Man enough to be a Dad?
Originally posted by Peter Inson at 00:00, November 30 2012
Beyond manhood to fatherhood
Female Normally involved from the moment of implantation and this continues, without respite, for nine months.
Male Post impregnation – no further biological involvement or consequence.
Female At birth, full responsibility for another being.
Male Should the man not know about the pregnancy, or not want to know about the pregnancy or get cold feet about parenthood, he is unlikely to involve himself.
Female If she was drunk at the time, or has forgotten his name, or what he looked like, or can’t remember whether he was the tall one or the short one, or has parted company with him, she will still be expected to care for and support the child, alone.
Male If he was drunk at the time, or has forgotten her name, or what she looked like, or can’t remember whether she was the tall one or the short one, or has parted company with her, he will almost certainly not be troubled by the existence of his child.
Female At the birth, discomfort, pain and caring for a baby whose only connection is with her. This baby will make regular and persistent demands of her and may well disrupt her sleep at times when sleep is precious. She will have to accommodate it and care for it wherever she happens to live. Her connection with this child will be obvious and overwhelming.
Male His presence at the birth will be a matter of choice.
Two other groups of people may well become involved.
Professional carers, whose support depends upon employment which will not tie them permanently to the child.
Friends and family who may give moral and practical support.
Female and Male From birth social forces can work to bond the three parties involved. People who adopt or foster children do this. This ability to form strong and effective social bonds is crucial in our caring for one another.
It was George Orwell, in 1984, who made clear the powerful dynamics of strong relationships; Big Brother saw strong relationships as a threat to his power and sought to destroy them.
Once a woman becomes pregnant parenthood is not easily escaped. The ease with which a man can attempt to avoid commitment and responsibility means that he has to be more than just a man if he is to be any good as a father.
About a third of children are raised in one-parent households. Step-parents who can be foisted on children without any of the scrutiny to which prospective foster and adoptive parents are subject.
This is the sort of marriage with which government should be concerning itself. Same sex relationships do not yield children and the gay lobby is very good at calling for sympathy and support for itself.
Government, I believe, has a far more important job, protecting those who cannot speak up for themselves and finding ways to encourage parents to care for one another as part of caring for their child.
Dispense perhaps with traditional marriage and impose a marriage contract on couples when they produce their first child. How would we respond to parents who already have such contracts, or break the terms of them. Ask perhaps whether they would be allowed to foster or adopt children. What then?