1888 – Happily Married Couples Respond to Article Calling Marriage a ‘Failure’

In tandem with yesterday’s post 1888 – Letters Show Women Who Create Happy Marriages Pick Well & Are Mature, where I presented letters from couples who were in “Miserable” marriages, today I wanted to focus on the letters from the “Happily Married” couples.

These letters were in response to a woman named Mona Caird, who wrote an article for the Westminister Review in 1888, calling marriage, “a failure… servitude to a man… the primary instituion by which women continued to be held in bondage… and for which their freedom has to be sacrificed.”  The article was so provocative that it produced no less than 27,000 letters from women in response to it.

While many agreed that marriage was indeed, a failure, most of their responses could be identified as having either not picked (or been pushed to pick) men of good character who didn’t have the AAA characteristics (Alcohol, Abuse, or Affairs), or that they simply were not mature enough to create a good life with the good man that they picked.  Many of the miserable married women’s attitudes displayed victim mentalities, selfishness, lack of conviction in how they should respond in unfavorable circumstances, and admittance that they were embittering their own children.

So what did the Happily Married group have to say about marriage being declared “a Failure?”

“Will you allow a married woman of twenty years’ experience to say a few words?… Marriage was instituted, I humbly conceive, in the interest of the weaker portion of humanity, viz. women and children, and it works more to their advantage than otherwise.  Men could probably content themselves very well – and many do – with a system of free, i.e., temporary marriage.…   The woman, I suppose, was intended to be subject.  “He shall rule over thee,” was part of the curse pronounced on the first human sinner, Eve…. I write from a feminine standpoint only; and while admitting that marriage is often very disappointing, it cannot be considered a total failure so long as it carries on the race legitimately and surrounds the woman with the dignity – almost sanctity – of true wifehood and honourable motherhood.  -FAITH AND HOPE

If you are sensible, intelligent, and diplomatic women, and do not expect too much of your husbands, you may be happy wives as a rule….  Use your own judgement in the treatment of the particular specimen of the genus homo on whom you bestow your affections.  Above all, recollect that there must always be something on both sides to put up with, so bear and forbear; and if you get a decent fellow, he will love, respect, and appreciate you for it.  If you find that your husband is at all inclined to go astray, give him a latchkey; he will soon tire of a liberty which is not disputed.  Don’t sit up for him.  Go to your rest contentedly, and meet him with a sweet, unsuspecting smile, and no embarrassing quesitons on his return in the small hours of the morning….  Under these circumstances your husbands will find no sport at all, and I warrants, will return home nightly at regular and respectable hours less than a month after.  It rests with yourselves to a great extent whether your marriage turn out failures or not.”  -EMILY COFFIN

On the eve of my marriage I made three mental vows.  They were – never to aggravate him, never to have a secret from him, nor by any selfish or thoughtless act of mine to lead him one step towards bankruptcy.  Fifteen years aftewards I told him of those vows, and alhtough I have been a widow for ten years, I should blot this paper with my tears if I attempted to put it in writing the love and tenderness of his reply…. ”  -A BELIEVER IN THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE

“Will you give a workman’s wife a chance to say a few words on the marriage question?…  Now, I am a married woman of forty years’ wedlock standing; therefore what I say is entitled to consideration.  My verdict is “Marriage is not a failure,” and I will show you why I think so.

At fifteen, when I was an apprentice girl, I fell in love with my – well, my old man.  He was an apprentice boy, four years older.  We were very happy – happy as the finest swells that ever wooed, though neither of us consulted our parents as to our choice, and we enjoyed courting on the quiet, and we longed for the day when we could get married.  As soon as he was out of his time we fixed the day; and one morning we both of us took the day off and marched away to church with a shopmate a-piece for witnesses and wedding train, and were united by a good-natured person, who seemed to relish the job of making so young and good-looking couple man and wife.  My dowry was the love I had to give.  His means were just what he could win week by week as a journeyman.  With no bank account, and with but the slenderest sort of “establishment” we set up in matrimony, and we were as happy as was possible.  Within a year my first boy was born.  He has had eight brothers and sisters, and seven of them live in manhood and womanhood….. Why are we made men and women?  Clearly to be partners one to the other, and to fulfill the divine mandate “Increase and multiply.”  We are not put on this earth by God merely to amuse ourselves, but to do a work.  Woman’s work is to be a mother, and form her children’s minds and educate their hearts.  But in acquitting herself of these duties she finds wondrous joys if she be a true woman.  What greater prize can there be in life than to find, when the hair has grown white and the step is losing its spring, that the children one has borne return her love and care a hundredfold and that every day the interest on the outlay grows apace?  I don’t know of any; and I would not exchange the love of my sons and daughters, and the fireside quiet that is mine at near sixty, for the wealth of all the Rothschilds….


“I had known my husband over three years before we were married, and saw a great deal of him; consequently we thought we understood each other’s disposition sufficiently to live happily together.  But we had not been man and wife many months before I found he was drifting away from me…. The advice from different friends was: “If he goes his way, you go yours.”  But I knew this was not the way to win him back; so, after bearing it pretty patiently for three years, I set about in my mind the best way to go to work…. I always met him at the door myself, as though nothing had happened, and paid the same little attentions I had always paid befor ewe were married, took great care to study what friends he liked, and made a rule to ask one or two cheerful ones to dinner two or three times a week.… So by degrees, I was enableed to wean him from bad companions, and now, for the past year or more, we have been as happy as possible….”  -MIDDLE CLASS WOMAN

“Before many years pass we hope to celebrate our golden wedding, please God, and we are not tired of one another yet.  But I made many mistakes…. I know how to manage my husband now, and have learned to double his pleasures, which are not many, by sharing in them….”  -WINNY JONES


There are so many distinctions between these happily married wives and the miserably married wives, that AAA men aside, reveal the overall conviction, passion, love, and maturity of the happily married women.

