54 Comments

"A good faith debate about whether fathers need to be husbands"

Absolutely not. There are plenty, way too many, fatherless boys in the foster care system in need of a forever home. Single men of at least middle class income should adopt them. This will also solve the male loneliness epidemic.

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No idea what pro marriage policies look like? What a disingenuous statement.

Here's an idea Mr. Reeves. No man would want to get into a contract where the state incentivises the other party when she breaks the contract by penalizing him.

Fix divorce, alimony and child support laws. Fix the discrimination in family court. Do that, and marriage is fixed.

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Mar 15·edited Mar 15

"Fix divorce, alimony and child support laws. Fix the discrimination in family court."

Alimony is only awarded in about 10% of divorces.

Only 46.5% of ppl pay their child support in full, 25.8% pay partial amounts & 30.7% pay NOTHING. This is the ONLY court order ppl can ignore & rarely go to jail for it.

Dads get custody about 60% of the time (even when accused of abuse) when they actually want it, go to court & ask for it. However, 90% of custody agmts are made by both parents & the majority of the time BOTH agree mom should be primary parent.

So NO, women aren't "incentivized" & men aren't "penalized" without reason. Considering your use of "breaks the contract" I suspect this isn't really about the laws, but about a women divorcing you &/or that women are allowed leave marriages at all. Feelings aren't facts.

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Marriage and women are not needed to be fathers. There are plenty of familyless boys in the foster care system waiting to be adopted.

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This is a fallacy and a misconception often peddled by men. Even the American Divorce Association for Men concludes that men have the "overwhelming advantage" in divorce proceedings. A link to the article on their website is below, as is a link to The Atlantic article that is referenced. I encourage you and the other men to actually read both.

From the Atlantic piece:

"Despite the common perception that women make out better than men in divorce proceedings, women who worked before, during, or after their marriages see a 20 percent decline in income when their marriages end, according to Stephen Jenkins, a professor at the London School of Economics. His research found that men, meanwhile, tend to see their incomes rise more than 30 percent post-divorce. Meanwhile, the poverty rate for separated women is 27 percent, nearly triple the figure for separated men."

Here's my question: Why are the vast majority of divorces (nearly 70%) initiated by women, even when, as the research demonstrates, they end up poorer, or in some cases in poverty?

https://www.adamdivorcelaw.com/men-and-women-post-divorce-the-men-have-an-overwhelming-advantage/#:~:text=Men%20seem%20to%20typically%20think,the%20London%20School%20of%20Economics.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-divorce-gap/480333/

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Mary Jane, another way men make out better in divorce is by being the "fun weekend parent" - make that every other week. The vast majority of divorced dads don't want FULL TIME custody. They are happy to have the kids 2 weekends per month and 1 weekday dinner per week. The stressful bulk of the heavy-lifting parenting goes to mom - and that's exactly how these dads want it. Women are finally catching on and opting to be the "fun weekend parent".

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Whatever you say, I don't much care anymore. This is just more of "Women are the primary victims of war".

Society will reap what it sows.

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We already do. According to the CDC, and as been discussed by Richard Reeves in a previous newsletter, men comprise 50% of the population but account for 80% of suicides. In 2021 the suicide rate among males was nearly 4 times higher than for females.

Seems the patriarchy doesn't serve men much better than women.

https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/suicide-data-statistics.html

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Help me understand what point you are attempting to make by highlighting this horrific reality?

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Oh yes, the mythical "patriarchy". Another example of the apex fallacy. If I got a dollar for every stupid term the feminists invented to hide their blatant misandry...

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Classic (and predictable) DARVO.

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Go look in a mirror

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And like people, data will confess to anything if it is tortured long enough. I know how the laws are written, and how they're applied.

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I think their is plenty of blame to go around for the breakdown of family. However, the misandrist, feminist organizations have been the primary driving force. Their vision of a utopian society that is totally matriarchal has made our society sick. While their goal is to lift women up by neutering and demeaning men, they have inadvertently hurt those they claim to advocate for. If our society is going to heal, we must fight back against their omnipresent influence.

