'Fathers Are Important Too' Gets Terry Crews Attacked by the News
“…I believe that paternal AND maternal love are like vitamins and minerals to humanity. No matter where you get paternal and maternal love, my purpose is to give paternal love… they (a child in a single parent household) will be severely malnourished.” A few weeks ago, Flint Michigan Native, Terry Crews, took to twitter to express his feelings on the importance of a fatherhood. Statements such “Fatherhood is not toxic,” and “Just because women can do It – and they do an amazing job - does that mean they should?” Were considered overtly offensive and controversial; Mr. Crews received massive backlash from twitter and news pundits alike. Resulting in Crews feeling the need to apologize for his statements.
“There are certain things a person can only get from their mother. But there are also things a person can only get from their father.” It is utterly ridiculous to me that a man from Flint Michigan, one of the most impoverished cities in the mid-west, is being lambasted for having the audacity to criticize absent fathers and impress the importance of fatherhood. Terry Crews had nothing to apologize for, it is disappointing the blatant disregard for this man’s freedom to criticize.
Terry Crews grew up in Flint Michigan, one of the most impoverished cities in Michigan, over 42% of its 96,000 residents live under the poverty line. While, 41% of Genesee County (population 425,790) households are headed by a single parent, the majority of those household residing within Flint. (Sources 9, 10) The majority of single parents in the United States are headed by mothers, meaning that thousands of Michigan’s children are growing up without a positive male role model. “I’m calling on black men who are AWOL to actually be the fathers those fatherless boys need. Men need to hold other men accountable.” When he made these statements publicly, his target audience were the people from Flint, Detroit, and Chicago not the upper-class, twitter, journalist. He was speaking to men from immensely impoverished inner-cities projects.
Children, both male or female, become prone to a myriad of issues when raised in a single parent house hold. More than 70% of high school drop, 90% of teen run-aways, the majority of teen suicides, and the majority of school shooters all grew up in a single parent house hold. (sources 3,4,5,8) “The absence of a father can have emotional and social consequences in a child’s development. Children manifest problematic behavior including depression, aggression, delinquency, early role difficulties, as well as poor social and adaptive functioning, and low self-esteem.” (6)
Girls who grow up with absentee fathers are statistically more likely to have children before they turn 20. It effects how they will view the opposite sex for the rest of their lives, which will greatly impact their adult sex-lives and future relationships. (Sources 5,6,7) Physically, these girls will be more likely to start menstruating two years earlier then their counter parts in together households. This is primarily due to stress, but some biologists theorize that this is an evolved adaptation to prompt quicker repopulation. (source 7) They will statistically battle depression and low self-esteem more so then their counter parts; as well as have a lower life expectancy by about five years. (Source 6,7,8)
Boys without a father share a lot of the same issues as girls (i.e. shorter life expectancy, depression, low self-esteem) but their issues will be expressed more outwardly then that of their sisters. Boys growing up without a positive male role model will statically do poor in academics and they will physically start puberty later then their counter parts in together households. (Source 8) More than half of children incarcerated in the United States grew up without a dad, the majority of these children being boys. Boys tend to act out violently when they lack a strong male role model. (Source 3, 8) 60% of child suicides (the majority of which are male) are from single parent households. (Source 3,4,8) Between 60-70% (depending on the source) of male gang members in the United States grew up without a father. In conclusion, both boys and girls who grow up in a single parent household who also lack a positive male role model will statically face more emotional and physical setbacks then their counter parts in together households.
Saying that fathers are just as important as mothers, and that there are some things that only a father can provide for his child should not be a controversial statement. As demonstrated by the above information, both male and female children will suffer when they lack a strong male role model during their childhood. Terry Crews was in no way blaming single moms, or being homophobic towards lesbian couples. He simply stated that human children require a positive male figure in their lives to help in their physiological development during childhood. Note, Terry Crews does not say that this person needs to be the child’s biological father. They can be an uncle, pastor, grandfather, teacher, or coach. It doesn’t matter who the male figure is, only that there is one involved in the child life.
The social media backlash bullied Mr. Crews into issuing an apology over his benign statements, however, he did not recant them. He ought not feel as though he has to, because even though he is romantic in his choice of words, Mr. Crews is absolutely right when he states that fathers are just as important as mothers. The backlash he got was a poignant reminder of how devalued fatherhood and freedom of expression are in today’s society. The current culture that proliferates mainstream media completely disregards the principles of freedom of speech. The mainstream reaction to Mr. Crews’ statements exemplify this depressing trend.