It is not that they were merely lucky, although maybe some luck played into some of their stories, but it’s obvious that even when they had maritial troubles, or mismatched personalities, the happily married wives showed patience and long-suffering sometimes for years so that they could come to a point where they were both on the same page together.

The happily married wives also showed characters of women who believed in “winning him over without a word, but in deed.”  Instead of complaining, nagging, allowing themselves to be miserable companions, ruining their life and their children’s lives with the, these happy wives focused on doing what was right, having a good pleasant attitude, supporting their husbands even when it was difficult, and committing to take responsibility for the marriage they desired.

Any thoughts on the differences or things that stuck out?  For me personally, the happily married wive’s tales touched me.  They had so much love, so much affection and conviction of their duty to their marriage, and to truly love their husbands, it was touching to see that even when friends would tell them to go their own way, they knew it was the wrong advice.

Single Man Gets Berated For Daring to Have Standards for Women’s Behavior


I witnessed today on my FB newsfeed, a single man get berated by a female “friend” for daring to have standards for how he expects to be treated by a woman (his potential future wife) in the singles’ dating market.  For the sake of the post, I call him Matt and the shaming, criticizing woman will be called Megan.

Matt had used Match.com’s online connection to chat with a 40 year-old single mom, who was very upfront about not wanting anymore children, and very demanding on finding out if he wanted children or not.  He answered candidly & honestly, that he was just seeing where things would go and wasn’t ready to take things that fast yet.  He thought nothing of his reply, however, she abruptly ended their conversation in a rude, harsh manner that left him wondering why she thought she was so entitled to treat another person so callously.

He couldn’t understand why the 40 yr old was so harsh, and why she would shut him down immediately.  Single moms in their 40’s don’t have a lot of options, they’ve wasted their youth and the majority of their beauty either sleeping with many men, hopping from relationship to relationship, or in a marriage that ended in divorce.  He wondered in his comments, why she (and women he’s encountered while dating online in general) aren’t more open-minded, more willing to bend, why they have a long list of must haves (even at that advanced an age in the dating market), and will next a guy at the slightest hint of missing her mark.

I replied to him what I’ve learned about older women.  They really are less willing to bend, more close-minded when it comes to looking at men.   They “know what they want,” are extremely (and often arrogantly) opinionated, and they feel as though they deserve to have their way.  He mentioned that she acted like it was “her way or the highway,” and it is, exactly that for a lot of women in this age-range.  Their entitlement is felt through the way they treat men like my single guy friend, if he isn’t of use to them, they’ll callously cast him aside into a pile of trash – they don’t bother to be courteous or kind to a man that will not suit their draft horse desires.  If he isn’t exactly what they want, they won’t stay long to see if he has any “redeeming qualities” because in their mind, they deserve the perfect man.  It might not have been completely this case with this particular woman, but this is something I’ve read is very common in the online dating market.

Women at her stage of life, are either in tune with their real-life options, and therefore go about trying to catch someone who “fits” what they want, or they are out of tune, and falsely believe they will have an easier time finding a man than what the reality is that they face.  She is on the hunt, and is on the losing side of time when it comes to finding a desirable man as every year she ages, more and more men will be turned on by younger women.

A woman in this position would do well to maximize her marriage value – embrace her femininity, kindness, caring qualities.  Take the time to work on her outward appearance to make sure she is the most beautiful she can possibly be at her age.  The 40 yr old single mom did not exhibit kindness, or even courteous behavior towards Matt, and he remarked on how unnecessary it was.  He said that showing kindness when turning someone down is rare, but still very desirable and attractive – how would she know that he didn’t happen to know a man who would fit her desires?

I was drawn in to his post on FB when I saw Megan, a friend of his, start to shame him for “judging” the 40 yr old single mom who treated him harshly.  Megan said she was trying to “Call him out,” for his behavior in judging her, and to think upon what would Jesus do?  Would Jesus have posted about his experience with her?  She accused him of detailing his whole life on facebook, which he doesn’t, of “gossiping”… never-mind he never once let any personal details or the name of this woman come to light in his post.  She instructed him that he should “love” all women, and not judge them at all… because you know, he’s a Christian and a Christian wouldn’t/shouldn’t judge others or use their godly discernment in deciding on a future marriage partner.  I was appalled to see a woman had instructed my single friend to turn a blind eye to how women treat him, to give them a pass because they have a vagina, so I jumped in and set her straight.  She became so flustered and righteously angry with me when she couldn’t argue with any of my valid points that she deleted all her shaming/bullying comments, and left him alone.

Her reaction was typical of women when they see a single man complain at all about his struggles in the dating realm – they either passively sympathize with him, or outright shame him for not bucking up and taking the mistreatment, but virtually no woman is brave enough to give him any real advice or send him to where he can get it.

Matt was merely relating a life experience he had in the dating market with an anonymous woman, an uncomfortable experience because he felt mistreated, and felt that he could trust his fellow female friends to give him their take on why women behave this way.

But he’s a man… he should just take what he gets right?


I mean, how dare he have standards?


Men vs. Women: Who Has It Harder?

