A typical stroll through feminist media will leave you with a strong impression of what feminists think of men, in general. Men are stupid. Men are weak. Men are obsolete. Men are arrogant. Men are clueless. Men are useless. Can’t you just feel the love?
Feminists nurture a special hate for men who are fathers. Institutional feminism openly rejects the idea that fathers are in any way important to children and actively opposes shared parenting. In response to recent criticism, much of which was leveled by yours truly, NOW removed its 2009 and 2005 statements opposing parenting equality, although given that NOW has not endorsed equality, we can only assume they are attempting to hide the evidence. Luckily, we have copies of everything, available here, thanks to historian and citizen journalist Prentice Reid.
Here are six truths about fathers that feminists would rather you didn’t know. These pesky little facts make it hard to sell the story that men are the oppressors of women and children. The truth is a little different.
1. “Deadbeat Dads” are largely a myth
Most Dads support their children financially. Thanks to laws that refuse to acknowledge men as equal parents and refuse to put the best interests of the child first and recognize that children have a basic human right to have meaningful relationships with both their parents, and thanks to the total lack of reproductive rights for men, more men than women pay child support. The vast majority of non-custodial parents pay child support, and most of the parents who fail to meet their child support obligations fall under the poverty line. It’s likely that poor men fail to meet child support, not because they hate their children, but because they are poor. In 2011, only 25 % of custodial mothers did not receive any child support payments, while 32% of custodial fathers were left high and dry.
Oops. Looks like “deadbeat moms” are more common as a percentage of the population than “deadbeat dads”.
2. Dads are more likely to refuse child support, and less likely to alienate the other parent
When the US Census Bureau carried out the Current Populations Survey in 2012, it asked custodial parents why they had no legal child support award. Turns out that dads were more likely than moms to say that they just didn’t want the other person to pay support. 27.5% of dads and 22.9% of moms had no legal child support award by choice. Only 12.7% of Dads didn’t want their children to have contact with the other parent, while 21% of women indicated they wanted their children alienated from the other parent.
The parent most likely to assume full responsibility for their children? That would be Dad. The parent most likely to deny children their very basic right to know their other parent? That would be Mom.
Not quite the story NOW wants you to believe, is it?
3. Dads would rather have more time with their kids than get gifts from them
It’s a rite of childhood to make macaroni necklaces and duct-tape wallets for our Moms and Dads on their special days, but what do Mom and Dad really think about our efforts? When CNN asked Moms and Dads what they really wanted for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, only 35% of men selected a gift that cost money. 52% of women wanted cold, hard cash laid out. Only 3% of Dads said the perfect Father’s Day gift would be time away from the kids, while 11% of Moms chose time alone.
There is no doubt an interesting conversation to have about why Moms are more materialistic than Dads, and why they would rather have more time alone, but starting that conversation will require us to acknowledge that Moms really are more materialistic and selfish than Dads.
4. Dads not only do their fair share of housework, they do more than that
Sheryl Sandberg might be convinced that men are lazy assholes who can’t be arsed to pick up a broom unless they’re getting a blowjob in return, but the facts tell a slightly different story. Women tend to work fewer hours in paid labor than men, and a fair division of labor would mean that men and women spent equal amounts of time at all forms of work combined: paid work, housework and childcare. Measuring the gross hours spent on each is not a fair reflection if one person is working longer paid hours than the other. The PEW research council agrees, and when they looked at all labor combined, it turns out Dads do more work than Moms. Dads spend an average of 54.2 hours a week working their paid job, doing housework and running after the kids. Women spend just 52.7 hours a week doing those same things.
5. Most Dads live in the same home with their children
Quoting Prentice Reid, who says it better than I ever could, “most fathers in America, regardless of ethnicity, live under the same roof as their children. The idea that most Dads have skipped town and walked out of their children’s lives does not reflect the actual data. Though the number of fathers living with their children can never be high enough and the number of Dads living away from their children is increasing due to the declining rate of marriage; 79% of white fathers, 65% of Hispanic fathers, and 56% of black fathers actually live with their children.
6. The best predictor of a child’s success is whether they live in a house with a Dad
Feminist commentators lost their minds when George Will, writing for the Washington Post, pointed out that women and children who live in a home with a man to whom the children are biologically related are much less likely to suffer any kind of physical assault in their lifetimes. Yes, it is apparently offensive news that men tend to protect women and children from violence, and tend not to hurt or injure them. This news directly contradicts the feminist narrative of men as dangerous monsters who are out to oppress and enslave women and children, so the witches mounted their brooms and demanded Will be fired.
But Will wasn’t reporting anything new. In 2006, the US Department of Health and Human Services partnered with the Children’s Bureau to examine the role of fathers in the maltreatment of children and discovered that not only were fathers less likely to engage in child maltreatment, their presence in the home protected the children from their mother’s abuse.
Children who grow up with fathers have better educational outcomes and experience social benefits that last well into adulthood. Fathers have a positive influence on children’s cognitive abilities, on their psychological well-being and on their social skills.
But no matter what the evidence, feminists continue to sing the praises of single mothers.
What they always manage to forget is that if a “single mother” is receiving support from the father of the child, and most of them are, then she is not a “single mother”. She is a “single woman”. He rejected her, not the child. He is still a Dad.
Truth. It can sting sometimes.