What Makes A Real Father? ~ Exactly The Same Thing That Makes A Real Mother

I read this post, which prompted me to then read this one.

If a post was written about women in the same way there would be uproar.

I’m not sure what has made Louise Pennington so angry towards men in general, but as a daughter, granddaughter, partner, mother, sister, and niece I’m disgusted at her sweeping statements on men.

Yes, men can be total and utter douchebags, just like women can.

But, just like there are excellent, inspiring and amazing mothers there are also excellent, inspiring and amazing fathers, they deserve their day.

A day when kids, young and old can celebrate the men in their lives who have been a role model.

I’m not sure why she states Fathers Day should be a day we look at women and the realities they face, perhaps we can do that on Mothers Day or Women's Day, or any other day, just not Fathers Day.

As a woman I agree that more needs to be done to make things equal between the sexes. I don’t agree this can, will or should be done by making out that men are the villains, we women are just as bad, some of us even worse.

Whilst it is without a doubt wrong for a father to withhold maintenance, so to is it wrong for mothers to deny fathers access to their children, two wrongs certainly don’t make a right and whilst the “adults” fight out their differences, the ones who really suffer are the children.

Being a good parent is not a men v’s women issue, it’s a responsible adult v’s irresponsible adult issue.

Fathers are not the ones who caused the need for tax credits and income support, perhaps a closer look at minimum wage, job availability, childcare costs and the price of housing would be a more apt place to start.

“We need to take a real stand against abusive men and start forcing men to take responsibility for where they decide to ejaculate.”

In the above statement Ms Pennington gives the impression that the women involved in the ejaculation process had no say in it, I dare say some didn’t, but the vast majority did, and women should be just as willing to take responsibility for their actions.

Rather than slamming fathers, and providing a list of tips on how to be a real father, we should be looking at mothers and fathers, encouraging both to be real parents.

Parenting isn’t something you can spilt into equal mum and dad jobs, the vast majority or families manage to find a way that works for them.

Knowing your kids teacher, favourite toy, best friend or some other useless piece of information which probably changes on an hourly basis does not make you a real father.

Being a person your child can trust, love and depend on does.


  1. I have just read both posts (and a fair number of the comments) and just find the debate utterly depressing.

    Personally, I think Louise Pennington takes her argument way too far and does women (not to mention men) a disservice. Totally fails to live in the real world (and to appreciate that the patriarchy she attacks can oppress men and women).

    I have sympathy with women who are left bearing the responsibility of bringing up a child/children on their own and whose "partners" do not contribute. Like it or not, too, women bear the brunt (although not exclusively) of domestic violence. And I think Pennington is right to tackle these issues.

    Access can be a tricky one and whilst I would agree that a child should have the right to have contact with both parents (and grandparents), issues like domestic violence can make this problematic (so too can the unreliable parent who fails to make contact meetings).

    Where Pennington's argument fails, for me, is how she extrapolates domestic violence/failure to pay maintenance as if it applies to all men and to see things primarily (if not purely) in a mother/father, male/female divide.

    TBH I find the Pennington piece and a lot of the comments (on both sides) quite judgmental. Fathers Day should be about recognising what fathers do and how they are special. I'd say that depends on the context and circumstances.

    Nobody's perfect and sometimes (most times) "good enough" is just that. The fact that a dad (or mom for that matter) may not know all their child's afterschool activities etc doesn't make them any less of a loving or committed parent. It's not a competition.

    Fathers day, like mothers day, should be a time to honour those special people and relationships in our lives. It shouldn't be about scoring political points, promoting hatred or making people (men or women) feel bad about themselves.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree. I don't often get angry with things that I read. I usually assume that I, as the reader, am responsible for the tone I read the article (or vehement tract of distilled gender hatred.. po-TAY-toe / po-TAR-toe) in. But in this case... I... Well, it'd be difficult for me to comment on Mizz Pennington's piece without descending into abuse myself, so I won't

    Suffice it to say that I think it's sad that she uses the word 'FEMINIST' when the word she's actually looking for is 'MISANDRIST'

    (P.S. My eight year old son wrote in my Father's day card that I was 'Epic', and I cried, but I did it in private, because I'm a man and if I don't adhere to gender stereotyping at all times, the media will paint me as a screaming homosexual and take my children away from me, or something, probably.)


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