Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hitchens on Single Parents

It’s fathers we’re demonising

If I make a reasoned case against state subsidies for fatherless families, I am immediately, and falsely, accused by Tories and other Leftists of ‘demonising single mothers’.

As it happens, I think single mothers make an entirely rational decision, based on the existing benefits system and the divorce laws. So we should change the system, and reform divorce.

If David Cameron makes a weird, puce-faced attack on absent fathers, he is taken seriously by a largely sycophantic media. Read what the Prime Minister says.

It is – and I am being mild here – actually unhinged. It is close to an incitement to violence, and if violence follows it, then I think the victims should make sure that Mr Cameron’s outburst is considered by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Here goes. These are the actual words of the Queen’s First Minister, and Controller of the Nuclear Button: ‘We need to make Britain a genuinely hostile place for fathers who go AWOL.

It’s high time runaway dads were stigmatised, and the full force of shame was heaped upon them. They should be looked at like drink drivers, people who are beyond the pale.’

He wouldn’t dare say any such thing about the many women who deliberately set out to bring up children without fathers, and he was careful to sugar his statement with exaggerated praise for ‘heroic’ single mothers.

The deep anti-male, politically correct bias in our culture has grown markedly worse since the Tory Party was captured by Mr Cameron and his rich liberal friends.

6 comments:

Nick S said...

There are many factors that have contributed to the vast increase in single mother households in many countries over the past few decades They include:
- increased social tolerance of single parenthood
- reproductive technology that makes it easier for women to make decisions about having children without a partner
- the family law system, property settlements, child custody, child support, spousal support etc. tend to favour women, thereby encouraging more women to initiate divorce
- the welfare state has encouraged and subsidized single parenthood
- women have a greater tendency to want to 'marry-up', i.e. find a man who is at least as well-off or high status as they are. As society has tried to promote women relative to men (for example, through affirmative action, better education for females relative to males and the like) the pool of 'eligible' males tends to decline

I have barely scratched the surface and could probably name many more things. But to suggest that all these problems are simply the result of feckless men abandoning good women for no good reason is unbelievably obtuse, reductionist and smacks of crude scapegoating. It is a complete denial of what has been happening in society during our present era.

Indeed, when you examine all the economic and cultural forces at play, what surprises me is not that there has been such an increase in single motherhood, but rather that the traditional family still survives to the extent it does and that men still get much of a look-in at all. It is really a testament to the survival and adaptability of civil society in the face of continued assaults and misguided social engineering.

Heretic said...

"But to suggest that all these problems are simply the result of feckless men abandoning good women for no good reason is unbelievably obtuse, reductionist and smacks of crude scapegoating."

Well said. But this is the level of analysis I have come to expect from the Left, particularly the feminists. Dave is simply mouthing platitudes to get votes, although he probably doesn't know any better himself.

BrusselsLout said...

Indeed, when you examine all the economic and cultural forces at play, what surprises me is not that there has been such an increase in single motherhood, but rather that the traditional family still survives to the extent it does and that men still get much of a look-in at all.

And the next question to ask is, who is voting for and sustaining this depressing status quo?

It's none other than these family men themselves. They're voting for their own destruction.

When will they wake up? In prison maybe? Where they'll no longer have voting rights to reverse things? One area of government policy - pick any party you like - fits in rather well with other areas.

Oliver said...

Peter Hitchens is the fucking man, he always speaks sense.

To be honest though this is just like most everything that we face nowadays. We can never seem to sort out any problems because we refuse to identify the real causes for them, as doing so would then require rememdies that most people are simply not prepared to accept.

A serious attempt to reduce the ridiculously high rates of illegitimacy and fatherless would have to include an almost wholesale reversal of the sexual revolution. Nobody wants that, the sexual freedom it brought us is just way too much fun. So long as we all agree that the problem is feckless fathers all we need do is spend tax money and hate on men, things we love to do anyway.

Nick S said...

Heretic, the thing is that it is not merely the Left that is the problem here. A lot of chivalrous social conservatives tend to buy into this nonsense that these problems are all largely the result of feckless men abandoning women, and this is no doubt part of the target audience Cameron is pitching this too. It seems the Left's solution to most of these problems is to expand the role of government, while the Right tries to shame men into playing more of a role.

Ever since Cameron became leader he has promoted a combination of fashionable leftist causes with a bit of right-wing populism thrown in as well. He is a shallow opportunist and a flake, with little real substance or conviction. The net result of all this is that Cameron failed to win a majority in an election where a landslide should have been very much on the cards, given the deep failings and unpopularity of the previous government. So evidently much of the electorate saw through him as well.

BrusselsLout said...

I don't believe that feminism's natural home is the left anyway. Feminists found an empty spot there in the 70s and hijacked it.

Socialism's aims are to give protection and help to the poor and the disadvantaged. But who are these poor and disadvantaged? It's MEN.

Men make up 90% of the homeless. 80% of suicides are men. Men do the ugliest jobs, and on low pay. Women in difficult circumstances can marry their way out. Men have no such option.

Feminism is about expanding the material wealth of women and giving them unfair advantage over men. For example, feminists want 50% of management positions to be filled by women. What has this to do with poverty?

The problem we have in British politics today is that there is no socialist party.