When I was pretty young, I read a book that my mother gave me that changed the way I thought about men.  The Fascinating Girl by Helen B. Andelin, is a book written in 1969 by a wife and mother of 8 children – 4 sons and 4 daughters.  Her book (as well as her other books) seek to help women understand men at the most fundamental level of what men desire or need in their life concerning their relationships with women.

helen b andelin

Helen B. Andelin

One of the strangest things that I never realized before, and probably wouldn’t have realized at all if it weren’t for my mother & her book, was that men are held to higher standards of expectations in society.  From the beginning of time, it has always been this way.  Rollo Tomassi, author of The Rational Male (Vol I) & The Rational Male: Preventive Medicine (Vol II), writes that Men are expected to perform.

For Men, there is no true rest from performance. To believe so is to believe in women’s mythical capacity for a higher form of empathy which would predispose them to overriding their innate hypergamous filtering based on performance.

Women will never have the same requisites of performance for themselves for which they expect men to maintain of themselves. Hypergamy demands a constant, subliminal reconfirmation of a man’s worthiness of her commitment to him, so there is never a parallel of experience.

Women will claim men “require” they meet some physical standard (i.e. performance) and while generally true, this is still a performance standard men have of women, not one they hold for themselves. There simply is no reciprocal dynamic or prequalification of performance for women, and in fact for a man to even voice the idea that he might qualify a woman for his intimacy he’s characterized as judgmental and misogynistic.

In Andelin’s chapter devoted to being sympathetic to men, she echos this enlightenment to women in hopes that they will be able to come to a better understanding of what men (even young men) face.

A woman ought always to understand the responsibilities a man faces in his future.  Since most men plan to marry, they have, at least in the back of their minds, a picture of what this responsibility entails.  They know that they will be faced with the social and economic responsibility of a wife and children for a lifetime.  They also know that their family will look to them to be their guide and protector, and that they must grow into manhood if they are to fulfill this position.  They may not spend a great amount of time worrying about it, but they are nevertheless aware of it.  They know that if they are to succeed in this role as a man, they must make adequate preparation.

A woman’s preparation for the future is different.  She is planning for marriage also, but this does not require economic responsibility.  If she is employed, she knows that it need not last a lifetime – that others will not depend upon her for their daily bread.  IF she is attending college or planning a career – a career out in the world, she knows that others will not depend upon her success, and that she will not be disgraced if she fails.  She may change her mind, set down her burden at any time, without appearing a failure.  She does these things – assumes these responsibilites by choice, without pressures for the future.  Of course she may face unhappy or angry parents if she fails in school – but this problem she knows is only temporary.  If she makes a success of her marriage, she will win their appreciation.

But with men – their college, career or their jobs are serious business.  If they fail, they fail in their preparation for the future.  Success in life itself is at stake.  They must succeed if they are to fulfill their roles as men and provide for loved ones adequately.

Even in our modern society today, Andelin’s words still ring true.  The only exception would be the plight of the single mother, who actually does feel the burden of performance that Tomassi speaks of, and yet, even with that she is not burdened in the same way as being marked a failure by society.  Her marriage may have failed, yes, or she may have failed at “keeping a man,” and of course, there are social slights she will deal with concerning those conceptions.  However, even a single mother has access to financial aid, grants for college, emotional care, comfort and overall, a greater amount of empathy from society than a man will ever have.  Even though she feels the burden of being the sole bread winner, the other passes she’s given for being a woman lessen the overall burden she may feel to perform.

Beauty Matters – The Real Reason Feminism is Against a Woman’s Beauty

A few months ago, a feminist friend & I dialogued about this video of a woman speaker “un-dressing” onstage in the name of Feminism.  She wasn’t doing a strip-tease, she was instead making a big display of the way women are oppressed by the expectation of them looking pleasant, professional, or beautiful.  How dare women look beautiful or be expected to look put-together for their employers.

In the video, she comes on stage looking quite beautiful in a professional way.  Nothing is wrong at all in the way she is presented and dressed, however, throughout the video she seeks to prove that all the “unnatural” things she is “required” or “expected” to do in our society in order to be taken seriously as a responsible woman, are oppressive to her.  My response was humor, knowing full well that no one is putting a gun to her head, that make-up and hair care do not have to take as long as she was drawing it out to prove her point.  The simple fact (after studying beauty for over a decade now), is that women can look quite beautiful with only a mere 30 minutes of prep.  30 minutes to take care of themselves.  30 minutes to look professionally presentable.  30 minutes to gain respect for themselves and in front of people who pay them money to represent them.  30. Minutes.

It’s long been an acknowledged (albeit not always true) thing that feminists are “ugly,” or that feminism is for “ugly women,” and this is not a small part of that.  From the beginning of its grassroots movement in the late 1800’s, feminism has gone against the idea of a woman ever going to the trouble to make herself more beautiful for a man.  In fact, feminism in our day and age has made a very big case on women not having or being “oppressed” by doing anything for anyone, including their own children.  Feminists are wrong in their understanding of a woman’s beauty, and the gift she is capable of giving to her husband when she makes the most of what God has given her.

Beauty matters, undeniably.  God cares about the visual.  It’s obvious when you see the beauty reflected in a baby’s smile, the masterpiece of artwork that is detailed in a sunset, or even in the beautiful structure of a woman’s face (the face that God chisled out for her – it is not just genetics, but a design given to her, gifted to her, by God).  Oh yes, beauty itself is a gift that God gives to some of His children.  It matters.  It doesn’t mean that they matter inherently more at all than the next person, but their gift of having beauty is not a curse, but something that displays the hand of the Artist who created them.

God was the first Artist, and an artist in the truest form who uses science and mathematics to execute the most eye-pleasing, wonderful designs of beauty all over the world.  The same Artist who designed the stars and their brilliance, who created math itself, combining physics with beauty to ensure that the very planets in orbit and astrophysics align in the perfect beauty & brilliance of their appearance (astronauts are frequently in awe of the sheer beauty of even our own planet) and their function (and I mean function even in the mathematical sense, yes, to me math, because it is Truth, is beauty).

