Where are the Dads?
I've been reading a lot of MG and YA fiction recently and am noticing a disturbing trend. Where are the Dads? In book after book, the protagonist's father is absent or dead. Occasionally, the Dad exists, but in such an awful way they're practically villains or downright abusive. I haven't encountered a single YA or MG dad in books recently who is a great father.
As a stay-at-home dad, fatherhood's obviously important to me. But then I realized I'd fallen into the same trope. My newest novel-in-progress has an absent father! I hadn't even realized it until today!
Why do books and Hollywood ignore dads as good caregivers? Many writers seek to prevent gender stereotypes for boys, yet do not show the possility of men as nurturing fathers? How often do we see the cartoonish buffoon struggling to raise kids on screen? Or in novels, how often is the dad simply dead or gone?
Have you read books with strong, caring Dads? I'd love to hear your thoughts!