Businessman Handing Over Stack of One Hundred Dollar Bills.

Fathers wanted but still not respected

Overall, June 2014 wasn’t a bad month for dads: a recent book Do Fathers Matter? summarizes modern research on the influence of fathers on children; the mainstream media is becoming more friendly toward single and stay-at-home dads; and even the often anti-father President Barack Obama gave an uncharacteristically cordial Father’s Day address. After decades of activism, it seems the truth about fathers is getting through.

Then again, the more things change, the more they stay the same. As a people we are gradually and inexorably moving toward the realization that fathers have a profoundly positive influence on their children, so there is a growing demand for paternal involvement in the family. However, this “progress” toward a desire for fathers has not been matched by a growth in respect for fathers, creating a social pitfall. While support is growing for fathers to be involved, it appears society is making this change not due to genuine support for fathers but for purely economic reasons.

Fifty years ago, fathers were largely discounted as important to families except as breadwinners and disciplinarians, and even that began to fade with the rise of the modern socialist welfare system. The government stepped in to provide and protect where men could not or would not. The emotional benefit of present fathers was overlooked and covered up in favor of the Mother-Government mated couple.

The Nanny State, however, has proven difficult to achieve. Myriad attempts have been made at welfare schemes, single-parent support programs, and “Government as Surrogate Husband” initiatives, but divorce continues to be a major indicator of poverty for women, and children of single mothers are some of the poorest and most socially dysfunctional in the country.

Faced with years of these facts, governments and private agencies are scrambling for a way to correct these social ills. Most recently this is manifesting as an up-tick in their desire for paternal involvement. That is unarguably a good thing, but all publicity is not always good publicity. Recent calls for fatherly contribution smack of continued utilitarianism and gynocentrism. Even President Obama’s 2014 Father’s Day address, while free of his usual Get off your fat asses rhetoric aimed at fathers, is still rife with language meant to shame men into forking out:

And every chance I get, I encourage fathers to get more involved in their children’s lives, because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to have a child—it’s the courage to raise one.

This is a typical “Performance Culture” remark, labeling as failures men who don’t perform as society demands. In this case, a man who doesn’t want to be a father (his own choice) is marked as uncourageous: a coward/deadbeat. President Obama continues:

There’s no better feeling than knowing that we can be there for them, and provide for them, and help give them every shot at success.

More Performance Culture speak, framing fathers as utilities, valued not simply for being fathers but only if they live up to lofty social standards. This touches on the fear so many men face—that they won’t be allowed to be there for their children, even beginning at birth—but President Obama still ignores the herd of six-hundred-pound gorillas in the room: all the ways society pushes men out of their children’s lives regardless of the man’s or child’s wishes (and well-being).

And finally:

Let’s make sure every dad who works hard and takes responsibility has the chance to know that feeling….

You see what he did there? “Every dad who works hard and takes responsibility.” Make sure you qualify, son, or you’ll never see your kids again. Dance, monkey, dance.

In these and similar remarks is continued the fiction that men don’t want to be fathers. Up to now, it was also taught that they weren’t needed as such. Now the latter propaganda has changed, but only under the corollary that men need to be pushed into being fathers, now apparently because they are important. As long as the fiction of paternal disinterest is maintained, fathers’ rights can be freely repressed. If they don’t want to be dads, why do they need the right to?

To this day, paternal involvement is a privilege, not a right, as evidenced by the abysmally low visitation rates for men post-divorce. However, society is now increasingly trying to rely on the exercise of that privilege to solve its problems. As welfare programs fail to meet expectations, governments hurry to find ways to feed and house children of divorce, to cover for the underperformance of women in the workforce, and to fix the dysfunctional children raised in government-subsidized single-parent households.

To do so, they are turning to men. In truth men already foot the bill for government assistance programs, paying the majority of income tax, earning most of the money spent on sales tax, and running the businesses that pay tax. Now, in a strange twist, the government is trying to take itself out of the loop by putting more pressure on men to provide directly for the mothers of their children. Rather than paying taxes to fund welfare to go to mothers and children, Uncle Sam wants men to be there with the mother and children, paying the bills upfront or taking on the childcare while their wives work.

Will this lead to a lower tax rate? Of course not, but if the government can achieve both—(1) continuing to support underemployed mothers and (2) lowering the deficit—they’ll be all too happy to do so. How better than to continue taxing (mostly men) while also making sure men pay for “welfare” right out of pocket by being an “involved father,” that is, an open wallet; men still have no legal right to be anything else.

