Thursday, June 09, 2016

Where are the fathers? Where is accountability?

Since Martin Van Beynan asked the question, Why doesn't anybody ask the questions? three more published writers have expressed very similar sentiments.

Ewen McQueen, in the NZ Herald, "The court has reached its verdict. The marchers have gone home. The politicians and media have done their usual hypocritical hand-wringing. But the question remains - where was Moko's dad?" He then generalised it to, where are the fathers?

David Seymour writing in the Sunday Star Times (opposite Jacinda Ardern who slated my child poverty and family structure report but more on that soon) asked, "Where the hell was his Dad?" referring also to Moko but broadening to a "fatherhood crisis".

And now, in this morning's DomPost, somewhat surprisingly, Rosemary McLeod has joined in,

I am sorry for women left alone and homeless with dependent children, but increasingly annoyed that nobody tracks the fathers of the children down to see how they are living, and ask why everyone else should pay for their offspring. While suffering mothers and children pose for the cameras, how come nobody ever asks such obvious questions?

It takes years, even decades for public opinion to reach tipping point but societal acceptance of fatherless families is on the wane.


JC said...

In many of these situations the question of "Where are the fathers?" is irrelevant.. for the girl its mission accomplished.. she has her child and is plugged into the welfare circuit and she is living the dream she's had since secondary school.

And perhaps being a solo mum is a pragmatic choice given her upbringing and limited prospects and perhaps a father who is also a life partner is outside her knowledge and experience.

The question of where the fathers are is a values statement implying responsibility, happy families etc and neither the girl or the father really understand what that means. The sex is simply a transaction that achieves something of the moment and a pregnancy something useful for the girl.. perhaps she's wise enough to expect little more than that or is in fact ignorant of anything deeper.

Whatever, I don't think there's sufficient knowledge or experience of values here to cover concepts we associate with young couples making a life together.. there's only one constant and that is state support.


Anonymous said...

where was Moko's dad?"

Mono's "dad" was a cheque from the welfare, and health and education paid for by people who actually love their own children.

You get what you pay for. Welfare creates "fatherless families".

There's only one way to stop that.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I don't disagree. But state support will remain a constant until enough voters agree is has to change - significantly. A growing intolerance of families that are fatherless by choice must precede that.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

My comment was directed at JC.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I find most puzzling is the lack of comment from the feminist brigade. They seem to be so convinced that sexual freedom is liberating women that they are totally ignoring the fact that virtually every time it is the woman who is left literally holding the baby.

On the other hand, what men have got is a good time that they don't have to pay for ... one way I suppose to undermine the oldest profession ...

Brendan McNeill said...


We have an inherited understanding of parenting, motherhood, fatherhood and parental responsibility that has been handed down to us from 1,000 years of Christian tradition. Imperfect as that tradition has been, with all of its faults, it is now being thoroughly washed out of our consciousness by cultural and moral relativism.

The first affected are those with the least inherited social capital, the poor and the disadvantaged. They are the canary in the coal mine, and those who feature most in our news reports with violence and abuse.

Next in line our our children and grandchildren. Well, not mine so much as we have been intentional in passing on our Christian faith, the importance of love and sexual expression within the context of faithfulness in marriage, of gainful employment, of paying your taxes, of being a positive contributor to your wider family and to your community.

Even then, we are not without risk of failure, brokenness and dysfunction.

If even those of us who are intentional about parenting have children and grandchildren who are at risk, how much more are those who are being ‘raised’ by parent(s) who frankly don’t give a damn.

But to your point, accountability begins within the family. Without functional families it is non existent.

However, we operate within a political environment that refuses to acknowledge that some family structures produce better outcomes than others. Until that changes, we are just pissing into the wind. Please excuse the coarse analogy, but frankly that’s the reality.

Any sensible government would throw off political correctness when it comes to family, and start advocating for the functional two parent family and (gasp) even rewarding with tax incentives, those mums and dads who choose to stay together to raise their children in what at times can be the most difficult (but most necessary) unrewarding task in the world.

Let’s keep the conversation going regarding parenting and fatherlessness – you are on the right track.

paul scott said...

Referring to the practicalities of the situation. Two and two make four, not six.
When families divide there are two households and associated expenses, and often those expenses can not be met. Not even if Rosemary McLeod and others say its not good enough.
Brendan McNeill has a contribution, apparently appealing, when he says that we can @ "start advocating for the functional two parent family and (gasp) even rewarding with tax incentives""
That is a division of income for tax purposes. I agree. That benefit would remain within separation if the income earner makes agreed provision for family.