On May 29, 2013 there was a remarkable burst of anti-feminism on Fox Business News’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight” show with Lou Dobbs, Juan Williams, Erick Erickson, and Doug Schoen. All of the men agreed with the general point of the discussion; the discussion being triggered by a just released Pew Research Center study indicating that 40% of children under 18 live with a breadwinner mother who is either a single mother and so is the breadwinner by default or is a married mother who earns more than her husband. Of the “breadwinner moms” 63% are single mothers and 37% are wives who out earn their husbands.
Lou Dobbs started things off saying:
“Our society is being torn in so many directions right now. This stuff is really at the margin when you watch the Republicans and the Democrats, this President, his scandals, and the appropriate investigation by the Republicans. When we’re watching society dissolve around us.”
Then Juan Williams joined in saying:
“This should be in large letters on the front page of every newspaper in America because what we’re seeing with 4 out of 10 families now, the woman is the primary breadwinner, you’re seeing the disintegration of marriage, you’re seeing men who are hard hit by the economic recession in ways that women weren’t, but you’re seeing I think, systemically, larger than the political stories that we follow everyday, something going terribly wrong in American society and it’s hurting our children. And it’s going to have impact for generations to come. Left, right, I don’t see how you can argue this.”
Then Erick Erickson added:
“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science, but liberals who defend this and say it’s not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role, the female, it’s not antithesis, it’s not competing, it’s a complimentary role. We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complementary relationships in nuclear families and it’s tearing us apart. What I find interesting in the survey is that three-quarters of the people surveyed recognize that having moms as the primary breadwinner is bad for kids and bad for marriage and reality shows us that’s the truth.”
And then finally Doug Schoen chimed in:
“I wrote a biography once of Daniel Patrick Moynihan who wrote about this in 1965. This is a catastrophic issue and sadly no one on the left right or center is dealing with the breakdown of family structure. We’re losing a generation. Bottom line, it could undermine our social order.”
The report written by Patrick Moynihan in 1965 being referred to is:
The Pew Research Center study being discussed is:
This exchange on Fox Business News is amazing to behold. I would not have expected blatant criticism of feminism like this on a mainstream news outlet like Fox News. There are three good things about this exchange; first is it wasn’t just one person “getting hysterical” about 40% of children being raised in presumably female dominant homes where the mother was the breadwinner, there was a consensus among all the panel members that 40% of children raised in female dominant households is a very, very bad thing. The second good thing is that the issue was treated with the seriousness the issue deserves; that this really is the breakdown of society in a fundamental and catastrophic way. The third good element; perhaps the most surprising element of all; was that the emphasis was on female dominance as the negative indicator, breadwinner moms being used as a proxy indicator of female dominance in the household. Family breakdown has been decried many times before but usually it is talked about in general terms such as saying that single motherhood is bad. It is true of course that single motherhood is bad but attacking female dominance overall is closer to the point, closer to the core of the problem. What do single mothers and wives who out earn their husbands have in common? Female dominance.
This exchange on Fox Business News has gathered a lot of attention. The unspeakable truth has been uttered in a very public forum and the backlash is in full force. Erick Erickson seems to be getting the most attention for his comments and the reason for this is pretty clear; he is the one who attacked the premises of feminism most directly. He said that feminism is anti-science, which is obviously true, and that in the natural world males are usually dominant. He also said that relationships between men and women should be complementary and that the failure to form complementary relationships is the source of problems in the family. This of course is rank heresy to feminist ears and so Erickson is the one most under attack.
Erickson wrote a follow-up blog post further elaborating on his views. What Erickson says is just good common sense, in fact it is a bit too moderate and accommodating for my taste, but in the eyes of modern culture what Erickson is saying is downright radical:
“But just because the world has moved on and seems to think the two parent nuclear household with a stay at home mom is no longer necessary or useful does not make it so.”
“But your individual circumstances and mine should not hide the fact that there is an ideal and optimal family arrangement whether we in our own lives can meet it.
We should also, as a society, recognize that many single moms are in that position because the men in their lives abandoned their obligations.”
“In many, many animal species, the male and female of the species play complementary roles, with the male dominant in strength and protection and the female dominant in nurture. It’s the female who tames the male beast.”
“In modern society we are not supposed to point out that children in a two-parent heterosexual nuclear household have a better chance at long term success in life than others. In modern society, we are supposed to applaud feminists who teach women they can have it all — that there is no gender identifying role and women can fulfill the role of husbands and fathers just as men do.
This does not mean the two-parent, heterosexual nuclear household will always work out for the best. But it does mean children in that environment will more often than not be more successful than children of single parents or gay parents.”
“Life is terribly unfair. Sometimes a parent dies. Sometimes a parent is an abusive ass. There are unfortunate exceptions. But we should not kid ourselves or scream so loudly in politically correct outrage to drown the truth — kids most likely will do best in households where they have a mom at home nurturing them while dad is out bringing home the bacon.
As a society, once we moved past that basic recognition, we’ve been on a downward trajectory of more and more broken homes and maladjusted youth. Pro-science liberals seem to think basic nature and biology do not apply to Homo sapiens. Men can behave like women, women can behave like men, they can raise their kids, if they have them, in any way they see fit, and everything will turn out fine in the liberal fantasy world.
Except in the real world it does not work out that way.”
What can I say; it is refreshing to read so much truth! Most amazing of all at the end of Erickson’s post he links to the Danvers Statement put together by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as a further explanation of what complementary relationships between men and women are based on. The Danvers Statement was one of the first major declarations of the newly emerging Christian Patriarchy Movement published in November 1988. Erick Erickson is the most high profile mainstream person I’ve seen advocating for male dominant complementary relationships between men and women. Three cheers for Erick Erickson!