It’s the Collapse of the Family That Results in Father-Absent Homes

This article was originally published at the Washington Examiner.

With Father’s Day upon us, the time has come to address as a nation what Heather Mac Donald noted earlier this year is “the greatest social catastrophe of our time”: fatherlessness. Fatherlessness is the No. 1 cause of nearly all social ills we face. We can’t afford to ignore it any longer.

To be clear, father absence is the more accurate term, since fatherlessness implies that men have become “deadbeat dads” — nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, this faction exists, as do “deadbeat moms.” But the two most significant threats to a father’s presence in the home are divorce and out-of-wedlock births.

It’s the breakdown of marriage, in other words, or the collapse of the family, that results in father-absent homes. Whether you feel its pain directly or not, it affects you.

“Families are the building blocks of civilization,” writes Genevieve Wood at the Daily Signal. “They are personal relationships, but they greatly shape and serve the public good. Family breakdown harms society as a whole.”

Indeed it does. And how, exactly, did the family fall apart? When we stopped valuing men and marriage.

There was a time, believe it or not, when marriage was highly valued. Ergo, the majority of Americans married. They even looked forward to it! It was an honorable mark of adulthood to leave one’s family of origin and build a family of one’s own.

Then came feminism.

“And with it,” notes Dennis Prager in his “Fireside Chat” on marriage and children vs. career, “the notion that ‘a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.'”

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne is an author, columnist and relationship coach committed to helping women let go of cultural beliefs that undermine their happiness in life and in love.
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