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What are men going to do about all the male babies, little boys and teenage guys in the foster care system crying out to be adopted? Why don't we see men's rights activists adopting? Why isn't the Manosphere talking about this? Why aren't all the single, lonely men out here adopting sons?

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I completely get Anna Machin's comment that 'fathers aren't really there for mothers'. It's taken me a long time to understand that I'm not just the support act to my amazing wife and the mother of our children. But my Twitter biog for example says 'husband' first, before 'dad' because I really saw (maybe still do see) myself as that first. And that's not helpful and not doing my children any favours as I now understand

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Have amended my Twitter/X biog now. 'Dad' first!

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Thank you for your candor, David.

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That's a profound way to describe the issue. As a husband & father, Ive always got the subtle message that the man's role is primarily to protect his wife. Her primary role is to protect the children. Maybe some of that is instinct.

I think that may help explain why the suicide rate is so high for men. When society tells men women don't need them, theirs a loss of purpose. Studies have shown that divorce has such a devastating effect on men. Of course, part of that is the unequal treatment they receive in family and divorce court.

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IMO the correlation between marriage/marital stability and college degrees is not a coincidence, though it is possible that those men who get degrees are, to begin with, culturally more child-nourishing than those who do not.

Encouraging men to get college degrees (or the equivalent) look s like the best way to encourage marriage and stability bringing up children. Not perfect, But better ny more than just by few percentage points.

That will not change the cultural factors that make single parenthood heritable among some sub-cultures of Americans. But it would be a start.

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You're assuming that a piece of paper works like a magic scroll. The truth is it's a selection bias. People who have low time preference and have enough impulse control to get through a undergraduate program are the types of people who go to college. They're also the types of people who are more likely to get and stay married.

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The selection bias begins at birth. But it need not be immutable. A nurturing culture and valuing education and discipline can help many young people to succeed.

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Definitely, we can look at the out of wedlock birthrates, crime rates, etc to show that things can definitely change environmentally. But today's college is not the environment to build better fathers and husbands. Maybe the service academies, but the progressive rot has creeped in there as well.

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If you haven't read "The All or Nothing Marriage" by Eli Finkel, then I highly recommend it. He explains this correlation and the details of the most successful marriages, which increasingly are the only ones that last.

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If you first value marriage, then valuing fatherhood will follow. Stop teaching mindless sex to kids and start teaching them about healthy, committed relationships and you might get better fathers. This is culture problem in that our moral cohesion as a country has disintegrated. We need to rediscover the moral fabric that produced healthy families in times past. If we don't, then we'll just have to rediscover it the hard way: by losing our society to chaos and criminality first. Less marriage = less dads = more prisons.

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You say you know of no way to increase marriage? How about default child custody of 50/50 which is the case in so many countries? How about criminalizing/penalizing paternity fraud and NOT forcing men to pay child support for children that are NOT THEIRS - it's slavery, and yes, this happens a lot!

People like to pretend that fathers don't want to be in their child's life to explain fatherlessness - that's just convenient misandry.

Further, you want to increase marriage? How about not unilaterally enforcing men to provide finances to the woman during and even after the marriage when divorce happens! The part that learns less is incentivized financially to break the marriage and family up without any repercussion to them.

Women are not as affected by divorce - they know that - and they know they can coerce their husband and make them feel dread if the husband is not doing what they want.

I know of women that have threatened divorce if he didn't buy her a new phone, car, home - I witnessed it firsthand.

If you quit your job, don't expect a paycheck.

Alimony should not exist and child custody should be default 50/50 like it is in so many countries already.

In the UK a woman can claim sexual assault when fighting the ex husband in court as a way to get her legal fees waived! Lawyers literally recommend these women lie to get free legal support. The men have to use up their own dollars.

Look at this lawyer's interview for mor info.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHtsk1a1T8o

For paternity tests, the men have to pay for it. Women have access to funds that men don't have access to.

How can you seriously not know how to increase marriage rates?

Divorce lawyers literally tell women to lie about sexual abuse of them, the wife, and even the children, to get custody in family court.

These systems need to change.