It isn’t just the government, though. Society in general is depressingly gynocentric. Society sees that women are hurting economically, that children are spiralling into dysfunction, and that the welfare system isn’t cutting it like the feminists promised, so up go the trumpet calls for paternal involvement to individually pick up the slack where the collective has fallen short.

Problem is, those pesky feminists are still making promises, and society, bless its heart, is still listening. So, when feminists insist women must have total autonomy and control of themselves and their children, but all the social science shows that paternal involvement is perhaps the single biggest indicator of child well-being, how do you reconcile?

Easy: screw over men. It’s always worked before.

The new call for paternal involvement is just a remix of the ever-present siren call for male responsibility. Men are being invited back into the family fold only because the government can’t make the cut. This new support for fathers isn’t an expression of respect for fathers and their impact, it’s an increase in the demands placed on them. If that weren’t the case, we would be seeing politicians calling for family law reform, not just prodding men to get more involved with zero protection.

The new recognition of positive paternal influence is a ploy. They don’t believe it, and if government programs could do the job we wouldn’t be hearing a peep about how much dads matter. The government can’t fill men’s shoes, though, so they’re calling on dads to save us from social ruin, but they are doing so without condemning the countless social pressures that currently force men out of the lives of their children to the detriment of all parties.

Instead, all those negative influences are ignored and men are pushed to just be more involved, as if it were purely their choice. Society is now deciding that it is in “our” best interest for men to be involved fathers. As this progresses, the amount of cultural disdain toward fathers will likely decrease, portrayals of men in pop culture will grow more positive, the cultural support for single-parenthood will wane in favor of couples parenting, and President Obama & Co. will continue to tone back their shaming language to try to make active fatherhood more inviting.

Prior to this ongoing change, shaming tactics against fathers were trotted out with such bone-cracking force not to actually increase fathering (such negative reinforcement rarely works) but to further a very specific agenda. Picture this: bombarded with constant attacks on fathers, declarations that men are incompetent parents, and cruel insults from the likes of the president, how do men react? They recoil, they hand over all parental powers to women. Only the most cowed, easily controlled men are actually willing to parent under their female partner’s thumb. The less browbeaten just back off, leaving children in the iron grip of their mothers and opening the door to government “assistance”; exactly what the gynocentrists want: men involved only at the discretion of the mother, otherwise only providing financially (and thus paying taxes into welfare). Given half a chance, these more strong-willed men might actually try to assert their paternity, so they have been shamed away from doing so.

But the socialist dream has stalled. The government can’t stem the tide of poverty and delinquency their anti-family policies have created and now they are trying to get men involved. With the legal system so stacked against men, they can safely push them into active fatherhood without infringing on maternal control. More paternal involvement is a good thing, but while the tune has changed the goal has remained the same. This push for involved fathers, if left to fester in isolation, will become more of a curse than a boot.

If demand for fathers increases out of step with respect for them as parents, we will quickly see fathers’ position in society deteriorate even further: expectations will increase (Obama’s continued harping on the “wage gap” shows there is little interest in increasing expectations on women), but fathers will see no increase in respect or rights. Their full involvement will become more and more mandatory but will still be achievable only on the whim of their female partner, robbing men of the power to perform the duties demanded of them.

Unchecked, this shift could create a brutal polarization: rising support leads to greater praise for involved fathers but also an even stronger condemnation of men who aren’t active parents. If men are expected to be more hands-on fathers, those who aren’t will face increased stigmatization, even if they were unfairly forced out by a vindictive partner and biased legal system—the problems that aren’t being addressed. The injustice faced by fathers will multiply and the depth into disrespect and despair a good father can fall upon divorce will only grow, all totally out of his control.

If nothing changes in this course, society will see the birth of the first real “double burden”: little has changed in the expectation for a man to be the primary breadwinner of his family (the opposite arrangement still being well in the minority), but now an ever-greater amount of childcare is being demanded of men.

Work-life balance is all well and good, and government initiatives to increase childcare options, parental leave, and wages will help make it possible for mothers and fathers, but all that is a false dream as long as fathers’ intrinsic rights are left aside in favor of continued maternal family supremacy. Any recognition of fathers’ positive influence will only be accepted as long as it helps ease men into their new role and is never allowed to go far enough to suggest fathers match mothers’ importance to children.

No one but no one should be able to tell a man when, how, or if to be a father. Until that is codified, any attempt to increase paternal involvement will be done at the discretion of mothers. No matter how altruistic most women are, many fathers will inevitably be exploited as just another utility, ground into the dust to cover over welfare’s broken promises.

