Madonna Wishes Herself a 'Happy Father's Day' as a #MomDad
Madonna, the "queen of pop," has also celebrated herself as a "pop" — tweeting a "Happy Father's Day" to herself on Sunday. The twice-divorced single mother is raising six children — two biological and four adopted. Rather than celebrating either of her biological children's fathers, she celebrated herself as a "MomDad," suggesting that she fulfills both parenting roles.
"Do I look like a Dad here?" Madonna tweeted, with a picture of herself as a cat with cat ears and whiskers. "Wishing myself a Happy Father's Day! #MomDad #Mambo."
This tweet may seem innocent enough, but it is quite subversive for a single mother to claim Father's Day as her own.
This tweet seems to echo the idea that fathers are optional, and that single mothers can do just fine raising children on their own. Among millennials over half of births (51 percent) were to unwed mothers, according to the Pew Research Center. While a majority of millennials (63 percent) still consider single motherhood bad for society, fewer of them than their parents say so. Fully 44 percent of millennials said that marriage is becoming obsolete, and only 53 percent said that children "need both a father and a mother to grow up happily."
A great deal of social science research backs up the importance of fathers, however. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 44 percent of children in mother-only families were living in poverty, compared to only 12 percent of children in families with a married couple. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health found that children living in female-headed households with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent — over four times the rate of married families.
A 2001 Department of Education study showed that students with highly involved fathers (or stepfathers) were 43 percent more likely to receive A's in school. Students living without fathers present were twice as likely to repeat a grade as students with a father in the home. One study even found that when fathers read recreationally, their sons read more and scored higher.
Children without fathers are also much more likely to become criminals. Young people who never had a father in the household experience the highest odds of serving time in jail. The Department of Justice surveyed 7,000 inmates in 2012, finding that 39 percent of them grew up in a mother-only household. A similar study of 14,000 female inmates found that more than half grew up without a father.
Other studies found that children with fathers are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, are less likely to become sexually active (and get pregnant) as teenagers, are more likely to have a larger vocabulary, and are more likely to take healthy risks and become more independent.