God did not have to create beauty.  Beauty exists for our own pleasure in viewing it.  Think about that for a moment.  He gave us beauty in flowers, landscapes, designs, features, sunsets, animals, the human body, facial structures, all for the entire purpose of it being for our pleasure when viewing it.

The same God who has so much flair for beauty, also has the greatest sense of humor.  He designed the platypus, the adorable koala bear with it’s unique and characteristic nose, and the hippo who has been the brunt of fat jokes for decades!  We have a God who not only can create masterpieces of beauty, He can also make us laugh with His good-humored taste for hilarity.

Obviously, beauty methods can go overboard, and I am not advocating for that kind of thing.  However, when feminists (the woman in the video starts to talk about the 4th wave of feminism towards the end), stand on stage and claim that makeup and styling their hair are somehow against what women should love to do for themselves (not even mentioning for their husbands who they tried to attract that way), or say it is somehow oppressive to be expected to show up to work presentable.  I’m sorry, it is a perversion of the truth.

The Competitive Woman


This… is a photo I snapped of an ad we found in our mailbox for an auto-place in our city.  At first glance, it just looks like they’re having fun, washing the car together, but unfortunately, it displays a whole lot more than that with body-language upon a closer look.

Who is in control?

The woman.  Let’s take a long look at the woman.  Really study her body language and features.  Is she more masculine than your average female?  This could be cute to me if she were more feminine looking, however, even her muscular structure looks more masculine than her husband’s.  In this photo, she is the aggressive one, the one not only in control, but looking like she needs to be in control (and enjoying it).  Look at the husband, really look.  Not only is he displayed as more feminine, he is subjugating himself to her supposedly playful attack.  I say supposedly because most men would not find themselves in his position (feeling over-powered by their masculine female partner) something that was “playful” for them, I think most men would not like to feel the feelings that his body language emits.  Powerless.  Wimpy.  The posture of his hands saying, “Please stop.”  He is under her dominion and out of his role as a strong, masculine, leader.  Instead of strong, he looks weak.  Instead of masculine, he looks strangely feminine here (and she looks unmistakably masculine).  Instead of him leading, he is allowing her to control the situation.

An attractive man of course would love water play with his wife, but I doubt this would be how it would play out for him.  He would probably find himself taking the hose from her and going after her with it.  A feminine woman that respected her man would playfully go after him for sure!  I’m not saying that the picture is in any way wrong for her having control of the hose, hear me out!  I tease my husband all the time, even yesterday at a playground with our sons I had a moment of playful teasing with him in front of everyone there.  My son and I decided we would try to hold down his arms on either side while he was taking a rest.  Was he emasculated like this man in the photo?  Not at all 😉  Quite the contrary… he laughed and flexed his arms inward, causing both of us to move closer as he did some quick move to tickle us both so that we screamed and jumped back from him!

We attacked his strength, but he remained in control all the while.  He didn’t beg for mercy, I wasn’t able to truly overpower him (he is much stronger, with more muscle mass than I’ll ever have).  It was the opposite of what is displayed in this photo.

I know it may seem strange to go into this depth of a simple mailbox ad, but as our culture becomes more and more anti-male/pro-woman, things like this ad – displaying a man counter to what you would expect, as well as the woman with her muscles and body-language over-powering his weak display, I find it a little offensive.  I’m not keen on living in a society where my boys will be told (or shown from every angle) that they exist to be a footstool to women who are power hungry and who think they are more masculine than them.  I’m not happy about being in a culture where masculinity is best displayed as a weak, mercy-pleading male.

It’s the opposite of how God intended men and women to be, a perversion of the sexes and their innate strengths and beauty.

What Happens When You’re Missing a Father – But Have 2 Mothers


Heather Barwick is a courageous Gen Y woman who recently has written an open letter to the Gay community about her experience with being raised by two parents of the same-sex.  In a world that tries to say (repeatedly) that we are the same – one unisex gender – without realistic and crucial innate differences between the sexes, her VOICE reveals the truth that a father truly is needed.  That beautiful, purposeful masculinity is needed, and that when it is absent, something dire is missing.

Read her Open Letter found on The Federalist:

“Gay community, I am your daughter. My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the ’80s and ’90s. She and my dad were married for a little while. She knew she was gay before they got married, but things were different back then. That’s how I got here. It was complicated as you can imagine. She left him when I was two or three because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman.

My dad wasn’t a great guy, and after she left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.

Do you remember that book, “Heather Has Two Mommies”? That was my life. My mom, her partner, and I lived in a cozy little house in the ‘burbs of a very liberal and open-minded area. Her partner treated me as if I was her own daughter. Along with my mom’s partner, I also inherited her tight-knit community of gay and lesbian friends. Or maybe they inherited me?

Either way, I still feel like gay people are mypeople. I’ve learned so much from you. You taught me how to be brave, especially when it is hard. You taught me empathy. You taught me how to listen. And how to dance. You taught me not be afraid of things that are different. And you taught me how to stand up for myself, even if that means I stand alone.

I’m writing to you because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think.

Children Need a Mother and Father

It’s not because you’re gay. I love you, so much. It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself.

It’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.

Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary. There were times I felt so angry with my dad for not being there for me, and then times I felt angry with myself for even wanting a father to begin with. There are parts of me that still grieve over that loss today.

I’m not saying that you can’t be good parents. You can. I had one of the best. I’m also not saying that being raised by straight parents means everything will turn out okay. We know there are so many different ways that the family unit can break down and cause kids to suffer: divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse, death, etc. But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father.

Why Can’t Gay People’s Kids Be Honest?

Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.

If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us.

Kids of divorced parents are allowed to say, “Hey, mom and dad, I love you, but the divorce crushed me and has been so hard. It shattered my trust and made me feel like it was my fault. It is so hard living in two different houses.” Kids of adoption are allowed to say, “Hey, adoptive parents, I love you. But this is really hard for me. I suffer because my relationship with my first parents was broken. I’m confused and I miss them even though I’ve never met them.”

But children of same-sex parents haven’t been given the same voice. It’s not just me. There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening. That you don’t want to hear. If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater.

This isn’t about hate at all. I know you understand the pain of a label that doesn’t fit and the pain of a label that is used to malign or silence you. And I know that you reallyhave been hated and that you really have been hurt. I was there, at the marches, when they held up signs that said, “God hates fags” and “AIDS cures homosexuality.” I cried and turned hot with anger right there in the street with you. But that’s not me. That’s not us.

I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that.

Heather Barwick was raised by her mother and her mother’s same-sex partner. She is a former gay-marriage advocate turned children’s rights activist. She is a wife and mother of four rambunctious kids.

Importance of Fathers – Sinister Feminist Article on “Deconstructing the Essential Father” vs. Scientific Evidence that Fathers Are in Fact Needed

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’d think it’s obvious how important the role of a father is to his children, God designed us male and female on purpose, and equipped us beautifully for complementary and distinctive tasks.  This is not to say that men or women are individually better at parenting than their opposite sex – often times a mother needs to take over a typical “father-role” when he’s absent for long periods, and likewise fathers may have to take over the more traditional “mothering-role” if they become widowed, divorced, etc.  Those situations are not ideal, however, and most that have had to fill those roles (single parents especially) feel the burden and weight of missing their intended partner in parenting.  The two-parent system is in place, not just because of it being easier, but in my personal beliefs, because it’s as God intended it to be.

In 1999, there was an article in American Psychologist (a scholarly journal) titled, Deconstructing the Essential Father, of which the point was to attempt to discredit the belief that fathers are actually needed by their children in the role of parenting.  It’s mind-boggling to me that such a disturbing article was taken seriously enough to be included in an academic journal, however, with the rise of the wildly liberal feminist movement of the 70’s, lesbian/gay propaganda like this was actually very common, and has in part, led to the societal demise we endure today.

The problem is apparent when you look at it through the lens of equality.  No one – absolutely no one – would dare question the role of a mother to her children.  An article attempting to discredit the belief that mothers are needed would have world-wide criticism as being sexist and ridiculous (which it is).  It would even go against the very science and nature of biology.  However, anything can be written to attack fathers… if a feminist writes it.

Karla Mantilla, feminist author, has been quoted saying,

I am highly suspicious of the upsurge of praises of fatherhood and the necessity of kids to have a male role model.  I come by this suspicion after much experience with my own two kids and their male role model, their father … The propaganda that children, especially boys, need fathers I think, has contributed incalculably to the misery of children all over the world.  Contrary to all the pro-father rhetoric of late, to the extent that we value fathers precisely for their ‘discipline’ and ‘toughening up’ qualities, we create children (especially boys) who are less empathetic and caring.  If we want kinder, gentler (and less violent) adults, we need to focus on kinder gentler parenting.”

Ah yes, the all men are violent beasts kind of thinking.  Wouldn’t she be interested to know that the family set-up that produces the most criminals are, in fact, families where the father is absent (single mother families).

The Deconstructing Fathers article goes on to claim that divorce doesn’t irretrievably harm the majority of children – and that a child who has never known his father would not be the worse for it.
The general consensus of the article is that fathers are not needed – and they may actually make a family worse due to their maleness and the resources they consume.

In my undergrad I majored in biology with a heavy chemistry course-load, I learned and reviewed studies on brain development and behavior between the sexes.  One of the most fascinating things I studied was the researched biological affects of when a father is present or absent at the crucial time frame of an infant’s brain development.  Many studies had already been conducted to prove the importance of maternity leave and infant brain development, however, these were done to show that fathers (and paternity leave) were important as well.

When a father was present, it was found that the brain of the infant developed differently – in areas that remained stagnant when the father was absent.  Something about the male interaction and bonding with their infant stimulated connections that the mother being present didn’t.

An article in Scientific American (2010), which was looking at this particular phenomenon states, “Research shows that the father-child bond is crucial to a kid’s future success. If a father leaves his offspring to be raised solely by their mother, the children are more likely to suffer emotional troubles, be aggressive, experience addiction issues, or have run-ins with the law…. 

A recent wave of studies are starting to bear fruit: We are now learning that in the first few days after birth, changes occur in the brains of both the dad and the baby, depending on whether the father is around or not.

While it appears the seed of the father-child bond is planted by supplemental neurons in a new dad, it seems a child, on the other hand, may be born with a brain that expects this bond to form in the first place. 

To prove this, a few recent studies turned to a rodent that employs a remarkably familiar nest structure. Degu rats are biparental animals, which means parenting duties are split between the mothers and father. Degu fathers behave just like human fathers. They spend the early days of their pups’ lives helping with basic care, like warming and grooming. And as the pups get older, the degu fathers begin actively playing with their toddler offspring. 

Researchers reasoned that absent fathers in the degu nests would create a true social and emotional void for the offspring, just as a missing dad would impact the dynamic of a human family. They found that if a rodent father remained in the nest with his pups – presumably due to the newfound bond with his offspring – his babies’ brains developed normally. But if the father was removed from the nest shortly after the birth of his pups, his newborns’ brains started to break down at the level of synapses, which are short chemical junctions in the brain that allow brain cells to communicate with each other.

