16 February 2012

It’s Not That Simple

Katie Kieffer understands the problem, but only gets the solution half-right:

A girl’s father shapes who she eventually finds herself attracted to. A girl whose father spoils her and stymies her with excessive attention will end up being irresponsible and incompetent. On the flip side, research shows that a girl whose father abandons her when she is young will prematurely reach sexual maturity and end up feeling both abandoned and sexually insecure. This insecurity could lead her to attach herself to smooth-talking bumpkins who use her and lose her.
I think the most influential man in every woman’s life is her father. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Be a father figure to your daughter—or a woman who needs one. You will change the world.

Some men do need to be told to man up.  Not all persecuted men are wholly undeserving of persecution.  However, what prevents men from having the proper role in their daughters’ lives is not unwillingness but inability.

What Ms. Kieffer does not yet seem to realize is that a lot of fathers are prohibited from being involved in their children’s lives.  Custody laws are a bitch like that.

Quite simply, the legal regime in this country is not friendly to men, nor is it friendly to fathers.  Fathers have no say in whether their unborn child will be born.  Fathers, if they are not married to the mothers of their children, will likely not have custody of their children, and will likely find that access to their children will be highly limited at times.

Daughters that grow up without fathers playing a major role in their lives will find their lives to be miserable, and will try to cope with the misery by seeking substitutes for the masculine, manly guidance they crave and need.  And those substitutes pale mightily in comparison to the real thing.  In a sense, there is no substitute for fathers.

A good number of fathers recognize instinctively that they need to be the man in their children’s lives.  But they aren’t able to.  Ultimately, it is often the case that it is not the fathers who desire that their daughters grow up fatherless, but the mothers and their partner-in-crime:  the state.  Thus, Ms. Kieffer’s message is correct; it is just directed at the wrong audience.


  1. Absolutely and I'd go even farther with 'father'. The most influential parent in a son's or daughter's life is the father, once they've grown out of the baby stage.

  2. @Carnivore- Even in absence. Not having one's father around for guidance plays a huge (negative) role in a child's life.