I’d had about just as much as I could take of the cultural sewage when someone sent me this article about a mother, Amy Peterson, dressing up like a man to escort her daughter to a father-daughter dance. I realize that in calling this what it is…bat crap crazy…I will be labeled insensitive at best and a [email protected]#damn homophobe at worst. I don’t care. Much like when I heard through the grapevine that some lunatic mother I know through a friend had “transitioned” her two-year-old little boy into a girl (and is now being investigated by child protective services for also possibly poisoning him), I am at the end of my rope with this kind of thing. And rightly identified, it’s called abuse. It is not okay to confuse your children about what sex they are and it’s not okay for Mom to be Dad. Mom is not Dad and can never be Dad, even if she grows a beard and wears a tie. A man is to a little girl what Prince Charming was to Cinderella. It cannot be replicated by Mom. Sorry.
But wait…she’s a single mom! There is no dad! False. This child has a male father somewhere. I don’t know if he’s living or just a deadbeat, but she has one. And if she really has no dad who is active in her life, then her mother should have already taken steps to ensure that her young lady has a solid adult male presence in her life to stand in for her dad during times like these, when only a dad’s shoes can fill the void. No little girl wants to get dressed up in a gown and dance with her mother…who is wearing a beard.
As an example, my family has many men in it (as all families do unless you belong to the Amazons, who were created by Zeus). All of these men would stand in for Dad if my daughter needed a date to a daddy-daughter dance. There are two grandfathers, five uncles, ten second cousins, and even great uncles who would be honored to escort her to a dance. My family lost a father who left behind a little girl and every one of her uncles stepped in to be that dad figure. She went from one dad to no dad to three dads overnight. Even if Peterson is an only child with deceased parents, is there no family friend, no pastor, no youth pastor, no godparent to shepherd this girl through those special times when a dad is what she needs? What bothers me more than anything in this article is that Peterson admits that her daughter is teased for not having a father. So why on earth wouldn’t she move heaven and earth to make sure there was a loving male relative or friend to stand in and keep the bullies at bay? Instead, she made a fool out of herself in the newspaper. How is that going to play in the cafeteria on Monday for her daughter?
I appreciate that single mothers work overtime. Their job is hard. What I don’t like is the expectation that a single mother can also be a father. That’s absurd. No matter how hard you try, you aren’t going to be that male influence that is a crucial part of every child’s proper development. Men are different than women! (Every time I say this I feel I should be teaching a kindergarten class, but I’m speaking to adults who seem not to know this. It’s maddening!) A woman cannot be what a man is! Testosterone shots do not make you a man, nor does facial hair make you a man—or wearing men’s clothes, for that matter! Clearly, though, this little girl doesn’t have a man in her life because no real man would stand back and watch a woman dress up like a clown and cause a ruckus at a school trying to crash a father-daughter dance to get attention and her ridiculous photo in the paper. Any man who cared about this child would have shown up on her doorstep with a corsage and an outstretched arm before watching that train wreck.
Whether you are a single mother or a married mother, your job is to make sure your children have an equal balance in their lives, and finding a role model of the opposite sex is absolutely necessary for human development. The U.S. Department of Health (of all things) has put out study after study showing that children with fathers do better in school, do less jail time, are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, are less likely to be sexually active as teens, are less likely to live in poverty, are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and more likely to take healthy risks. These are not statistics to turn your nose up at because “my kid is fine.” We are all glad your kid is the exception, but the rule says otherwise and other people’s children are suffering.
The cynical part of me sees this as nothing more than a sad attempt at getting Peterson her 15 minutes of fame. She knows the political climate is going to praise her from all sides. She is loving all the attention and accolades. But she did it at the expense of her daughter. And that’s a real shame. Father’s are not dispensable. They are worth more than gold.
Bring fathers back, whether they be uncles, grandfathers, cousins, or friends. Your daughters are suffering without them.
Watch the fawning interview with Peterson: