Dear Mrs. Obama,
I have watched and respected you for years. You are intelligent, well-educated, classy, a role model for children, and a strong woman. Your words are listened to by millions of people. You were an incredible FLOTUS. I’ve loved how you spoke out for causes you are passionate about, no matter what others said about you or what you were saying. You seem to carefully consider your words and the consequences they could have.
As a stepmom married to a #divorceddad, your recent comparison of President Trump was stereotypical and thoughtless. Thousands of #divorceddads are fighting in court to see their children, to raise their children, to be permitted in their child/children’s lives. Thousands of divorced dads are spending all their money and time to see their kids more often and for a longer time. Thousands of divorced dads are fighting against the stereotype that mothers are always the better caregivers, in spite of overwhelming evidence that in their cases, that’s not the truth. Where mothers are ALWAYS assumed to be the best caregiver, many mothers are abusive, substance users/abusers, engaging in parental alienation against their former partners, using the children as pawns against them, and dads try to spend any limited “extra” time and money they have trying to see their kids.
Divorced dads are moving across the country to see their children, leaving their homes, families, and good paying jobs, just so they don’t miss out on time with their kids. Divorced dads are showing up to school events like parent teacher conferences, only to be cut out by their co-parent. Divorced dads are putting their needs, hopes, dreams, and wishes aside for the sake of having a relationship with their children. Divorced dads who are currently in court will be impacted by judges, commissioners, and mediators who listen to you and agree that moms are the better parent for children to be raised by.
Please consider the impact of these words. Although they were a joke to you, they have a very real negative impact on divorced dads around the world. The power of stereotypes is very real, as is the power of educating yourself on a stereotype you may hold. I know your words were a joke, unfortunately, for some people who are divorced, they will have a very real impact. People listen to you and believe what you say.
Again, you are an incredible person and were a great FLOTUS. I write this letter with all the respect and admiration I have for you, and for your position.
Sara Suov: Step Up Mentoring