Iyanla Vanzant is a “relationship expert” who uses the Oprah Winfrey network to teach daddyless daughters how their lives have been affected by not having a father in their life. In this article I am going to connect many of the dots that Iyanla and Oprah do not discuss in their series because I think it’s important that fathers have a say in this matter, and by “fathers” I do not mean the puppets Oprah uses on her show to promote her agenda.
I urge you to view the video linked in the opening of this article, as well as the others embedded in this article, to understand the complexity of the issues.
Both Iyanla and Oprah hit the mark dead center as it relates to the many problems women face as daddyless daughters, whether in relations with boyfriends and husbands, self-esteem, confidence, or self perception. For that, I thank Iyanla and Oprah for their truthfulness. However, what neither addresses is how we got to the point of so many women experiencing difficulties and sorrow as the result of not having fathers in their lives. In their series, both Iyanla and Oprah have no problems bringing countless women up to talk about their fear of abandonment, how they seek and find men like their fathers, or who live in abusive relationships with men like their fathers because they are desperately seeking the approval from dad that they did not get as young girls.
To the casual viewer, you are left with a very consistent and disturbing message that we at AVfM know all too well, and that is the message that fathers are bad people who abandon, hurt, and cause irreparable damage to their children when they choose to leave their kids.
But I am not the casual viewer – I am an enlightened father who wants to set the record straight about the culture of daddyless daughters that neither Iyanla Vanzant nor Oprah Winfrey seem inclined to tell the truth about because it does not fit in well with the audience, ideology, and ratings of the show that both Iyanla and Oprah use to make a living.
What neither seem inclined to tell their audience and the world is that the problem of daddyless daughters is twofold:
- There is very much a need for daughters without fathers because that is what feminism uses to lay the groundwork for the notion that women are victims of men, and that men are by nature bad people. How exactly are Iyanla and Oprah going to drive ratings, sell books, and appear on countless TV shows if men and fathers are not bad people? Feminist have NO problem with filling an audience full of crying women longing for the approval of their fathers, but what they won’t tell you is that feminism benefits from that happening.
- Oprah and Iyanla will have you believe that daddyless daughters are ONLY the result of selfish fathers who abandoned their families and children, but what they won’t tell you is that women and the courts are actually driving these fathers from their lives in greater numbers.
In discussing daughters who are experiencing difficulties in life as the result of not having a father, OWN TV is all too happy to have a token father (and a likely scripted one at that) on the show to explain why he abandoned his children, but they dare not have one on who will tell the entire story.
Why aren’t Iyanla and Oprah telling their audience and guests about:
- The culture of daughters who are daddyless because the family courts usually bankrupt a father seeking his children after mom leaves a marriage and disappears – assuming he even has the money to start the process in the first place?
- The culture of the courts pushing fathers to the outermost margins of their daughters lives: 2-4 days a month, assuming fathers can adhere to that visitation schedule from vast distances?
- The culture (now represented by 40% of children born in the United States) where unmarried moms have children and many never tell the fathers about their children? How many of the daddyless daughters in Oprah’s show are fatherless because dad does not even know he has a child – yet the daughters were told he abandoned them?
- The culture that puts fathers in prison because they cannot pay child support due to illness, forced unemployment, bankruptcy, or inability to pay support arrearages numbering perhaps in the tens of thousands of dollars because mom sought child support from fathers ten years after birth? Iyanla and Oprah are surely aware that mothers get financial assistance, housing assistance, educational assistance, job assistance, food assistance, daycare assistance, dental/medical assistance, and tax credits to avoid hardship while fathers are carted off to prison for the same circumstances, right?
- The culture of women committing paternity fraud in the hopes of duping a man into believing he is a father for financial gain?
At the end of the day, if you remove all the obstacles listed above that fathers have to negotiate, you will find that the number of deadbeat and unprepared fathers equals about the number of women having abortions, giving children up for adoptions, and handing children over to safe haven facilities.
I appreciate that Iyanla Vanzant and Oprah Winfrey are bringing attention to the issue of daddyless daughters because it is a very big deal for them to have a father to help set the stage for success in life, but they really need to tell the story of how mothers create this environment for many. And, if both want to be honest, they will stop using scripted and token fathers on their shows to further denigrate men while lining up sponsors and advertising for their shows and books.
How Iyanla and Oprah Are Hurting Women In Their Audience
As I watched most of the daddyless daughters segments on the OWN TV Youtube site, I noticed a common theme. Oprah did a great job preparing the women in the audience to cry on cue, to use the scripted narratives of naturally protective mothers versus bad fathers, and the usual suspects of expert psychologists trained in the feminist narrative ready to sell their books and new theories to the government. In reality, every mother in the audience enjoys the fact that she is a daddyless daughter (and likely the fact that their daughters are daddyless) because if men were good fathers, then mothers couldn’t be victims and the sole winners in custody battles. Feminism has a real dilemma on its hands: how are feminists going to continue to beg “bad” fathers to change so these daughters can have successful and happy lives, but then, prevent that change so that mothers can continue to benefit solely from the dismissal of those same fathers?
Why aren’t Iyanla and Oprah talking about how the daddyless daughters in their shows are one day going to be the ones advocating for this article when their sons get hit by the system and they become grandmothers deprived of their grandchildren?
Why aren’t Iyanla and Oprah talking to women in paternal families to learn the other side of this issue? Do both women actually believe that they are pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes by advancing the theory that dads are the SOLE reason that women are having problems in life?
In short, there is good information in the daddyless daughters segments Iyanla and Oprah are producing to draw attention and dollars to themselves, but if we are going to get real about absent fathers we need to start looking at mothers who dismiss their daughters’ fathers as disposable and unfit so that the mothers can maintain control.
[box]Activism Needed To Send the Message to Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vanzant That Fathers Are Not The Sole Reason For The Daddyless Daughter Epidemic
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Editor’s note: feature image by josette. –PW