War Against Fathers

Dec 22, 2017 by

by John Waters, First Things:

Review of The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties, and the Growth of Governmental Power by Stephen Baskerville, Angelico, 408 pages, $30.  Available in the UK.

Divorce cases in the U.S. now account for 35 to 50 percent of civil litigation, at a cost to the public purse of billions of dollars per year. Out of these cases has grown a vast panoply of ancillary bureaucracies: social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists, child protection experts and enforcers, counselors, mediators, divorce planners, forensic accountants, and so forth. Behind a smoke screen of piety concerning the difficult job they have to do in “helping” or “providing services,” their purpose is the human equivalent of the breaker’s yard: They tear asunder the superstructure of the family and then move to the foundations, demolishing relationships between husband and wife, between parents and children, and even sometimes between the children themselves.

In his scrupulously researched book on how the sexual revolution has proven a war against fathers, Stephen Baskerville, professor of government at Patrick Henry College, describes the costs of divorce:

No legislative enactment has spread more turmoil throughout the social order, transferred more power to the state, or done more to debase the legal machinery from a dispenser of justice into a weapon of plunder and aggrandizement of power.

Baskerville challenges a host of dearly held beliefs: that divorce results from philandering men, that women are in grave danger of violence by men at all times, that the most dangerous place for a child is the nuclear family. All this, he shows, is completely, monstrously wrong. Fathers, caricatured as embodiments of the hated patriarchy, have been unseated so that a bureaucratic state might increase its power.

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