Specifically, the degu pups raised without fathers had fewer synapses in both the orbitofrontal cortex and the somatosensory cortex. Having fewer synapses can alter the way information is processed in the young animals, and would make these brain areas perform abnormally. 

The orbitofrontal cortex is a part of the prefrontal cortex that regulates decision-making, reward, and emotion. Extrapolating from the degu rat experiments, faulty synapses and processing problems in this locale may ultimately explain why we see some kids who grow up without a father in their life wrestle with (sometimes very serious) behavior problems.

These rat studies square with what we already know about the role of touch in neurological development. Having spent the prior weeks with the senses deprived while afloat in amniotic fluid, a newborn animal’s somatosensory cortex is ripe for change. But instead of flourishing in the early postnatal days, the synapses of the somatosensory cortex wither away when degus are raised without a father. As a consequence, the newborns may not process touch as well as they should, which could lead to a number of other developmental problems, like metabolism issues or irregularhormone production.

These animal studies show that a father’s brain is significantly and beautifully intertwined with his offspring’s. For whatever reasons, be they biological, evolutional, or societal, the onus of human parenthood has traditionally fallen on the mother. But the evidence is showing that a father has direct influence on his child’s neurodevelopment – and indeed, his brain can benefit as well.

What a beautiful article from Scientific American, and that ending is almost spiritual.  Juxtapose that next to what feminist Karla Mantilla said above, and you find that her claims (especially the claims that present fathers might make children (not just children… it’s always boys) more violent) are shown to be bull-shit.  These findings are proving the exact opposite, that present fathers contribute to gentler, kinder, more compassionate men for our society.  The noble men, and fearlessly strong in character leaders that our society truly needs.

More recent amazing findings are that the father’s brain changes also, it was seen that fathers gain a expansion of grey matter in areas that are associated with bonding and caring for their infant.  This separate study’s conclusion was,

‘These early father-infant interactions and emotional bonding become the basis of the father-infant attachment, The findings may thus lead to the identification of specific brain regions of potential importance for early father-infant attachment.’

With our oldest son.   Masculine strength & tenderness... so beautiful.

With our oldest son. Masculine strength & tenderness… so beautiful.

About Boys’ Crisis in Society: Teaching System, Prescription Drugs, & the Attack on Masculinity

Our amazing church has been doing a great series on work – its importance and its purpose for us as Christians.  Recently, our Pastor decided to talk about how to raise kids to have good work ethics, and it was during this sermon that he brought up the controversial topic of our boys being “adrift.”

Our Pastor spent a good majority of his sermon on the crisis of boys in our society.  He was careful to point out first and foremost that the responsibility was ultimately on the parents and the church community to prepare our children for successful adulthood, however, he is realistic in taking a good look at the conditions in our world today that are failing to do well for our kids.

Being a parent of a wonderful, active boy, and pregnant with a soon-to-be-due second boy, this really saddens (& maddens) me.  I definitely don’t think “all hope is lost” or anything like that, however, I do believe in presenting information like this so that it can be critically looked at.  Being ignorantly in “bliss” is a lie, it’s our responsibility as parents, teachers, and spiritual parents of kids to care about statistics like these.

His message on boys in particular in our society is based off of the book, Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sachs.  For listening to all our Pastor has to say on this topic,  start at 7:30 minutes. Watch Here!

5 Factors that are causing our boys to be adrift:

1) Teaching Methods (our school system) – kindergarten is now about learning how to read and write instead of playing and exploring.  Boys are not developmentally ready at that age to learn how to read or write – girls, however, are actually developmentally ready to read and write and have a greater desire to please the teacher.  Girls in our school system have an edge from the first year they experience school, and this could be what is causing our boys to carry this with them throughout school (a failure mentality – or simply not being academic).

Its alarming to realize the actual statistics of men in universities compared to women… our Pastor mentioned that the statistics say there are more girls currently, than boys.  At Baylor university, where our Pastor’s boys went, the ratio was actually 10 girls to 1 boy!  This should be nothing new, as it has been noted before by other authors and researchers, but the implications for the future are not good.  More and more men will not be getting college education, even less will go through to obtain their Masters, or any Post Graduate work and achievement.

Competition is hard-wired in men, not to say it isn’t something that some women may also have innately, however, it most often shows up in males.  Our Pastor mentioned how our society has been ridiculously limiting the amount of competition in a young boy’s world.  Even in their young sports (since the 80’s when “self-esteem” became a huge issue), competition is stifled when everyone is given a trophy at the end – regardless of how they performed or even if they actually wanted to be there.  They get a trophy for just showing up (and not even perfect attendance).  The implications of what all this is teaching our kids could be written about in a whole book, however, you can only imagine what it is doing as far as their entitlement feelings go.

The bottom line of his first point was that boys aren’t just lazy or undriven, or as the feminists who created the “The Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks At Them” t-shirts a few years ago… it’s simply that the teaching methods we use today are not suiting them.

2) Prescription Drugs – Again… our teaching system is failing our boys and future men.  The classroom environment calls for them to be able to sit still… for very long amounts of time, starting at the very young age of 5.  Recess has been shortened dramatically, which affects girls as well in their ability to learn and absorb information in the classroom School used to be about exploring and adventure and play.  Boys aren’t wired for that experience of sitting calmly for hours, with less and less recess time allowed.  The drugs our doctors are prescribing really DO calm boys down, and DO make the classroom more manageable for the teacher, but for most boys who don’t actually need the ADD/ADHD medication, it was less about what is best for the student, and more about what is best for the teacher.

This just really gets to me being a mom of boys, that they will have to face this kind of unnecessary hurdle in life.

