While reading Marsia Mason’s “Father and Farther,” you can’t help but wonder if she wanted it to be more love-letter to herself or more two-way-mirror masturbation. Whatever it was supposed to be, it was a terrible slap to the face of good fathers.
This bit of misandry hurts, because Mason’s tone throughout the story is that no matter what fathers do, there will always be something to knock them back down a peg. Mothers do the work, and fathers just come along for the ride, and play blocks when the time’s right.
You’re going to love this.
Mason starts in grand fashion – asking moms to try a “teensy experiment” where they try to “convince” their husband to go to the supermarket, put a kid in their cart, and put them in the busiest line with a female checker. Mason guarantees that the checker will fawn over the father and treat him like parent-of-the-year just because he’s a man with a baby.
You know, because my wife never gets compliments on our child at the store (Hint: she does). Checkers love our kid, and whichever of us is at the supermarket, we come home with a story about how our toddler said something appropriate/inappropriate in line and the checker chuckled and said we’ve got a cute kid. Except for the time he saw an Asian woman in a big floppy, furry hat and called her a “lion.” That did NOT go over well.
Mason continues her rein of terror after some blah blah. She mentions her family members were all in different states this past Father’s Day. “I know it was a letdown for Taylor [her husband] not to be home with his loved ones for yet another Hallmark moment,” she says, “but he was no doubt enjoying emergency laparoscopic surgery in Colorado all by himself. Gee whiz! What some guys won’t do to get away from the wife and kids.”
(and yes, I did just give that word “the works”: bold, italics, underline)
Mason’s just hit fathers with a two-for-one! She got to slam Father’s Day as a Hallmark moment (not even a day – just a moment), but she also got to use the age-old insult that fathers would rather be anywhere than with their families – even if that means in surgery. SURGERY. If my wife suggested that I would rather be in surgery than be with my child on any day (let alone Father’s Day), I’d wonder who I married. I’d doubt her faith in me as a father.
And just as I was feeling bad for Mason’s husband, she mentions that her husband “always maintained that all fathers have to do is ‘show up.'”
Who are these people?
Mason says that her husband would come home from a roadtrip and play with the kids, but that all of the discipline was left to her. Next, we hear a ray of sunshine in the story – Taylor was a good sports coach “when he did.” We couldn’t, of course, have a compliment without it being backhanded.
The cherry on top of Mason’s article is her wrap-up. Mason suggests we take a tip from South Korea’s “Father School.” If Mason did any bit of research for her op-ed, she would have seen that there are many fatherhood programs in the United States. We’ve covered at least one before, and have another heads-up on the way this afternoon.
Mason then goes for the low-blow, mentioning three news stories that she proudly mentions are “fun things fathers have been up to lately.” She mentions some dirtbag that hid drugs in his son’s backpack. She mentioned Billy Ray Cyrus admitting he wasn’t the best father. Fine. Old story, but that works. She also mentions some prison scheme where some prison inmates used a prescription drug to “paint” a picture and mailed it to another inmate. The only thing father-related to that story is that the inmates wrote “To Daddy” on the pic. I don’t know why Mason had to tack-on three random stories about bad fathers. It’s like she googled “bad dads” and took the top three stories. You know, because no one could conceivably find any stories about bad mothers.
Mason ends with a sentiment that was missed this whole article – by saying that there’s good and bad fathers, and that “my boys had/have the best father in the world. In parting,” she says, “I wish he had been MY father!”
Too late, lady. You can’t talk about how terrible dads are, and then chuckle, sigh and say “no, seriously, I love my husband.” Because it more or less sounds like she doesn’t.
If you want to see this for yourself (and I suggest you do), check the sauce below.