The government may be okay with that, but if children are going to benefit from fathers it has to be on fathers’ terms. With few birth control options, no paper abortion, and little sway post-divorce, that is currently all but impossible. If Obama wants men to take on responsibility, he needs to push for them to have the rights to do so as they see fit.

Otherwise, fathers themselves will become the free childcare that socialists have long dreamed of: doing the parenting and paying the bills, all with no rights to their children.

About Ayami Tyndall

Ayami Tyndall is a self-trained network administrator and author from California. Mixing technology and social exploration, his science-fiction novels cast a new light on today's cultural problems. Raised rurally and in love with nature, he believes in the grand American tradition of Self Reliance.

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  • Righteous Indignation

    Just like receiving a back handed compliment, the words seem to initially sound good but intuitively I had a bad feeling hearing about the need for the involvement of fathers from some of the same people who have worked so effectively to remove fathers from the lives of their children. I can see the pompas divorce lawyers demanding more penalties against a father for not meeting the increased expectations for his involvement with the children while his ex-wife, aided and abetted by the system, has alienated the children from the father who so desperately loves and misses them. How is this insincere call for fathers’ involvement different from ripping the clothing off a man’s back and fining him for indecency?

  • John Galt

    Shaming, rhetoric and empty demands are simply not going to cut it. We are not coming back. Men hold the trump card here. Our return to family and parenthood is strictly voluntary. The pols and media have made their first offer, and it is laughably inadequate. A few men will take the deal because it is at least *something* for a change, but most of us have been burned or seen someone else who was, and we have learned our lessons. We have demands, and until they are met, we are not volunteering for anything. We are not stupid, and no one controls us but ourselves.

    • PlainOldTruth

      Good to see some grownupism in MHRM discourse — that rises above the all-too-common “bleeding heart” stuff that the MHRM can descend to at times (due, to a large degree to the mis-education of the government education bureaucracy that has filled so many heads, even smart ones, with fake history and false hypotheses, and undue respect for top-down “solutions”).

    • Sean

      Well said. Male discretion rather than obligation. It has to be a ‘go slow’ or all out strike.

    • Joseph Rivett

      I believe what you are correctly describing is what I like to call…”RE-MASCULATION”

  • Daniel Freeman

    I agree that something strange is going on here, but I don’t think it’s so complicated. I put a ton of thought into figuring out the whole pay gap thing, and it’s super simple in the end.

    Women make choices that improve their Maslow position, thanks to having options, due to living in a human family with men that subsidize them. Elimination of the pay gap requires elimination of female choice, which requires elimination of the family.

    Either opponents of the pay gap don’t understand their subject, or we don’t understand their object. It isn’t that complicated. Pick one.

    • Daniel Freeman

      Hi there, person that started typing and then stopped! I welcome your feedback. I’ve been there myself, reasoning through an argument by typing it out, and then realizing that it wasn’t so great. I’m making some rather bold (and bald) statements here, so I would appreciate your reaction.

      • Javier Gonel

        Yeah, it wasn’t so great. I just had lunch and gave it another try. :)

    • PlainOldTruth

      I noticed a point in a non-MRA discussion of salaries a week ago, but did not save it. It was a comment by a female “Human Resources” clerk. She noted that men tended to negotiate (choice) for higher salary whereas women tended to negotiate (choice!) for particular benefits and perks (such as time off, flexible schedules). The important point, however, was that the desired benefit/perk packages are MORE COSTLY to the employer. In other words, the lower salary employees might very well be net HIGHER paid. — The pay gap might indeed be real. Women paid MORE: for the same, or less, work?

      • TPH

        I’ve read some articles along those lines. In one article, a HR Director stated that men were more accommodating to performance based pay with a lower base salary, a bonus based off of actual performance as a risk/reward, while women tended to take a slightly higher salary with a much lower bonus potential.

      • Sean

        Women value status and time – to express their agency/power and value. Men value status and money – to express their value/utility.

    • Javier Gonel

      Focusing only on the wage gap feels a bit like ignoring the many angles of the problem stated in the article.

      Women work but as a whole they get less money. Not because they work the same, but because they work in different areas or don’t work at all. I believe we can leave out the ones not working (there are many, I’m sorry for silencing them), and focus on the women working in positions giving them less money.

      Choice is the cause but it is not free choice: family and goals in life decide what will you do next. You don’t need to remove female choice, but change it in the same way external factors contributed to the choice in the first place.