Stop playing clueless about this.

Men are tired of being treated like masochistic beasts of burden working the field.

People only pretend to care about men when they withdraw from society and people start to get uncomfortable.

Like when a TV stops working, you slap the side of it until the signal comes back on.

"The beatings will continue until morale improves".

Your writings are quite gynocentric.

Marriage contracts are unfair - all the responsibility and the risk is upon men - and women lord that over the men, holding them hostage.

Don't play dumb.

Men are enforced by law to provide even after divorce, what are women enforced by law to provide? Nothing.

There, I solved the great "mystery" for you.

further, women can abort or abandon children at designated baby drop off areas, no repercussions. The state doesn't chase her for child support.

Men cannot abandon children.

Fatherhood is forced, motherhood is not.

Men are enforced to provide finances, but women are not forced to provide anything in marriage.

Women have rights to their genitals, but boys get circumcised and mutilated and USA thinks it is a funny joke to put in their crap TV shows and trash Hollywood garbage films.

Getting it yet?

https://www.foregen.org/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyRUHSsZZa4&list=PLGFFi6pRCnCdQTe1iG3Tw4Td9jvhY2w74

https://fiamengofile.substack.com/

https://gynocentrism.com/

http://empathygap.uk/

Here are some useful links.

FOREGEN is a company that is regrowing foreskins in labs, healthy densely innervated highly erogenous sexual tissue that over 6500+ species of mammals have. European men do not suffer for having their entire genitals.

Imagine having your genitals mutilated, then growing up being told how to treat girls, but never being taught how you should be treated and when do identify abuse from women or society, then getting thrown into selective service draft system as human cannon fodder.

DO YOU GET IT YET?

Men are treated like masochistic beasts of burden.

This society hates men and takes them for granted.

I'm glad that marriage and military recruitment is at an all time low.

young men know these double standards - and many of them don't put up with it and refuse to contribute to a society that only liberates women and protects them, but keeps men in their shackles.

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MORE ON MALE GENITAL MUTILATION

Circumcision is misandrist, sexist, child sexual abuse mutilation.

MEN DESERVE FULL RIGHTS OVER THEIR GENITALS.

IT IS Genital mutilation.

It's misandrist mutilation that needs to be banned on minors.

If it's not a life-saving procedure, it is unnecessary mutilation.

The film, "American Circumcision", by Brendon Marotta, needs to be viewed en masse, too.

Neonatal circumcision is a preverbal somatic trauma, an adverse childhood event. For background, and sources, look up Dr. Peter Levine of Somatic Experiencing, Irene Lyon, Gabor Mate, and Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk - what you do to babies matter. You can't just do whatever you want to them and expect it not to affect their development.

This country mutilates boys' genitals then asks them to fight and die and sacrifice for it?

Men and boys are treated like slaves. Boys are trained from birth to be masochistic beasts of burden.

Americans mutilate a boy's genitals, then force him into Selective Service as an extra "thank you".

Such "Liberty and Freedom".

What rubbish.

Foregen is a biotech company that is reversing circumcision with regenerative medicine.

Look them up.

~12-14 sq. inches of densely innervated highly erogenous healthy tissue.

Over 6500 species of mammals have foreskins. These animals don't make soap, have running water or live in the suburbs - dogs, bats and whales do not suffer.

European men, Japanese men, the majority of the world's men do not suffer.

MEN SHOULD OWN THEIR OWN COCKS.

Circumcision is male genital mutilation, a human rights violation that degrades and reduces sexual pleasure.

Foregen, within the next year will have fully reverse circumcision with regenerative medicine. The underlying technology is already approved, phase 2 of 3 animal trials is almost concluded, phase 3 of 3 human trials starts soon, and well over $1 Million dollars and counting have been donated with many loyal monthly donors.

BOYS SHOULD OWN THEIR OWN PENISES.

Americans need to learn how to take care of intact baby boys.

They're not dirty.

