Shameful and Irresponsible. Thus, enters Old Navy and its attempt at humor by minimizing Father’s Day in a t-shirt slogan; “It’s Really Her Day”.

I though we were pass having to defend the necessity and criticalness of fatherhood. For 364 days of the year we (responsible fatherhood agencies) work to elevate the consciousness of our society by championing the work necessary to elevate and prepare fathers to successfully engage in the well-being of their children. We  (Fathers Incorporated) implement programs, craft positive messages, encourage responsibility where fathers fall short and support the consequences of those who deny their obligation to care for their children.

So imagine my day as I prep for the one day set aside to celebrate our work; Father’s Day, as I am Facebooked a t-shirt promotion by @oldnavy with the words “It’s Fathers’s Day.” Fair enough, it is! However embedded in or highlighted are the letters that form, “It’s Really Her day.”

Over the past 11 years, Fathers Incorporated has focused its work on addressing long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live. Our services continue to seek to build the capacity of fathers, address the issues that may further fragment and increase the adversarial relationships between mothers and fathers. Part of that work is in ensuring we educate our society and hold them responsible for the messages they project; in this case businesses. More specify; Old Navy.

It’s hard enough attempting to impact men against the myriad of degrading messages and societal thought around fathers; let alone having the desire of corporation’s attempt to make a dollar at the expense of fatherhood myths. Yes, myths. Research is a wonderful thing when you refer to it before engaging in a campaign to sell products.

Fathers today are staying home more than ever, spending as much time with their children as their fathers did, converging responsibility with the mothers of their children (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/18/5-facts-about-todays-fathers/) and so much more. Oh and if you are wondering about Black Fathers, they are the most engage dads of any other cohort of fathers in this country. (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/01/16/3175831/myth-absent-black-father/)

Yes, I’m not naive enough to think for one moment that we don’t have some work to do, however the notion that a day that I look forward to each year to celebrate is still the butt of corporate jokes for the sake of making a dollar sickens me.

I get it Old Navy, you probably didn’t give it much thought when you were presented the idea by staff to print this t-shirt. Probably even got a good laugh in around the table. Well, we (fathers) consumers; ain’t laughing. There is absolutely nothing funny or humorous about this t-shirt and we take our role as parents seriously. And btw the way…I ain’t so serious that I can’t take a joke; that is when it’s funny.

There are legions of men and women who would have purchase and worn this shirt for Fathers Day without the hidden message. In fact would have appreciated your desire to help us celebrate the day. Let’s hope that next year or maybe even this year you take the opportunity to send the right message when it comes to celebrating a job that becomes harder for everybody involved when you devalue it’s importance to children. #itsnotherday

Fathers, Incorporated (@fathersincorp) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit (S) corporation and is dedicated to strengthening the community and family infrastructure by encouraging and enabling the positive involvement of fathers in the lives of their children. (www.fathersincorporated.com)

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

2 Comments

  1. Ann Schumaker June 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I thought your article was well-stated. I’m appalled that Old Navy would do such a thing. Definitely NOT funny. Minimizes the importance of parenting for both Fathers and Mothers!

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  2. I never knew a simple t-shirt could fill me with so much rage. Do mothers not already have a day? How is father’s day about her too? It makes no sense.

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