The War on Fatherhood

February 24, 2020

“As a man you have a lot of responsibilities for your family. Number one is security.”

“I see my role as a father as someone who carries us through a storm.”

“A father should be a teacher, a coach. I’m not talking about academics — that’s what schools are for. I’m talking about life.’

Warning: the following may depart from my typically rosy and upbeat sounding self. Maybe it’s the political “silly season”?

Really? A war on fatherhood? Sadly, yes.

I continue to see the crisis of fatherlessness as the social issue that cuts across the boundaries of race, gender, politics and religion. We all should be working hard to rebuild fatherhood regardless of our backgrounds, upbringings, beliefs and leanings. As I’ve written elsewhere, this might be the one issue that could unite us in the fractured and divisive times in which we live.

Yet the institution of fatherhood is under attack from many directions. A few examples:

When the NJ Department of Education mandates that students can change their genders – and parents will not be notified — then the role of the father (and mother) is under attack. When these so-called educators claim that leaving parents in the dark is a matter of safety, as in protecting kids from their parents, then they usurp a primary role of fathers: protecting their children. And when they tell impressionable kids that not only can they choose to be a girl or a boy or something else, but also that their parents are sinister and cannot be trusted, then our schools have morphed into something repugnant and unacceptable.

While I feel sorry for those afflicted with gender dysphoria, the attack on anything or anyone who suggests there are differences between Xs and Ys has gotten extreme. Just ask Martina Navratilova, attacked for saying that male athletes who compete as females are gaming a confused system divorced from scientific reality and common sense.

Not unrelated is the advocacy of Philly’s own Sophie Lewis to abolish the nuclear family, recalling not only the dictates of Marx and Engels but also the rants of radical feminists in the 1960s and 1970s. Such a view may be seen as extreme by most, but the wacky ideas of today often become the mainstream beliefs of tomorrow. (See millennials and socialism).

I submit that this gender agenda is but one front in the broader war on fatherhood, the family, and other institutions that build individual strength, independence and character — rather than create dependence on those who trade in divisiveness, victimization, and identity politics.

Becoming a man has never been easy. The erosion of fatherhood over the last 50+ years has made this task more difficult. So has today’s endless drumbeat that boys are predators in the making, that boys should be feminized, that masculinity is toxic, and that men should shut up. May I suggest that it’s time for men to man up, to reclaim our roles as fathers, and to join strong women who admire men with chests* in pushing back against those who are undermining boys, men, fatherhood, and the family.

Bill McCusker

* The great British author and philosopher C.S.Lewis wrote The Abolition of Man in 1943 while WWll raged across the globe. In the chapter, ‘Men without Chests,’ he wrote what still applies today:

“And all the time – such is the tragi-comedy of our situation – we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible… In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Speaking of Schools: A Role for Dads

School Choice advocates propose giving parents the option to choose whatever public, private, religious, cyber, charter, or home schooling option works best for their kids — instead of their kids being forced into the often failing and violent government monopoly school nearby. Cory Booker was once such an advocate, but he muted his strong and courageous voice when he embarked on his failed presidential run. (See men without chests). It’s time for fathers to stand up and lead the fight for better educational options for their kids. And if that means taking on the teachers unions and educational establishment, then so be it.

Here is a teaser of an article written by Jason Riley on how another girly man is hosing poor kids and their families:

And for those wanting more of Jason Riley, here is an interesting and provocative podcast.

Dads Matter

Kobe Bryant’s tragic death highlights the importance of fatherhood. Read this interesting piece by Mary Jackson:

And listen to Philadelphia radio star, Chris Stigall, and parenting expert, Meg Meeker:

Roughhousing. What?!

Roughhousing? Yes, roughhousing. And the scientific importance of it. But what if Moms frown on roughhousing because they – naturally – don’t want the kids to get hurt? They’ll survive. What if Gillette shames it? Who cares.

Why you should roughhouse with your kids and some of my son’s favorite roughhouse moves. Read the article that inspired the video:…

The Crisis of Fatherlessness: So What?
“Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”
– Barack Obama (2008)

National Fatherhood Month
One of my latest ideas, but an idea whose time has come! Imagine this making its way into all schools. But it won’t happen without strong men and fathers making it happen. So how do we make it a reality? More on this later.

During National Fatherhood Month, students will explore the roles dads traditionally play in the lives of their children. Students will study how fatherlessness contributes to childhood poverty, crime, incarceration, gang violence, drug use, failure in school, teen pregnancy, loneliness, depression and other problems. Students will also explore how government policies, the media, schools, Hollywood and other institutions have helped to create the crisis of fatherlessness. Good dads will visit the schools daily and explain how they support their families and children.