The foreskin is fused to the head of the penis at birth, many in the USA do not know that, even healthcare "professionals", so they forcibly retract the foreskin and cause a tear in the baby boy's foreskin which is painful, causes bleeding, injury, scar tissue, an a higher likelihood of phimosis, inability for the foreskin to retract at a later age because of the scar tissue making the foreskin less elastic.

By age 7, 40% of USA boys have been forcibly retracted and injured! (Source: Intact America website)

AMERICAN IGNORANCE CAUSES FORESKIN ISSUES.

Europe knows better, they know that the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis until around age 10.5 on average, it is there to protect the penis like the girl's hymen protects her vaginal canal from waste products like urine and feces.

The foreskin is adhered to the glans head of the penis like the nail is adhered to the finger.

USA healthcare workers are NOT TAUGHT THIS, they are taught that boys ought to be mutilated because they are dirty.

American ignorance causes foreskin issues.

Further, the inside of the foreskin has the same cells as the inside of the eyelids, mouth and vagina - the inner mucosal lining.

You do NOT use soap, that disrupts the pH balance because soap is basic, and the inner mucosal lining is slightly acidic. This also dries out the inner mucosal lining and causes irritation and foreskin issues!

AMERICAN IGNORANCE from forcible retraction and the use of soap is the problem.

You only clean what is seen, and with lukewarm water.

Women do not use soap inside of the vagina.

Americans are ignorant about the male anatomy and most men do not know what they are missing in this country.

It's uncomfortable, but we need to end this garbage.

SOURCES: FOREGEN, INTACT AMERICA, DOCTORS OPPOSING CIRCUMCISION

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I honestly cannot tell if you ignore these SEXIST DOUBLE STANDARDS and human rights violations like male genital mutilation on purpose or if you just do not care?

Women have so many ways out of responsibility in terms of motherhood, not being in the draft, marriage contract, and other rights like having their entire genitalia intact to actually have full authentic sexual experiences.

Women are treated better.

And you wonder why marriage rates are low?

80% of suicides are men for a reason - it's rough, lonely, cold, abusive, and few people seem to really care.

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Thank you Edmond for speaking your mind...I found it uncomfortable on first read but I appreciate the directness... BUT, I appreciate it...

with circumcision, it would be so easy for any Government to stop it with laws, outlaw it and make it illegal. But they don't.. Us men really need to be more outraged...

Recently, after I posted on a different substack and different subject, the writer said: Don't be bullied into thinking it is unacceptable.

I have to think about this... and basically parents are bullied into thinking it is 'acceptable' to cut a males penis without his actually consent when there is nothing wrong with his penis...

Again, thank you for speaking your mind.

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I do wanna point out men can also access baby boxes to legally, safely and morally leave their young children if they feel they and/or the mother of the child cannot or is unwilling to do so. They have just as much say which should ideally translate to other aspects of custody as well (in a perfect world i mean)

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A man cannot do this against the consent of the woman who has custody and parentship from the get go. He could do it for her if they both wanted that.

"They have just as much say..."

No men don't.

I appreciate your comment but did you read mine?

A man is chased for child support whereas a woman can abort, give up for adoption and/or use the baby boxes.

Do you see the difference? Men cannot use baby boxes unless with permission. Women don't need permission from men, see?

Woman can abandon motherhood and no one gives them shame for it really, not like men are given for trying to abandon fatherhood, though they legally cannot. It is quite difficult to get rid of legal parentage and get out of child support for men. You a debilitating disease or something of the likes.

Women don't need any of that.

So I disagree. Men definitely do not have the same rights or the same say as women do.

Men can even be lied to about whether the woman is on birth control and she can have his child against his will and force him to pay support for 18-20 yrs.

Even if a boy is raped by his teacher and gets her pregnant he is forced to pay his rapist child support when he is 18.

And of course female rapists barely get any jail time or none at all.

Woman getting 12 yrs less of a sentencing for committing the same crime as a man. It was 12-16 yrs less in some cases. That is the prison sentencing gap.

Same for female murderers, abusers, and more.

That's the halo effect of being a woman.

It is not equal.

Look at the links I posted in my original comment for more info.

I appreciate the response, but a man being able to use a baby box for a woman with her consent does NOT in any way translate to equality when it comes to options of parentage.

