We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, January 3. 2010
Fatherhood and "The Incredible Shrinking Father" - A re-post
At the wonderful Hall of the Fishes at New York's American Museum of Natural History there is a preserved female Anglerfish. Attached to her is a bump with a tiny tail on it, which looks like a parasite.
It isn't. It's the shrunken remnant of a male Anglerfish. The males attach themselves to a female, and their bodies shrink away into nothing but male gonads permanently attached to the females. (You can read about Anglerfish here.)
I was reminded of Anglerfish by Kay Hymowitz's piece at City Journal, "The Incredible Shrinking Father," which takes a look at voluntary single motherhood in America and the role of artificial insemination. It is remarkable that, in one generation, something that had been considered a family tragedy is now considered, by some anyway, a "lifestyle choice."
A quote from her essay:
Leaving aside the fact that single motherhood accounts for a large percentage of America's poverty stats (that's another article in itself), I consider voluntary single motherhood to be the height of selfishness, immoral, irresponsible, and no favor to a kid. I do not believe that "it takes a village" to raise a family, but I do think that, for a number of practical and psychological reasons which I will not go into now, it takes two parents to do it - one of each type. A couple of sets of grandparents, and some aunts and uncles, are good too, if you can get 'em. Paid help is no substitute because blood is thicker than money.
Fortunately, we live in a free country, and freedom implies the freedom to make stupid and irresponsible choices. That is why freedom requires maturity, education, intelligence, and restraint for things to work. Being a free citizen in a free republic demands a lot from a person, and all of us have to dig deep to find the strength.
You can read Hymowitz's entire piece here.
Image: A lovely female Anglerfish
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Ahh geez--you think that is bad, take a look at what these same folks have done to the Christian tradition!!
A woman without a man (at least in her heart) is like a fish. A mother without an involved father to the kids is like a fish without water (except when absolutely necessary, which happens.) Men and fatherhood do count. Wombs aren’t everything and sperm just tadpole commodities.
I should’ve realized that our third housemate in Austin was lesbian when she had the “fish w/o a bicycle” wisdom appended to her door. But, no. I had to walk in on her one day…
Sorry about that. Just think how bad it was for the secretary to the new lesbian university president: she was happily married with four children. One Sunday morning she got a call from the new pres to come and meet her immediately for coffee. She got up left her family and went to meet her new boss for coffee. The reason? Welll, it seems the new boss wanted to try to convince her that she was unhappily married and trapped in a bad marriage and should recognize her hidden homosexual tendencies ad nauseum.
Excellent Post. As my brother says, when describing our family as a family in blood alone, I can agree, but I am glad that I have contact with my father despite his many failings as a parent when we were growing up. I joke that I will hear of his death in an idle conversation six months after. My family is in the UK and I live in Australia, at the other end of the world, which cFUdoesn't help with family relationships.
This is ridiculous. Who are you to say that any person is incapable of raising a child without a partner? Personally I think it's a better option than being married for the sole purpose of reproduction. Also, saying that a child needs two parents "one of each type"? That is just homophobic bullshit. I know several gay couples who raised their children a hell of a lot better than plenty of hetero couples do.
Our family is adoptive - Mrs. Francis and I adopted four children and there was one common thread that linked all four kids together - they all wanted to know who their biological fathers, and in one case mother and father, were. Being part of the larger adoptive community, our observation would be that it is not uncommon for children to wonder what their "natural" fathers (or mothers) are like and it is not always for health reasons. Included in that are "lost" siblings or half brothers and sisters. It is only natural to wonder.
For the record we didn't encourage or discourage their desire to search for their biological parents. We were secure in our parenting abilities and we loved and cared for them as we would have our own. In all four cases, this was vindicated after the eventual denouement.
With respect to "fatherless" family and/or the dissolution of the nuclear family, I'd have to say that it was an inevitable result of social change, technological advancement and the ever present lawyers with nothing else to do. I've often wondered if the ultimate goal of the women's liberation movement wasn't the elimination of men altogether as unnecessary. :>)
"All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly, which can — and must — be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society" on any foundation other than "Women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly — and no doubt will keep on trying." Lazarus Long
Also from the same author (paraphrased) - "A family was invented to do two things; raise children and save capital."
Heinlein's Long also said three of the most profound commentaries I've ever come across.
1 - An elephant: A mouse built to government specifications.
2 - Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best, he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear his shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.
3 - In a mature society, "civil servant" is semantically equal to "civil master".
Not speaking for the Dr., but one can argue that a parent of each standard gender is superior without being afraid of homos. Strictly by the language, a homosexual man and homosexual woman qualify.
As much as the homosexual community maintains that it has a distinct and worthy gender perspective, so must hetero people. A child with two hetero parents is exposed to two of the perspectives. A single parent or gay couple offers only one.
"That is why freedom requires maturity, education, intelligence, and restraint for things to work."
I fully agree with that quote. Responsibility should also be added. Unfortunately our government is doing everything it can to take us in the opposite direction.
I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that the Monkfish is a wonderful full flavored fish of the same family as the Angler. I've caught several off Georges Bank on cod trips in the past. I seen to have some luck with them for some reason - I always catch them in pairs. Sell one and keep the other - pays for the trip.
I would LOVE to become a grandfather
but have spent 15 years advising my sons against marriage.
The way things are now, the mother of my grandchildren would most probably leave my son and I would de facto have no grandchildren.
I would suggest "foster" grandparenting. We have several such relationships in our extended family and I was reminded over the holiday gatherings just how satisfying those arrangements are for all involved. There are several established organizations, including Big Brothers (and Big Sisters). A good resolution for the New Year. Best of luck!
What has most radically changed is that in previous generations a voluntary single mother was seen as being selfish and had to find their support from their families and the father. Now, however, a single mother believes that she is entitled to being supported by the public at large. Therein lies the difference.
My thought about voluntary single mothers has always been antediluvian. A child is a product of love expressed by two people. Without the bond of love, why have a child?
From a purely personal perspective, I see how differently my husband and brothers parent as opposed to their wives and cannot help but believe that that unique male touch is vital to a child's development. They are all very different men, but there is a commonality in male perspective and attention that my son and all my nieces and nephews thrive on. Simply put, I can never love my son the way his father can and his father can never love him the way I can. He needs us both.
Great point and well made,
Fathers have a different touch with their children and that is true, unfortunately we do not hear enough of what that touch is. Another words academic research on dads is not making its way into main stream books.
One of the essential things that dads do is help children separate from their mother and to establish themselves as individuals in the world.
Dads need to be supported more in our society.
LaShawn echoes what Dr. Bliss posted earlier today. She touches all of the bases. As our readers know, we are very concerned about black success in life here at Maggie's, and have sadly watched one costly government "program" after another, ove
Tracked: May 22, 14:24
As narrow-minded, knuckle-dragging traditionalists, we Maggie's Farmers honor fathers: fathers that stick around and do their best to do what grown men need to do for their families and for their communities. Few of us can reach the Atticus Finch idea
Tracked: Jun 16, 23:30