Ken Connor

In "The New F-Word: Father," a recent Washington Post column, Kathleen Parker discusses a recent Pew Research Center study on household income dynamics which shows that 40 percent of U.S. households with children under 18 are run by women who are either the primary or sole breadwinner. Parker recognizes that this data is irresistible fodder for the "are men really necessary?" crowd and is quick to give her take on why men "should be saved." She lists many good reasons, but the crux of her argument boils down to one simple fact:

"Because, simply, children need a father. That not all get a good one is no argument against what is true and irrevocable and everlasting. Deep in the marrow of every human child burbles a question far more profound than those currently occupying coffee klatches: Who is my daddy?"

Parker speaks to the deep importance of an issue frequently glossed over in favor of the stereotypical feminist narrative. All too often, discussions of fatherhood are dominated by women who feel they are Exhibit A in the growing mountain of evidence for why men are not necessary. It's generally the elite, wealthy, upper-class professionals with post-graduate degrees who delight in pronouncing the end of men – or at least their gentle emasculation. For such women, their position on the issue of "male necessity" is rooted in selfishness, myopathy, and spite. Their concerns are cosmetic, sociological, and political, but they are not humane. They are so consumed with the idea of righting some ancient and cosmic wrong committed against their sex that they don't stop to consider the larger principles at stake.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.