“Father” Is Not a Part-Time Job

Can you unbundle fatherhood from marriage? That’s the topic that Richard Reeves and I are (politely) skirmishing over at Fairer Disputations. Reeves would like to see more support for and ideals of fatherhood where fathers live apart from their children and are not married to their mothers.

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.

Read the rest at Fairer Disputations

Reeves got to offer a rejoinder, which turns on this point:

Two out of five children are now born outside of marriage, and there’s little sign of that number dropping. Whether we like it or not, we have to find a way to reboot fatherhood for the world as it is, rather than the world as it was.

Read Reeves at Fairer Disputations

I hosted a follow-up discussion, bringing in Melissa Kearney’s Two Parent Privilege at Other Feminisms.