You just gotta love generalizations. “All people like this do this.” “All people like that do that.” At some time or another, you’re going to find yourself statistically or socially shoved into a category that you didn’t even know you were supposed to be in… until some stranger with no relevance to your life whatsoever herds you into the lump.

Even knowing that, I was taken aback over the summer when I read a story about men and relationships, which produced what may very well be the most ri-damn-diculous statement ever put in print. One dude, in what he thought was a real gem of wisdom-sharing, confessed that he advised his single friends: “Don’t ever marry a woman who doesn’t have a father, because she has no clue how to treat a man.” Well, great googa mooga! Not only do I get to enjoy an upbringing without a daddy in the house, according to this, I deserve a lifetime of singledom because ladies without fathers are dating toxic. Yep, this girl is poison.

To say a chick is out of the running because a grown man couldn’t muster up the maturity and basic human instinct to love and protect her isn’t her fault. That’s like victimizing the same person twice. Even crazier than that dimwitted idea — and I hear at least five of them every single day — is the fact that this man isn’t the only guy to feel that way. He may be evangelizing the nonsense, but he’s not alone in his sentiment to beware the fatherless woman.

I’ve heard plenty of theories about how absentee fathers affect their daughters, but none that says she’ll be ill-equipped to be good to a man as a grown woman. Since when does having a father teach you about having a husband? Lord knows I’ve come across all kinds of guys with mothers who don’t know A, B or C about being in a relationship with a woman. If that’s his logic, what happened to them? He might need to check his brethren because they’re jacking up his case.

After all the dust settles from the initial offensiveness, this allegation is just another way to divide women, to make one set of ladies desirable haves, and another set not-so-much have-nots. It’s another attribution to our singleness and really, another issue that’s out of our hands.

If you follow his logic, it certainly makes me unworthy of being a wife. I’ve never talked to my dad. Never cuddled my forehead under his chin while we watched TV, never ran home from school to tell him some pointless story, never had him pin a corsage on me for my high school prom. For as many years as I’ve been alive, my father has been a figment of my imagination, a figure shrouded in as much mystery as the Tooth Fairy and as much relevance as say, a seamstress in a nudist colony, which is pretty darn irrelevant. I’ve never talked to him, and aside from some ancient pictures from the height of his Afro-wearing days in the ’70s, I’ve never seen him.

Some of us pick up inadvertent lessons on how to behave in a relationship from watching our parents. Some of us don’t have that luxury, but it doesn’t mean that the parents we have didn’t do a bang-up job of making us good marriage material. I was blessed to have a mother who made me hardworking and honest, a grandmother who instilled faith in God, generosity and kindness, and a grandfather who bestowed his sense of humor and life-of-the-party-ness (at least I’d like to think so). All those qualities will make me a blessing to some fine man one of these days. 

Besides, just because you have a father in your life doesn’t mean he’s a good dad. In fact, I could’ve been even more jacked up from interactions with my father than I would’ve been if he hadn’t gone AWOL. So this dude’s theory, and anybody else who shares it, is as silly as it is irksome.