Anxious Patriarchs?


Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

Related Post Roulette

11 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Given the amount of blood that headline drew, I suspect that such was deliberate. Would a quick search say whether the author’s parents divorced?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      @Jaybird, and it looks like Pamela Paul was the author of _The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony_.

      Well, any conclusions I’ve reached due to my attempts at amateur psychoanalysis haven’t been falsified yet…Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:


        If it hasn’t been falsified, it must be true!

        Also, the category error on the right is just amazing: Because their gender is not the distinctive and wonderful thing about parenting, no fathers anywhere have anything distinctive or wonderful to contribute to the process. Down with fathers!

        This would be silly, if it weren’t claimed as a threat in all seriousness by, for example, the National Organization “for” Marriage.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          @Jason Kuznicki, no, not that it must be true… just that it has explanatory power and isn’t obviously false and so, for now, it’s worth keeping.

          Don’t get me wrong. I think that the whole “you’re only saying this because you have some sort of emotional defect” argument is crappy.


          When people say something spectacularly out there, the whole “why did they say *THAT*?”, the whole “maybe they’re engaging in a whole lot of defense mechanism behavior” does make sense.

          I mean, *I’VE* done stuff because of defense mechanisms… saying something like “father’s aren’t necessary!” makes me wonder if the writer doesn’t feel abandoned by her father. I couldn’t find anything about her own parents divorcing but did find that, yes, she had one of those “starter marriages”… and was, if the blurb on her book is accurate, surprised by her husband asking for a divorce.

          At this point, the whole “defense mechanism” thing has explanatory power and has not yet been falsified.

          Is there a better explanation for her saying such a thing? I’d throw my hypothesis away in a second if I found one with more explanatory power and subject to better falsification than google provides.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    Stop the presses; fabulist journalist exaggerates and distorts moderate scientific findings with hyperbole to attract attention.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    i think the “father’s aren’t necessary” argument is an odd little tick in some feminists. I heard that statement made before in a self described feminist man who was presenting a training on domestic violence and child custody cases. he had a bit of smirk when he said it and ignored the two of us men who immediately raised our hands. i e-mailed him the next day and he backed off his statement. It appeared to me like he was just throwing a bomb to get attention, which i don’t have any respect for when he was being paid to train us.

    I wouldn’t go for the same psychoanalysis. i would just say that for some people their feminism is proud, loud and weak if they need to try to insult men to show their own strength.

    I’m not sure anybody has noted it but the original authors research skills are pretty damn weak. There is actually a considerable amount of evidence about the positive influences of fathers on children. and the most direct interpretation of the research she showed wouild be that neither fathers or straight women are needed. i doubt that argument will be made. and there are some obvious external variables, like motivation, income, desire to be a parent, this research is being very much over interpreted.Report

    • Avatar Jim says:

      @greginak, “i think the “father’s aren’t necessary” argument is an odd little tick in some feminists. ”

      i think it came out of the old ” A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” trope, and was expanded to children, since those were naturally a woman’s province and property to control in some strains of feminism. And pace Jason, this really has been pretty forcefully argued for.Report

  4. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    I have only very rarely seen the claim advanced earnestly. Much more often it is found the mouths of opponents of same-sex marriage — as in, ssm implies that fathers (or mothers) can or should be dispensed with. But this is the last thing we would argue. Were it true we should let all kids everywhere be raised by wolves. What we are really saying is found in the blockquote above.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      @Jason Kuznicki, oh i completely agree, parenting skill is what matters. and the more caring adults in a child’s life the better regardless of gender or whatever. it does seem to take a village to raise a child.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Uh, especially since in the real world, children in 98% of cases are either going to be raised in part by a male (if not a father), or else by just one parent (or both), which without a doubt is shown to be far less advantageous to their long-term well-being than having two committed parents.Report