Our Pastor pointed out a particularly scary fact they’ve found from years of research, that many of these drugs actually damage part of the brain that is involved in drive and motivation, and even create depression in our young men! 

3) Video Games – they are not “all bad” they are great for instilling the competition… however, when it is EXCESSIVE and unmanaged by the parents, it has been proven to damage the same parts of the brain that stimulate drive and ambition, and making them anti-social.  Apparently, its easier to have their social life online or in gaming than creating a social network in person.  Anti-social behavior is a “killer” in the marketplace, boys (and girls) need to be plugged in to relationships and learning – making those brain connections of how to be social creatures, and to know how to respond and react in socially acceptable ways.  The great thing about this point is that parents have total control and can monitor the time allowed to play.

4) Environmental Factors – the main environmental factor affecting our boys (and girls) is plastics.  It used to be that we drank everything out of glass… however, now our children are raised on drinking and eating everything out of plastics from baby bottles, to water bottles, to microwavable plastics and dishes.  They’ve found that when plastic is heated and warm, releases estrogen hormones that are then digested by our kids causing changes in their bodies that past generations didn’t have to deal with.  The estrogens cause our girls to be over-developed (7th grade girls looking like their 18), and our boys to be under-developed (a 7th grade boy looking like he’s under 10).

5) The Devaluation of Masculinity – This was the most important point according to our Pastor, and the one he was most anxious to talk to us about.  Our society has been attacking gender differences for years now, with the ultimate goal of taking away the whole IDEA of being a boy or a girl, of being a man or a woman.  “To be a man, a boy must see a man.”  Boys must be taught how to be men… it is not hard-wired, as many boys   In every enduring culture (that lasted 1,000’s and 1,000’s of years), boys were led into manhood by a community of adult men in the society, and girls were led into womanhood by adult women in the community.  We’ve truly lost this today, and our boys and girls are lacking from it.

The dad in the case of the son, and the mom in the case of the daughter, and the community is involved in the bringing up as well, are responsible for showing them how to be a woman and a man.

He also mentions the dangers that girls are facing, the same author has also done the same kind of extensive research and compiled it into a book called Girls On Edge.  Please watch the rest of the video to hear the girls’ issues, they are important as well.


Praying for Your Husband in His Work


I’m not sure about you, but my husband definitely needs my support and love in the power that comes in praying over him in his work.  He, like most people working full time, deals with a variety of complicated situations ranging from minor every day frustrations to managing several difficult or negative interactions sometimes in a succession right after each other.  He especially encounters negativity daily in a way that can wear a person down to a pulp overtime.  Men (and women too) need someone on their side, praying daily for their heart to remain strong (not hard or cold) in the face of conflict, and still soft (but not weak) when dealing with the broken, young, or old.

He needs to know I’m in his corner praying for him to have wisdom and courage to fight the good fight.

Work is difficult sometimes.  Because of the fall and the curse that fell on us, work has become something difficult… frustrating… and yet, it is also immensely fulfilling in that it gives us purpose.  Our sweet church just did a series on work, and how one’s faith should drastically impact their entire approach to it.

Christians should work with passion, have strong work ethics, have the upmost integrity in their dealings with employers, coworkers, or clients.  They should be exemplary employees, but since we are all human, many get tired of the surrounding atmosphere of a lack of team work, or frustrated with coworkers who don’t pull their own weight.  It can be hard to keep a positive attitude when daily we are reminded of the negative – but as a wife, I want to cover my husband in a blanket of prayer to safeguard his positivity, his serenity, and his purpose in fulfilling his calling at his workplace.

Here are some things to consider when praying over your husband:

  • His role as a provider or co-provider with you – sometimes that task can be especially daunting if your husband doesn’t find purpose or fulfillment in his work.  Pray for his heart and his spirit to be encouraged in knowing the good he is doing
  • His heart to remain close to God – pray for him to keep God at the center of his decisions.  Many men and women simply make God or Christianity something they only partake of on Sundays, instead of allowing it to overflow into every aspect of their life.  Pray he develops closeness to God or continues in his walk with the Lord.
  • Pray for him to be empowered with strength to face his daily grind – pray that he’s safe-guarded from falling into a pit of discouragement, every job gets familiar and starts to lose its sparkle over time, but prolonged discouragement is dangerous to his spirit.
  • Pray for him to have wisdom in every encounter
  • Pray for him to be filled with Joy (the counter-serum to Depression) and to view the world through a lens of gratitude – make your family the safe haven he can retreat to every night in order to refill his cup with warm Joy, and make gratitude a focal point for your family.  Joy + Gratitude makes for the BEST atmosphere and environment for staying positive in life, and will greatly affect your children as they look to you to learn what happiness in life is.

(above image from seattlefreepress.org)

Secrets of Happy Mommies ~ And the Importance of Being CONTENT!

I love being a mom.  I’d say that even with all the housework, tantrums, and even in being pregnant and hormonal – I’m definitely happy the majority of the time, and grateful for this life I’m living & for getting the privilege to be a mommy.

My son loves me so incredibly much – even after having a couple of time outs today, he cuddles up with me at bedtime, throws his arms around me and tells me that I’m “such a sweet mommy,” and that he loves having me for a mom.  *cue the tears*

I tell him all the time how he is a gift from God, and how much I love having him as my son.

Recently I’ve been digging in to the history of feminism, where exactly it came from, who the women really were, and what the main causes for “feminism” were.  It had slowly been revealed to me in reading these women’s stories, and one author even goes so far as to say this right out, that feminism was built on a woman’s discontentment with her life.

If you’re Christian, this should raise a red flag.

