In Anti-Dad bias--Why is the father always the villain on American TV?
, 5/18/09), the Times
got it right on Lifetime's Deadbeat Dads
and on the divorce wars in general. Two longtime Fathers & Families supporters had follow-up letters published today in the Times
. In Love & Divorce
, Mark Henricks writes:
Thanks for the editorial "Anti-Dad bias"...I question one item in the editorial, namely, that women initiate most divorces after the age of 40. This statistic understates reality. In fact, irrespective of age, wives initiate at least twice as many divorces. One widely quoted 2000 study presented evidence that when both couples have college degrees, the percentage of divorces initiated by wives approaches 90 percent. It appears that marriage and divorce offer greatly lopsided appeal to men and women. This puzzling situation, I believe, offers a much more fruitful area for study than new ways to persecute fathers.
In The Demonization of Dads
, Peter Hill writes:
Fathers have been demonized on television as well as in society, much to the detriment of society and our nation's children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 20 million children are now raised without a dad in the home. Also, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40 percent of all new births are to unwed mothers. This is a huge scar on American society. The net effect of the demonization of men has been devastating to society. We now have a bubble of teen violence, teen suicides and teen pregnancies, and a bubble of teens with alcohol and drug problems. We keep putting Band-Aids to this situation... States must pass Equal Shared Parenting bills, and we need to pass a National Family Rights Act that protects the role of the father. In addition, we must stop putting fathers in jail for failing to pay child support when they are financially destitute. Putting a father in jail causes him to lose contact with his children who need their father's emotional support and to lose what job he might have. Jailed fathers cannot possibly pay child support. We do not put in jail people who can't pay their mortgage, can't pay their credit cards and can't pay their car loans. Debtors prisons were eliminated years ago. They should be eliminated for financially struggling fathers, too. Lifetime TV should be ashamed for slamming the few men who might be struggling financially. For the sake of children, we have to stop demonizing their dads and help to keep their fathers in their lives. Thank you for your editorial.