My article for January was going to be a nice, self improvement article on starting the new year off right. That article had to wait once I came across a piece from the Wall Street Journal by James Taranto. The article, "The Moralistic Fallacy," is in response to a previous article discussing men and women's role in the economy. Taranto then goes on to blame women for the fatherless in America. Specifically, he states there are two reasons for the rise of fatherlessness:
"The first is the rise of female careerism... The second is the introduction of the pill... It made nonmarital sex far more easily available"
After I picked up my jaw off of the floor, I checked the calendar to make sure I hadn't been transported back to 1954. After verifying that in fact it is 2014, I had to give myself some time to calm down before I began my response.
I shouldn't be surprised that something so blatantly and incorrectly sexist could come from the same guy who once said, "The basic social purpose of marriage is to control men. To domesticate men, to tie them to women and children." Alas, I was surprised anyway.
No, Mr. Taranto, women are not the reason for fatherlessness in the United States. Since my appearances on Oprah's Lifeclass over the summer (see video below), I've become, as one piece called me, the "poster boy for fatherless sons" in the United States. I've heard thousands and thousands of stories from the fatherless. Not once, not even one time, did someone tell me that their mother working, or their mother taking the pill was the reason for their father's choice to leave.
There is one reason and one reason only for a father choosing to abandon their child -- himself. A woman going to work doesn't make a man abandon his child. Conversely, A woman staying home instead of going to work doesn't make a man stay. I can't even fathom the logic behind such a thought.
In regards to his second comment, the introduction of the pill didn't cause the rise in fatherlessness either. In fact, basic logic would again show the opposite. Having access to birth control would result in fewer unwanted pregnancies.
Besides death or incarceration, there are no events that could truly make a man abandon his own child. Everything else is a choice. It's a choice for a man to walk away from his girlfriend or partner and not work out arrangements to continue a relationship with his child. It's a choice to leave the child because the man doesn't feel he has anything to offer. The list goes on and on and it all ends with the same cause: choice. Blaming women, birth control pills, condoms, the economy, a poor childhood or anything else is just an excuse to absolve men of their responsibility. Far too often, fathers that abandon their children are supported, directly or indirectly, by their friends and family in their choice. That is truly where we can begin to break the cycle. We as a society need to place the blame on the ones that are responsible: the ones who make the choice to abandon their children.
Kyle McMahon, the recording artist known as K.Mac, is a millennial who has recently appeared on a series of Oprah's Lifeclass specials, writes about self improvement for millennials and gives speeches on fatherless sons. Check out the Kyle McMahon website for more information. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.