Kathleen Parker: Don't celebrate the new diminished role of fathers in families

Published: Tuesday, June 4 2013 2:18 p.m. MDT

The ladies worked earnestly to find positive roles for their hirsute colleagues, noting that men can be useful in family planning, child care sharing, working as part of a team. Although a man's presence was implicit in the hypothetical household, I waited futilely for emphasis to shift to the importance of fathers to their children's well-being. Father, it seems, has become the new F-bomb. Oh, we'll say "F#$&" in a 30-rock second, but "father"? The term, along with the concept, seems to have receded from popular usage, displaced by the vernacular of drive-by impregnators, the inane "baby daddy."

Women, indeed, may not need men, though they seem to want them — at least until the estrogen ebbs. Women have become more self-sufficient (a good thing) and, given that they still do the lion's share of housework and child rearing, why, really, should they invite a man to the clutter?

Because, simply, children need a father. That not all get a good one is no argument against what is true and irrevocable and everlasting. Deep in the marrow of every human child burbles a question far more profound than those currently occupying coffee klatches: Who is my daddy?

And sadly these days, where is he?

Kathleen Parker's email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

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