      It is the same President Obama was doing with fathers. Adding pressure for men to change their choices. Making them think again what are they doing.

      This limits even more choices for men, and increases choices for women. This also reminds me of old government pushing traditional gender roles. It seems men pushing men into traditional gender roles is a good thing, but pushing women is a bad thing. (IMHO both are disgusting).

  • Andrejovich Dietrich

    This doesn’t seem any different than before. Just being wrapped differently. Get men to yet again fix something feminists broke. I say ignore the shame, if it’s not good for the men, reject the manipulation.

    • TPH

      You see that as well, same bag of shit with a different colored bow. Being a single mother has been glorified to a inane level with the reality of the government being a sugar daddy falling short. Naturally Men have to be brought to task to fix the situation, if not with participation, then by forced financial contribution – even that is failing because men are simply choosing not to get married. Modern men in the family unit face all the responsibilities and only get some of the rewards when the woman see fit to allow it. Women know they have a huge power advantage over men in marriage and relationships with the goverment as their proxy enforcer should the man disagree.

  • PlainOldTruth

    xxx A flash from the past (80 years ago) – from a socialist system. Please compare and contrast to today in the West.

    Alimony Racketeering in the Social Justice Paradise of the Soviet Union – 1926

  • menrppl2

    her body, her choice
    her children, her choice
    his wallet, her choice
    his freedom, her choice
    his family, her choice
    his life, her choice

    MGTOW, his only choice

    • Javier Gonel

      Sad…. but true.

    • Copyleft

      Exactly. “Children: Big mistake, or bad idea?”

    • Dennis M

      HER children? The child is half his!

      • thatdogguy

        True, but under currently, women have all the say. She can kick the father out on a whim and claim “abuse”, leaving him to be prohibited by the courts from even coming near his children. Happens all the time.

        • Dennis M

          So it should read:

          her body, her choice
          their children, her choice
          his wallet, her choice
          his freedom, her choice
          his family, her choice
          his life, her choice

          • thatdogguy

            That’s why it needs to change. We need to get to:
            his body, his choice
            her body, her choice
            his wallet, his choice
            his freedom, his choice
            his family, his choice
            his life, his choice
            their children, their choice

    • thatdogguy

      One thing men CAN do. Don’t donate your sperm to a sperm bank. Women act as if sperm banks belong to them. I say stop depositing and let them go out of business. Maybe if women needed men to have children, they wouldn’t be so quick to dump them.

  • garyonthenet

    Just the running mindset that this article points out, that the govt is now beginning to see that fathers might be useful in a child’s life, and that now they will open the valve a little bit more and let it happen.
    Disgusting. Presumptuous. And elitist discriminatory assholes is what they are. That they presume to be able to control a fit parent’s access to his child, makes me see red. They don’t care because it is not their child, or their life. We are just commodities to them, to be used and abused in the best way that they can manipulate parental love into money for them. Simply Horrid.

  • Jesse James

    The phrase “Bless it’s heart” is I believe, a southern one.

    To say “Bless your heart,” is akin to calling some one a “Dumb Ass.”

    Government can’t support da wymmins, “bless it’s heart.”

    Wymmins need men like fish needs a bicycle, “bless their heart.”

    White Knights, hurry up an marry dose sluts. “Bless your hearts.”

    Why do we entertain the thought that society will change? Is it because we have ever seen a point in history that everyone involved sang “kumbaya?” Don’t thik so.

    Or is it because we want to restore some semblence of respect for men in general that will be more than just financially convenient, but intrinisc to the nature of men as fathers, lovers, workers, friends, leaders?

    If it is the former, we are severely mistaken. If the latter, we will have to prepare ourselves for that being the best we will get. Or we are kidding ourselves about human nature. It is self absorbed to the core. If being a fat, lazy, and a self absorbed narcissist was the key to success…aliens would have already discovered us.

  • TPH

    “Otherwise, fathers themselves will become the free childcare that socialists have long dreamed of: doing the parenting and paying the bills, all with no rights to their children.”

    Exactly, a feminists wet dream.

  • Take The Red Pill

    The next time you go into the post office, you’ll probably see some pictures of men on the wall.
    THEY are also “Wanted”.

  • Sal Anthony

    We should just buy an island for MRHAs only, soon the technology will advance enough that we won’t need women to breed! If they can have a baby without a man why can’t we have babies with out a woman? We could form a utopia on this island and banish all female babies to the mainland, I’m sure those slutty lesbos would want them anyway.