In a study presented to the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), the sociologist Geoff Dench argues from the evidence of British Social Attitudes surveys since 1983 that there is a growing number of such extended man-free families: “Three-generation lone-mother families — extended families without men — are developing a new family subculture which involves little paid work.”
The culture is passed on, as you might expect. Lone grannies are significantly more likely to have lone and workless daughters than grannies with husbands or employment, and the same is true of their daughters’ daughters. Baby daughters (and baby sons, too) are imbibing with their mother’s milk the idea that men, like jobs, are largely unnecessary in any serious sense.
The problem with this new type of extended family, Dench says, is that it is not self-sustaining but tends to be parasitic on conventional families in the rest of society. In fact, it appears to lead inexorably to the nightmare of an unproductive dependent underclass.
Clearly one of the worst problems with such a subculture is that although it’s not self-sustaining it has a powerful tendency to replicate itself. A boy in such an environment who grows up without a father figure is much less likely — for many well documented reasons — to turn into the sort of young man a girl could see as a desirable husband. A girl who grows up without a father never learns how important a man could be in her own child’s life. She will not see her mother negotiating an adult relationship with a male companion, so she won’t know how to do it herself or imagine what she is missing.
Before anyone starts to point the finger of blame at such girls, it’s worth remembering that many of them are simply making a rational choice. Badly educated at a rough sink school, facing a dead-end, low-paid job that won’t even cover the cost of childcare, such a girl will naturally decide to do what she wants to do anyway and have a baby to love. She knows she will be better off having welfare babies than stacking shelves and better off, too, if she avoids having a man living with her, even supposing she could find one from among the antisocial, lone-parented youths on her estate. That is because the state subsidises this rational choice, disastrous though it has proved, and has done so for decades.
Women quite understandably now talk of such lifestyle choices as their right. They’ve been encouraged to. And the state has actually made poor men redundant.
Please read the whole thing, this may be the most important thing I have ever posted on this blog.
I want to suggest that it is women’s embrace of radical feminism that has caused the shortage of men. The “compassion” (just give bad people your money!), and moral relativism (don’t judge me!), etc. that young, unmarried women seem to like so much these days are in direct opposition to marriage, family and parenting. It undermines the reasons why men marry in the first place. And I’ll explain why.
First, moral relativism. Women today seem to have lost the ability to filter out men based on whether they can commit and fill the role of father and husband. They prefer to “have sex like a man” and to not judge anyone. But the reason why they refuse to make moral judgments is because they don’t want to be judged themselves. Instead of learning how to be a wife and mother, women have embraced partying and hooking up. But hooking up (and friends with benefits, and cohabitation) DO NOT result in a man committing to a woman as a husband and father for life.
Second, big government. The solution that women embrace because of their fear of abandonment by men is to lobby for more and more government programs to give them security no matter how they choose. They don’t want to restrain themselves in order to avoid causing expensive social damage, e.g. – STDs, abortion, divorce, etc. They just want to do have fun and then have someone else pay the costs. But if working men have money taxed away to pay for things like abortions and welfare, then they cannot afford to form families on their own – especially if they want to raise Christian children outside the day care/public school system that they are paying for but won’t use.
Could it be that the reason that men are no longer suitable for marriage is because the incentives they had to marry (regular sex, the respect of filling the role of protector and provider, being able to lead the family spiritually in the home, and having well-behaved hand-raised children) have been taken away by moral relativism and big government? Could it be that the man shortage is caused by women who CHOOSE to be irresponsible about who they have sex with, and who CHOOSE to rely on bigger government as a fallback for their poor decision-making?
You all know that I want to fall in love and get married. This is probably the number one thing stopping me from doing that. The feminist idea that men are evil and can be replaced with government programs is now dominant in the West. This basically means that my children will be less prosperous, less free and less secure than I am. I do not want my children to have the poor character that results from being dependent on a secular left government for their livelihood. And I am also concerned about the kind of world the children will live in as the traditional family, which is a bulwark against state power, declines in influence.
I wish women started to think about how marriage and parenting really work. Instead of thinking about recycling and vegetarianism, women should be thinking about forming their own character for the role of wife and mother. They should be thinking about how to strengthen men’s roles instead of weakening them through premarital sex and big government. They should have the attitude of wanting to learn about obstacles that will prevent a good marriage – and not just ideas but threats to the finances and liberty of the family. They should not believe that “everything will work out as long as we love each other”. Love takes preparation and work.
By the way, this article from the libertarian Cato Institute explains more about how the government creates financial incentives for people to break up families and harm children.
- Melanie Phillips has a radical plan to stop the breakdown of marriages
- Obama’s new proposals penalize married couples and stay-at-home parents
- How feminism’s war against men ends up hurting women
- France introduces bill to require boards of directors to be 40% female
- France passes law to jail spouses who commit psychological violence
- Less than half of 7 to 21 year old women think marriage precedes child-bearing
- Marriage under attack by the left in Australia and India
- How socialism undermines the traditional family in Sweden
- How feminism is opposed to chivalry, marriage and fathers
- What causes women to become single mothers, and how are children affected?
- Which family configuration is best for raising children?
- Why did 77% of young unmarried women vote for Obama in 2009?
- Jennifer Roback Morse evaluates the economics of no-fault divorce
- New study shows that children of working mothers live unhealthier lives
- New study explains the best way for young people to avoid sexual risks
- Obama praises non-traditional families on National Family Day
- Has the decline of chastity and courtship hurt young people?
- Canadian study suggests how parents can influence children’s sexual choices
- New Scientist article shows why fathers are necessary for children’s well-being