Another day…another daddy crawls out of his shadow signifying 6 more weeks of, “I told you all men are shameless pigs!” Yes, former political giant John Edwards has finally come clean or downright filthy…not in the fact that he has fathered an adorable little girl, but that he has done so in a not so Normal or acceptable fashion.
What has he done you might ask? Has this changed anything since Edwards political life is already in shambles? Are we even asking the right questions?
Let us peel the onion…knowing that tears may be shed…not for John and his life, but for the result of his infidelity. Does anyone else find it a bit curious that his admittance came from a press release? Why not on television or on YouTube? I find it quite sad that when Quinn grows up she will be able to, at the touch of a button or screen, scroll through the archives finding not public admission and emotion about his defenseless little girl, but rather slick political maneuvering that discounts any connection to her as a real, breathing human being (Bob Woodruff interview August 8, 2008).
I feel for the Edwards family, minus John, Quinn, and even her mother Rielle. It is sad commentary on the American male when men propagating Southern values and family, while his wife and mother of his children battles terminal cancer, are out classed by an American icon if not favorite t.v. father of all-time.
Why you might ask would I even dare compare John Edwards to Homer Simpson? Well, let’s see…Mr. Simpson, if I may, has spent north of 450 episodes showing us how faulty his faculties might be, but one thing he hasn’t done is ever send the notion that he isn’t around, a part of his family, and/or interacting with them.
John Edwards and the countless, unaccounted for fathers littered outside the American family send mixed and often sad, lifeless signals that they are even breathing. We have a crisis on our hands of immeasurable proportions, though we have tried valiantly, and we have not yet figured out the solution to this campaign to get men to care about acknowledging and participating in the lives of their offspring.
According the the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 85% of children with behavioral issues come from fatherless homes, 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, 85% of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes, and 75% of all youth in chemical abuse centers come from these homes as well.
Startling to say the least and, to this point, we have little to no direction for even a sliver of hope. It has me thinking about some work I did last year for a book on counseling fathers. My contribution, chapter, focused on new fathers and what we found is that so many of them feel left out from the pregnancy and birthing processes by all involved and interested parties (i.e. doctors, classes, hospitals, family) that the detachment begins very early in the budding of a new life.
This does not imply that there are good men just waiting and wondering if someone will call their “number.” It simply means that there is growing research that depicts a different story then the one we all have known and been told by the media to this point.
Because whether or not it is a “John Edwards” or a young man with no education or connection to society, men of all backgrounds are finding themselves as observers when they should feel and act like participants.
My hope for the “Quinn Hunters” of the world is that they come in contact with good people and Normal Males who are proud to be in their presence and communicative on multiple levels.
John Edwards might think that he can right a wrong through a press release, but what he has done is put generations at risk within his own family tree. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and it only takes one splintered branch to deaden a tree over time.
More and more women and their girls are having to battle centuries of folklore and fact about the men they are “supposed” to love in an effort to love the ones they want as partners. Mrs. Edwards, Rielle and Quinn Hunter my thoughts and best wishes are for you all as you share sadness even if on opposite sides of the coin.
Normal Males please speak out against those shirking their parental responsibilities, communicate your experiences with young and new fathers to normalize their emotions and experiences, and look out for the boys in our communities who treat girls and women as commodities to be bought and sold through a press release or text message.