I have to admit that someone who says “it’s not what [the fathers] deserve, but what you deserve” is merely playing into the same message that women hear from day one. You deserve. You deserve. The whole notion of deserving is part of the problem. I grew up thinking that that I deserved only the worst in life. The word deserve implies some merit, a debt owed. But what was done to have earned this debt as a child? Nothing. It is a bad concept that when disconnected from performance implies that a moral, a non-measurable, intangible, purely conceptual cause to the effect of merely existing. The concept deserve of good or bad things should be abolished, and the term earned should be used instead. To do otherwise is to set the child up for failure by imposing conditions over which they have no control.
Let us as men banish this pseudo-moralistic term and replace it with more accurate terms such as “earn,” which puts the child, and eventually the adult back in control of their life.