Mitch Albom, the author of the international best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie, wrote a short article for Father’s Day titled “When did fathers become expendable?” Albom described what happened on a recent exchange on The View, an ABC show with a massive female audience:
A guest host, an actor named Terry Crews, had floated the idea that “there are some things only a father can give you.” He was deluged by objection—both on social media and on the set. When he said, “A father gives you your name,” cohost Whoopi Goldberg joked, “Like in The Lion King?” When he said “a father gives you your security” and “your confidence,” cohost Jenny McCarthy, who is raising a son on her own, shot back, “I’m a single mother and I guarantee you, I can give (my son) all those things.” The debate went on for several minutes at a high volume, with the female hosts paying homage to widows, single moms, and gay couples, and McCarthy hammering at the idea that her “amazing” son needs no man.
Albom pondered how far we’ve come, that on network TV a man suggesting “there are some things only a father can give you” is greeted not with agreeing nods but with cannon fire. He offered the following analysis:
What does a father bring to the table? I can cite a few things I got from my own: Strength. Quiet confidence. Discipline. Responsibility. And love—all displayed differently than my mother, which was fine. My father also taught us how to be a husband, how to respect a woman, when to lead and when to support.
It’s true, not all men are like my dad. But plenty are. And fatherhood didn’t suddenly, after thousands of years, lose its value. It may be trendy to dismiss dads as little more than fertilizer, but it’s not true. In fact, it’s pretty foolish. Such is our world, where a comment like Crews’ brings a tsunami. Funny thing is, I remember someone from my childhood frequently saying, “He needs his father to do that.” It was my mother.