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Mar 15·edited Mar 15

PLEASE seek therapy ASAP & stay far away from women!

Your "facts" are based on pure emotion (rage at women bc you're alone & desperately want to believe it makes u a victim), YouTube & red pill spaces.

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You ignore how difficult it is to be an involved father if you slide into unplanned parenthood with someone where you both never decided to be “an us with a future” in the first place. Many never married parents (which is far more than divorced) often have relationship troubles. This presents tremendous barriers to the non-residential parent (typically dad)

Social messages matter. I’m sure that Richard would never tell his sons marriage doesn’t matter. Egalitarian marriage helps everyone. I’m n addition to economic supports all children and families need-- no reason not to educate young people on how to form and maintain healthy relationships. We’ve barely started to do that Where we have, you’d be surprised how much youth appreciate it

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“Men need to know what they can uniquely contribute to their family. The abiding presence of a father isn’t replaceable by their paycheck, their banked sperm, or their weekend visits. Men and women both are impeded in knowing themselves and the full potential of their relationship when fathers are treated as trivial.” Wow.

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Though I agree that fathers are more than a paycheck or weekend visit, they need not seek a "unique" role in the family. My humble suggestion to all fathers would be to simply "own" - that is to assume that it you don't do it, it won't get done - some aspect of parenting and/or domestic life (if living with the mother): managing the kids' extracurriculars, doctors appointments, haircuts, tutoring and driving them there; cleaning the house or hiring the help; ordering/buying household supplies and groceries; organizing lunches and cooking dinner; taking pets to the groomer/vet; being the family rep/volunteer at school/church/synagogue/organizations; planning and executing social events; taking responsibility for a certain aspect of holiday celebrations or being the leader for all of it(!), etc. Same for elder care. Taking care of family members, young and old, is an IMMENSE amount of work of thankless, unpaid work. Again most of the mothers that I know would welcome the help. And please, let's banish the ridiculous phrase that is "dad is babysitting the kids." Parents, both mothers and fathers, are expected and assumed to supervise and interact with their children. Maybe changing the words we use will encourage more men to actually parent and contribute more to the household beyond a paycheck.

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Chill. The life you describe sounds like a nightmare of hyperactivity that isn't delivering anything other than stress.

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Richard does it again. A compelling read. I can say that where my mind went for an experiment to ascertain whether this is true was of course the Greek Pantheon as nomenclature for masculine and feminine instincts. The test of whether it is true is to take out every male deity from the Greek myths and then read them without those characters. If the stories inspire, teach a lesson and make the boy or girl part of you grow then it’s false. I suspect the stories would not inspire you as a reader and would not inspire a child to grow new adult skills and personal agency or dignity either…

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Undoubtedly this is a complex issue, but I think a more pertinent and useful question to ask of men is if they really want to parent, whether married or not. My personal experience and observation is that most men happily relegate the heavy lifting of parenting to women. Research at the Pew Center, among others, confirms that women still carry more the household and caregiving load, despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of mothers work outside the home. Additionally, according to the US Census Bureau, 16% of US women are the primary breadwinners and another 29% earn the same as their husbands. Most working mothers I know, including myself, would welcome more help with the kids. And elderly parents too by the way, since upwards of 75% of caregivers in the US are female. If I had a daughter, frankly I'd beg her not to have children, married or not. The personal, physical, financial and emotional costs of being the primary parent and caretaking two elderly parents with serious diseases has been exorbitant for me. And ultimately no complete discussion of the state of marriage, family, parenting and gender roles can be had without the addressing the absolutely shameful lack of accommodation for families in the US, currently one of only 6 countries without guaranteed paid family or medical leave. Maybe aspiring US fathers can convince their elected leaders in Congress, mostly men at abut 75%, to make changes in public policy (and thus attitudes) so that there's incentive and opportunity for young Americans to marry and have families. Or better yet, encourage more progressive women to run for public office, and then actually elect them, so they can get the job done.

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It's almost as if past societies had a solutions for this, the division of labor! Men do what they do best, as do women. A major benefit was that women were by their own admission much happier.

