An open letter to CNN Living regarding “The New Playdate Playbook” by Deborah Skolnik.
Dear CNN Living,
Though I am not a father myself, I am a person who feels that the role of “father” in our society deserves respect. I am also a person who supports tolerance and acceptance for all people, regardless of their gender, nationality, or religion. For these two reasons, I am deeply disturbed at the following passage from the article referenced above:
The Sitch: You’ve accepted a sleepover invite for your daughter, not realizing that only her pal’s divorced dad will be home. You’re not OK with it. What to do?
The Solution: “Call and say ‘I’m sorry, and this is about me and not you, but I just don’t feel comfortable with a man supervising an overnighter,’ ” says Paone. Offer to host the girls at your place instead, if you can, or ask to turn the sleepover into a “late-over,” where your daughter stays only till bedtime. In the future, always ask who’ll be on duty before you say yes to a sleepover.
So, here’s “The Sitch” – This article coldly slaps “divorced dads,” fathers, and men in general as assumed child molesters. I honestly wonder if you would publish an article that stated the above but instead of men, referenced a particular race or nationality:
“You’ve accepted a sleepover invite, not realizing that only her pal’s (racial minority) will be home…”
“‘I’m sorry, and this is about me, but I just don’t feel comfortable with a (religious minority) supervising an overnighter…”
If that wasn’t enough, statistics on child abuse show that 1. more women than men abuse children (see summary) and 2. female sexual predators are a real problem that is essentially ignored.
Fathers in general, and especially divorced fathers, get a lot of grief. They are not treated fairly in family court or in the court of public opinion. Suffice to say, it does not help when CNN Living casually labels them all child molesters.
My suggestion for “The Solution” – At the very least, I believe that CNN should publish a sincere apology to divorced fathers, fathers, and men in general. But perhaps CNN Living should also consider doing a story on the reality of female child abusers, or the struggles that dedicated “divorced dads” face. Better yet, why not do both?
Thank you for your kind attention.
–Mark Trueblood CNN Owes Fathers An Apology