Dear Mr Hitchens
I applaud you for having the wit and courage to write about the bad effects of fatherlessness. I know you write about it regularly, however I think its even more important and more central to your overall concerns than it might seem. I contend that the father-led nuclear family is the keystone that held up our civilization. Remove it, and the whole edifice starts to crumble. Drug addiction, crime, higher taxes, feckless and antisocial behavior, and so on.
The mother’s role is given to her by nature, but the father’s role is given to him by civilization. Or, rather, when society gives men a sure, guaranteed role as fathers then we get civilization.
Feminists made it their stated goal from the beginning to destroy the nuclear family, saying that it represented the ‘patriarchal oppression of women’. Of course, it succeeded in destroying the nuclear family, undoubtedly aided and abetted by politicians and big corporations (who could derive power and profits from destroying it).
Give men a role as heads of families and you give them a motivation to work hard and be responsible. Take it away and you will see an decrease in the motivation of young men, not to mention: increase in taxes, increase in problems amongst children and the young (not just lack of male role models, but depression, drug abuse, crime and anti-social behavior), children will be more vulnerable (statistically, a step-father is more likely to abuse a child than a biological father) which itself leads to heightened, even hysterical, over-sensitivity to any adult-child interactions. Societies without the father-led nuclear family become ghettos, with miserable working women (often with children by different fathers), aimless men – usually sitting around drinking or doing drugs all day, and uncontrollable children.
I wish those who want a civilized and conservative society would wake up to the key role fatherhood plays. Solve this one problem and so many other problems would be dramatically lessened.