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I think you may well be right that many men do not want the frenetic, consumerist, status obsessed, over child centred and relationship deprioritising, time poor and no fun "ideal" model of modern middle class western family life. This is the creation of capitalism, partly as a marketing exercise to sell more products and partly as a exercise in social class reproduction by ensuring one's children's access to high earning "careers". I'm not at all sure it does the kids any good either and as you point out, isn't necessarily something you would want for them, even though reproducing it is the underlying aim of all this. Moreover the planet cannot accommodate it. So there might well be the basis for a consensus there. We can start by having a look at minimalism in preference to maxilmalism as an approach to life.

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Sep 24, 2023·edited Sep 24, 2023

In my experience, women would like the help in the abstract. However, they micromanage and domineer the man when he tries to do the work his way. Women want all the control, and a robot that does it her way, instead of a full partner.

Instead of appreciation and acknowledgement, the man gets unrelenting critique, nagging, and negativity. So the man bows out. It's clear that she never wanted him there in the first place.

Also: have you been the dad in a group of moms? It's clear they dont want you there either. It's always fun to hear about some event coming up for my kids from my wife. Not because she's involved, but because they reach out to her instead of me, presumably beause she's the mom.

(And there's the discussion to be had about Dad's unacknowledged and unappreciated contributions to the household, but that's for another day.)

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For that there is a robot product called a Roomba.

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For every woman of my acquaintance, the fight of her life is to get her husband to participate in, much less share 50-50, child care and housework.

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It's almost as if past societies had a solutions for this, the division of labor! Men do what they do best, as do women. A major benefit was that women were by their own admission much happier.

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I'd be interested in a link to a quotation from a woman saying that who had no political agenda, including a spouse/community which would drum her out of her marriage, the church, her job and her community if she said anything.

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I have far more than a quotation. I have a well known, documented, and researched phenomena in the social science literature that is called the paradox of declining female happiness: https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/Intellectual_Life/Stevenson_ParadoxDecliningFemaleHappiness_Dec08.pdf

It's one of the few social science results that has been reliably reproduced. And if your answer to this is "we haven't done feminism hard enough," which by the way is the left's excuse for all of its failures, what would be considered enough? What would get you to actually reconsider your views.

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Mar 15·edited Mar 15

FYI your "well known, documented, and researched phenomena" is 16 YEARS OLD!

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You did not answer my question.

And, I think you'll find the singular of "phenomena", which is plural, is the word you're looking for.

What the study speculates is women's happiness appears not to have increased as they hold down full time jobs, pay half the mortgage, and still do all the child care and housework.

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You're questions was framed as a "when did you stop beating your wife" style question. I don't accept your frame.

And that review shows a consistent, well documented decrease.

"What the study speculates is women's happiness appears not to have increased as they hold down full time jobs, pay half the mortgage, and still do all the child care and housework."

So how has feminism improved women's lives? Why is working a full time job so wonderful?

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I’d recommend checking out Jen Randles’ recent book, “Essential Dads,” which is all about programs trying to support fatherhood among low income men (I wrote a review in Contemporary Sociology if you want a short version). Randles winds up ambivalent about the programs, but it reinforces the importance of fostering fathering behaviors and identities among men who aren’t married to the mothers of their children.

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That this is even debatable reminds me of the quote “we are living in post-nuance times”. Everyone has an anecdote as to why marriage is good or bad and the nuanced truth is it depends on what we bring to the marriage. Twenty years in men’s groups tells me generally speaking marriage makes for better men which translates to better fathers and partners and neighbors and employees. Mostly because a legal commitment reduces uncertainty during the inevitable hard and uncertain times. Kids without married fathers (or no fathers) aren’t doomed anymore than kids who grow up without mothers are. Kids who aren’t loved however will struggle deeply - how we are treated as children is generally how we will treat ourselves and others for the rest of our lives. Again generally.

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I have two teenage boys. I would metaphorically die without my husband.

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For all its suffering, I'm glad I was born and I have never heard anyone say they wished they weren't.

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