Feminism and the war on fatherhood

Nov 21, 2019 by

by Belinda Brown, TCW:

YESTERDAY I explained the process whereby men tamed rough, rambunctious and potentially destructive adolescent males into young men who would make good fathers. My description drew on tribal societies but there was much from which we could learn. Today I want to talk about how this male influence shaped society in ways which might have relevance for us today. Then I will look at how feminism affected this ordering of the world.

I described how, in their efforts to provide for and protect the family, men tried to master the natural environment and defend territory. In this way men cocooned the family and community in an overarching social organisation. They created the public realm which enabled the transcendence of individual families. The particularistic concerns which could tear apart the fabric of society were sublimated to the interests of the greater whole.

This was facilitated by the male love of rules. The psychologist Joyce Benenson, who started studying young children when she was 19, found that boys had a particular fascination with creating rules.  She explains how rules serve a critical function for co-ordinating a community. They help maintain the peace. Without them the whole community would break down. Responsiveness to unique individual need, as one might find in the family, is essential, but responsiveness to rules which ensure justice for many also has its place.

Benenson also found males thrive on competition. This competition was not, as we often understand it, about the triumph of the individual at the expense of another’s failure, with benefits accruing to the victor at the expense of those who lost. Rather it was about finding the best person for the job and the maximisation of an individual’s skill.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This