As a Christian woman, contentment in our life is something worth learning how to experience – its greater than a mere virtue, its crucial to a happy life in general!  To read the honesty, to see it played out in the lives of these women so long ago in how they let their discontentment rule the day (and their children’s and husband’s lives), shows the value of being content as a mother… as a wife… as a single, if you’re single.  Contentment is part of the Christian life – no matter how hard your life experiences, you must embrace that like Paul, you can do all things in Christ, Jesus.


I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.

I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13


I read this article with glee in seeing that I do/have done pretty much all of these – so yes, they really do work!  Put them into practice and start working on building contentment into your life!

From Parent’s Magazine: 17 Habits of Happy Moms:

1. Ask for help

Happy mothers are not afraid to ask for help from family and friends. While morose, martyred moms miss those out-of-town weekends and movie nights with their husband because they can’t find a babysitter or a willing relative, Very Happy Moms just say, “Please.”

2. Leave the house — now

Have you been outside today? Fresh air, sunlight, and nature are believed to be critical mood enhancers for women, and moms can get this little lift while pushing strollers or swings. Look around that playground. Who looks happy? Go talk to her, right now.

3. Plan some big fun

In my research, I’ve found that VHMs work really hard to find time and money for vacations. Take away the alarm clocks, the homework, the deadlines…bring on the sunsets, the sand castles, the card games. Suddenly you remember why you spend so much time doing these people’s laundry.

4. Get your groove on

You call him “honey,” and he calls you “sugar” — but are you giving each other enough sweetness? Happy moms like getting busy. It’ll put a smile on your face. And it’s nice to have a Very Happy Husband hanging around.

5. Eat, sleep, and be merry

Being sleep-deprived may be a badge of honor for those with young babies, but the sooner you can figure out how to get your eight hours back, the more delirious with joy you will be. Follow that well-deserved rest with a bowl of oatmeal and a banana instead of three cups of coffee and the remains of somebody’s Pop-Tart, and see what happens.

6. Have a six-pack

I thought the main habit of Very Happy Moms might be popping Prozac, but I asked around and not a single happy mother mentioned drugs. Not even margaritas. Sigh. What they did mention, in droves, was exercise. And of course they’re right: Just about equal to how good regular exercise makes us feel is how insidiously the gloom creeps in when we weasel out of it. Fortunately, to a mom, exercise can feel almost self-indulgent — after all, you’re doing something for yourself, in the company of other grown-ups. And that’s part of the buzz.

7. One is not the loneliest number

Carving out time away from the kids is crucial, whether it’s poker night with the girls or just a long bath with a magazine.

8. Be nice to thy neighbor

You would think that moms would be tapped out in the giving department. But most happy moms make doing things for others a regular part of their lives, whether it’s baking a lasagna for a family with a new baby or offering a ride to an elderly friend. Remember: Your helpfulness is another deposit in the karma bank.

9. Love the one you’re with

The happiest moms don’t compare and compete. Neither they, nor their kids, nor their cars, nor their houses have to be the smartest, cutest, newest, or neatest. The green-eyed monster has chewed up the happiness of many a mom. Around A.D. 89 the philosopher Epictetus offered advice for Very Happy Moms: To be content is greater than riches, so love what you have.

10. Hang with your gal pals

Very Happy Moms have close mom friends. Knowing that others are in the trenches with you is key. From the super-petty issues to the deadly serious crises, I don’t know how I would have made it without my friend Theresa. Over the years, she has patiently listened to long stories involving extremely important topics, such as Pull-Ups, car pools, and her favorite: the vice principal of the middle school.

11. Plan a little fun

Very Happy Moms sometimes buy themselves flowers, just in case no one else has thought of it. They meet their husbands for lunch, get a facial, or have the car detailed just because.

12. Play with the rules

One of the best things about being the person who makes the rules is bending them. With each of my kids, I allow certain treats that have a slightly wicked feel. With my 4-year-old daughter, it’s taking a bubble bath with our miniature dachshund. With my teenage son, it’s stopping for really expensive sushi on the way home from a doctor’s appointment. Very Happy Moms know when to turn the mundane into magic.

13. Pick and choose

Separate the siblings and enjoy some one-on-one time with each kid. No interrupting, no juggling, no sibling rivalry. What joy!

14. Look ahead

When your happy buzz threatens to slip away altogether, remind yourself that “This too shall pass.” It works both ways: Either you get through the terrible stuff by knowing it’s not forever, or you put it into perspective by reminding yourself that the good stuff — the sticky kisses, the cute little tutus — will also soon be gone.

15. Forgive and forget

We all want to live up to our parenting ideals and do everything right all the time, and here we are, losing our tempers, being inconsistent, and bribing kids with candy on a daily basis. Unfortunately, all the time you spend brooding and punishing yourself for this is more time when your best self is not there for your kids. Very Happy Moms know that even the best of us have days from hell. They let those days go, and get on with exercising and vacation planning.

16. Pee in your pants laughing

Kids love to see their moms smile (mine actually comment on it, if that tells you anything), and research is starting to show that just crinkling your eyes, turning up the corners of your mouth, and laughing can produce the happy brain chemical serotonin. At least it will make you look really ridiculous, which will make your kids laugh. And laughing really hard with your kids is one of the best Very Happy Mom secrets of all.

17. Cuddle up

Though I consider myself a Somewhat Cranky Mom, I share this with the Very Happy Moms I surveyed: I have a hug habit. “Hugs and snugs and snoodles” is how my 4-year-old, Jane, and I refer to our smooching sessions. Happy moms cuddle their kids every chance they get, which is smart since those chances diminish through grade school and then disappear altogether by the time your former cuddler gets her driver’s license. So take Janis Joplin’s parenting advice: Get it while you can.