Eloquently stated, Ron, as is always your style.
Jerry Boggs
11

resistance to integrate men into the world of children to the degree women are integrated into the world of work.

I think I have recognized the hypocrisy and double-standard-setting of this all along, but had never yet seen it articulated quite so succinctly. Well done.

By your reference to “forty years” as some measure of sustained life experience, I gather you may be of a similar age to mine. I was born in 1960, to that first generation of schoolchildren to be indoctrinated steadily throughout school life into the bright shining future world of “equality.”

I have to laugh at young people young enough to be my grandchildren who posture and preach as if “equality” were some new revolutionary concept their generation has just discovered. My generation has been trying to achieve multiple forms of this “equality” our whole lives, but no one is listening when we recount decades of experience gained the hard way in learning that it doesn’t bloody well work.

How do we know, that you can’t just summarily declare everyone “equal” without having any real concept in mind to implement this utopian notion, and then expect all the improvised retrofitting of human life done on the fly after the declaration, to have anything but the most disastrous of effects and unleash the most unintended of consequences?

Because, we’ve been trying dutifully but in vain, to roll that rock up that hill for our entire lives. And the bastard just keeps rolling right back down the hill, and right over us. Doing grave harm in its inexorable downward path.

The conundrum of absolute inequality in the status of men as parents and caregivers to children, seems to be getting worse and not better. My generation were told “fathers need to be more involved in the home and with children”, and we largely took this at face value and set ourselves to the task of doing exactly that.

And had it thrown right back in our faces: instead of raising our stock by showing ourselves every bit as capable of changing a diaper or getting a tantrum to end peacefully, our very success at the domestic arts is now used against us by every means available. A man alone with children is not, in the popular perception, a caregiver, but a creep, a threat, a red flag, a probable abuser. And, expendable.

I have a probably-unjust fantasy of the barely-imaginable privilege of being free to raise children with no mother around at all. The bachelor-dad scenario was a constant in film and television when I was growing up, for many years, and I know many men my age have the same fantasy.

Mothers are, all too often, a juvenile and impulsive pain in the ass to deal with, they over-rate their own necessity and over-praise their own abilities, and by and large refuse to make their main priority be one of preparing children to be adults, and instead act like children themselves and try to sustain their children’s childish ways as long as possible.

I’d have embraced the chance to raise kids with no mother in a flash, and never thought, given the performance and working definitions of motherhood as I have encountered them, that this maternal vacuum would be any great loss to them.

If the above reads like some horrible misogynistic outburst, I really don’t care. Swap out the gender references, and it precisely describes the working model of motherhood today, whether single or in partnership with a father. A father is at best a junior partner in parenting, at worst a varmint to it to be exterminated by whatever means are available.

I never thought the mothers of my children had turned out to be particularly good parents. In many ways I think each of them has behaved reprehensibly, and with unconscionable selfishness, in that role. But there never was any venue by which I might state that case and have my own side of it hold any value. But, practically before I was even able to get started as a parent, and from then on no matter how honorably or diligently I may have gone about it, I was on trial for my very right to be one at all. The ultimate verdict never even had to be about anything wrong I may or may not have done: I only needed, as is the case with any father, to be found guilty of the high crime of Breathing While Male.

It would be absolutely unimaginable for any woman to have her kids taken away just because their dad didn’t want her around any more, for whatever reason or no reason. But where this “equality” fraud has been a catastrophic failure now for generations, is that any mother can rid herself and her children of their father, whenever she decides to, and never even be asked to show why, or how this might best serve their futures as adults.

Because modern motherhood is not even about preparing children to be adults. It is about making children women’s property, so she can do as she pleases with, and to, them.

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