date. We’re sure those Samsung sales didn’t hurt not one bit. In addition to chatting with folks on Twitter yesterday, Jay-Z decided to swing by Hot 97 for a “surprise” interview with Angie Martinez. She got to ask him all types of questions. Check out his responses below and listen to the entire interview on the last page.
On failure: “I fail all the time. I’m a person that loves to win. I don’t hate to lose.”
Fatherhood: “It’s more reaffirming. The things that’s really important in life and editing your life in such a way that you don’t have anything that’s distracting you, anything that takes away from that time you can be with your child.”
Money: “I just don’t need money. … I think success is just being able to do what you like to do on your terms.”
Miley Cyrus: “Miley’s serious. I like what she’s doing right now. She’s fearless. I think it’s more a reaction to people wanting her to be Hannah Montana. Just watching the situation, people want her to be something and she’s like, ‘I’m not that. I was six years old. You want me to be six years old forever?’ And this is her reaction to it. Maybe it’s loud, but it’s understandable.”
Beyoncé’s new music: “Right now, B has a hundred thousand amazing songs.
A Best of Both Worlds-type album with Beyoncé: “No way. You see how that ended.”
Dame Dash: “No matter how many years I ain’t see him, the love is still there because what we’ve done will forever be stamped in history… I have ultimate confidence in him that he’ll find his way because he’s an amazing and really smart guy. He’s a hustler and he’s highly intelligent. I always root for him and always believe that he’ll find his way out of it.”
You know, that Jay-Z always gives us those moments where you’re like, “I really like that guy.”
As you know, Samsung has been releasing new commercials left and right in support of Jay-Z’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, which is supposed to be released on July 4th. Well, a new commercial has surfaced and this time, it focuses on one of his main girls:
Blue Ivy Carter.
In the spot, Jay is talking to hip-hop legend Rick Rubin about what his thought process has been since becoming a father. Although the commercial is less than a minute long, Jay is able to clearly communicate how scared he was to become a father because his own dad left him at a very young age and he didn’t learn how to be a man. Further, he said he didn’t really get a sense of how he should treat a woman.
It’s pretty easy to hear the emotion in his voice when he opens up to Rubin about his thoughts.
Something tells me that at the very least, he is trying to become a superdad.
Check out the commercial for “JAY Z BLUE” below.
Happy Post Father’s Day to all the dudes out there who are actively involved in the lives of young people – whether they are biological fathers or not – because apparently, being a stand-up dude is purely optional.
At least that is the message I got from this New York Times editorial in which writer Laurie Shrage, who is also a professor of gender studies, argues that just because a man “accidentally” gets a woman pregnant, shouldn’t mean that he should be forced to bear the legal responsibilities of the child. As Shrage, explains it, this phenomenon is called forced fatherhood, as she labels it, and it is akin to punishing men for sexual promiscuity. According to her, there needs to be a more expansive definition of fatherhood, particularly in the court systems, to better accommodate men who are not the biological father of a child but still decide to raise them, as well to include men whose only connection to a child is being a sp*rm donor. From Shrage’s editorial:
“Court-ordered child support does make sense, say, in the case of a divorce, when a man who is already raising a child separates from the child’s mother, and when the child’s mother retains custody of the child. In such cases, expectations of continued financial support recognize and stabilize a parent’s continued caregiving role in a child’s life. However, just as court-ordered child support does not make sense when a woman goes to a sp*rm bank and obtains sp*rm from a donor who has not agreed to father the resulting child, it does not make sense when a woman is impregnated (accidentally or possibly by her choice) from sex with a partner who has not agreed to father a child with her. In consenting to sex, neither a man nor a woman gives consent to become a parent, just as in consenting to any activity, one does not consent to yield to all the accidental outcomes that might flow from that activity. ”
To Shrage’s larger point, the child support system needs to be overhauled as well. There are few folks, who I would think would argue that the system in its current state is of benefit to mother, father, or child involved. And with anywhere between 14 to 24 of fathers in the system below the poverty line, slapping an order of support, which he is unlikely to be able to pay, does not seem beneficial. I also agree with her point about a new expansive definition to include the men, who have voluntarily stepped up and taken on the role as father in a child’s life. However, as bad as this current system is, having a system where a man can pick and choose which of his off-spring he deems worthy of his last name doesn’t seem very progressive – in fact, it sounds very regressive to the times of old when men did that very same thing and were well within their legal right to do so.
Likewise, I personally find it hard to imagine there being an epidemic of men being forced into parenthood against their objection. Even providing anecdotal stories about women hijacking sp*rm from a condom some poor schmuck left behind likely pales in comparison to the stories of men, who were willing participants in sexual intercourse, which ultimately led to conception. And to be clear, short of stealing a man’s sp*rm, the claim of forced fatherhood is really a dubious, and slightly offensive one, particularly to people who have had forced sexual relationships put upon them.
Sure, we can argue that men have little say-so in determining the progression of an unplanned pregnancy, however, that is because the job of impregnating and giving actual birth is not equal. And I think that this is a point that needs to further be emphasized as folks of all genders do take pregnancy for granted. This is in part due to modern technology, which has greatly decreased most of the risk that used to be associated with pregnancy and labor. However, folks should understand that pregnancy is still a pretty dangerous job and women really do put their lives on the line in order to birth the next generation of human beings. Despite the fact that the number of maternal deaths worldwide dropped from more than 543,000 to 287,000, some 800 women still die daily from even the most preventable complications due to pregnancy and labor.
Put aside the mostly non-life threatening side effects of pregnancy including nausea and vomiting, constipation, heartburn, swelling and bloating, hemorrhoids, hair loss, and a whole host of other unpleasant ailments, and let’s talk about the more serious complications: high blood pressure and hypertension; gestational diabetes; eclampsia; blood clots; broken bones; infection; hemorrhaging, and even death. Not to mention the complications, which can come from having to have a non-v*ginal birth (c-section) and all the after-birth side effects like postpartum depression.
Since men are physically incapable of bearing these life-altering and threatening burdens of pregnancy, it doesn’t make sense – legal or otherwise – that they should have a say in a decision, which has a profound affect on one’s body. And if any man has a problem with that, tell him to take it up with Mother Nature.
Although the final decision about the progression of a pregnancy and labor belongs to the woman, men are not totally without choice to prevent unplanned fatherhood. I think what is most interesting about these decisions, which come up around the idea of men being allowed to legally terminate parental rights, is that we tend to skip over the same same sort of personal responsibility ethos, which has been shoved down the throats of women. Sort of how there is a movement now to teach men not to rape, as opposed to just telling women how to prevent rape, we need to start drilling in the minds of men the importance of taking their reproductive choices seriously. And if they don’t, there will be serious and life-altering consequences, including being stuck legally and financially to a child you might not be ready for.
We should reinforce to men that once they let that seed separate from their body, and into another’s body, you basically give consent to use said seed for whatever purpose one see’s fit, including biological. We should tell guys that not only is abstinence an acceptable and reasonable option, but just in case they can’t wait, at least try to be more selective in their sexual relationships. Likewise, if they can’t count on the success rate of condoms, perhaps they should explore other birth control options, including a vasectomy, which again, thanks to modern technology, is now reversible. Some guys I know don’t even like to think about that option because it is “too invasive.” Go figure.