Do Dads Still Matter?
This week we’ll be exploring the role and importance of dads, particularly black fathers.
One of the worst things we did as a country, both through our policies and culture, is sell the notion that dads don’t matter. Even the simple act of mentioning the importance of fathers, and marriage, in debates about policies aimed at helping low-income families is often met with strong resistance by some progressives. The reason marriage is such an important part of this conversation is because it is the single most important structural enabler for father involvement. A man who has made a lifelong commitment to one woman is in a much better position–socially, emotionally, and financially–to commit to the rearing of the children they have together. That doesn’t mean that married men are perfect dads or that divorce doesn’t lead to family disruption. Talking about the importance of men and marriage also doesn’t mean you have to demean single mothers or disparage alternative familial arrangements. Embracing a more holistic model of fatherhood–one that moves beyond seeing dad as mainly a paycheck–is good for everyone involved.