Weak Negotiating Fathers

Posted: Nov 09, 2009 12:00 AM

The other day I was sitting at a deli having some breakfast and drinking a cup of coffee. A man was walking out of the deli with his kids when his son, who looked to be about three years old, asked his dad whether they were going to the park. The dad said “no” because, apparently, they had somewhere else to go. That’s when the boy turned and starting swinging his arms striking his father repeatedly around the groin area.

What happened next also annoyed me. The father leaned down and, in a gentle voice, began to explain why the child’s actions were inappropriate. The father wasn’t at all successful. The kid just kept swinging away and making a scene. The father patiently pleaded with his son “Please stop that, you’re hurting daddy.”

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Previously, I observed something similar at the grocery shore. A man was shopping while his two boys ran wildly up and down the aisles. One boy was pulling items off the shelves and throwing them at his brother who had to catch them lest they crashed to the ground. When he tried to toss the items back to his brother – to put them back on the shelves – the instigator/brother would just run away laughing.

The boys’ father stopped the instigating son – obviously the older of the two boys - and began explaining to him why his actions were wrong. After he was finished making sure his son understood his position – that there was no “communication breakdown” – his son simply resumed with his disruptive behavior.

Right now, I’m waiting to board a flight in the Minneapolis airport. A young boy who is about two years old is throwing a tantrum and his father is pulling out a bag of goodies in an effort to appease him. The waiting areas in the A terminal of the Minneapolis airport are pretty small so I can’t get away from the noise. I’ll have to resume writing this column later.

The take off of our flight to Lincoln, Nebraska was delayed for a few minutes. The little boy who threw a tantrum in the terminal refused to stay seated with his seatbelt on before the take-off. After his dad buckled him up he started to scream. So his dad unbuckled him and let him just stand up in his chair and scream. The flight attendant finally told the father that we were not going anywhere until he held firm and showed the boy that he was going to win this battle.

I don’t think the flight attendant really understood just how profound a statement she had made. A society with weak negotiating fathers is one that has little hope of going anywhere. It just sort of gets stuck on a runway while everyone grows impatient wondering what the problem could be and whether there’s some expert who could figure it all out.

It’s temping to over-simplify the problem by saying that most fathers are afraid to discipline their children in public because there are cameras that record their actions and that those actions are increasingly monitored by the criminal courts. It is true that many acts we once called discipline are now called misdemeanors. But the problem is much broader.

The civil courts have been so hijacked by radical feminism that a father’s right to see his own child is now seen as a privilege. Unless the mother actually murders her children she will get custody of them. The father who sees his children every other weekend won’t risk losing custody altogether. That is why any semblance of discipline often dies along with the marriage.

And it’s tempting to stop here and pretend we haven’t oversimplified the problem. But the war on fathers in the legal system really isn’t war. It is a battle in a larger war on men in our society-at-large. No one understands that war better than those of us who teach in higher education.

In the halls of academe feminists are pushing the idea that there are no inherent differences between men and women. The idea is simply too stupid to believe - even for most feminists. But feminists are no different than sorority girls in the sense that they will pretend to be stupid if it means they can get something without working.

Their plan is simple: If male/female differences are all the result of patriarchal oppression, not biology, they can better argue for social engineering and the social welfare it entails.

The feminist war on males reminds me very much of the war on Christians I once waged as an atheist. I enjoyed pointing to the hypocrisy of Christians. But I only did it because bringing them down to my level was much easier than lifting myself up to theirs.

And that is really what is happening with the current epidemic of weak negotiating fathers. It is not about uplifting our children. It is about bringing the fathers down to their level.

But at least we are moving in the direction of equality. It gives us something pleasant to consider while we’re sitting on a runway waiting for the experts.

Author's Note: Dr.Adams' debate this Thursday November 12th at UNC-Chapel Hill was cancelled. Because no one would debate him - approximately two dozen professors were asked - he will simply give a speech on affirmative action. The Youth for Western Civilization will sponsor the event, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. There will be heavily armed security including Dr. Adams himself.

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