Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Why single fathers' deserve more exposure

Ok so this is a lot different to what is usually on here but it'd be really great if you actually stuck with me and read this.

Recently an advert for Warburtons has been doing the rounds again and what's really made it stick in my mind is the fact it features a single dad. Had it featured a single mother I probably wouldn't have even remembered it but kudos to Warburtons for doing something I can't recall any other company (aside from Kingsmill) or media outlet doing, and featuring a single father.

So why has an advert got me writing this post? For the simple fact that for the past 11 years I've lived with my Dad. That means for pretty much half of my life, and arguably the most important years of my life I was raised by my father. Yes I still saw and still do see my Mum but it was my Dad that shaped the values and beliefs that I hold today and allowed me to become the person I am.

So my question is why do single fathers' not get more exposure? Well quite simply it's probably because they're in the minority. But hold in a minute if we started leaving the wide range of different ethnicities out of adverts or single mothers' weren't featured as prominently in the media, there would be an uproar so why is it that no one bats an eyelid over the lack of single fathers' in the media? Oh unless of course they're scaling buildings dressed as batman and it suddenly becomes acceptable for single fathers' to be splashed across the news as concerns are raised over their protesting...

 All too often it's mother's that get the limelight in advertising, one particular advert which really got my back up a few years ago was Asda's Christmas advert with the slogan 'Behind every great Christmas there's mum'. Oh god where do I even start with that? Apart from saying that for the past 11 Christmases it's been my Dad that's made Christmas great. So no Asda mums' don't make Christmas. It's family that makes Christmas and sometimes that means there is no mum.


Another thing that annoys me on a yearly basis is father's day or rather the hoards of people who take to social media to wish their mum's a happy father's day because 'they've been both mum and dad'. Now I'm not saying that there aren't single mums' out there that have struggled and have done a great job with their kids but there's a day to recognise their greatness...it's called mother's day. Father's day is for all the dad's out there that love their kids whether they're single or not so why is deemed ok that mothers' take over that day? I can't say as I've ever seen a tweet on mother's day wishing dads' a happy mother's day for been both a mum and a dad. Maybe I should start that trend!

Rambling aside though I strongly believe single fathers' deserve more exposure, growing up none of my friends were from single father families and even now I don't know anyone else who was raised or is being raised in a single father household. But those kinds of families do exist and it's important for both the fathers' and the children in these families to see themselves represented in the media. 

When I was younger I used to cringe at my Dad's rants and actions when he came across signs such as 'mother and child parking' or when the baby changing facilities where only in the women's toilets. I used to be dragged along whilst he complained to someone about how wrong their signs were or how having baby changing facilities that only mother's can use was wrong. After all I'd outgrown needing to be changed years and years ago and I didn't particularly need the car to be parked nearer the entrance of somewhere. But now I'm older I understand and strongly believe that my Dad was right to take offence to these things. Because mums' don't do everything and imagine the backlash if a sign appeared saying 'father and child parking', mother's would have it taken down quicker than you can blink. 

Around 14% of all single parent families are single father families and I'm proud to be part of that statistic. It's about time we were more fairly represented.


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