Since it is far better to give than receive, this Father's Day I shall bestow a special gift to my children: a divorce from their mother.
Don't worry about my soon-to-be ex-wife as she'll will make out, too, so to speak. I'll be finding her a lesbian partner.
Before you start thinking that this is some dirty middle-age man fantasy (though it does sound like a terrific premise for a Fox sitcom), note that I'm making the decision based on ideas from -- gasp -- another woman. She is Pamela Paul, a journalist and author of groundbreaking books on pornography (she says it's bad!), marriage (it's difficult!) and the business of parenting (companies feed on our insecurity to sell us overpriced, unnecessary stuff!).
In her article "Are Fathers Necessary?" appearing in the July/August issue of The Atlantic magazine, Paul cites a single scientific journal article that compiled data from several other studies to determine that my fellow fathers and I bring nothing special to the parenting table. She reaches this conclusion because the study she uses found that children of single moms do better in school and in life than those of single dads. The data she uses also finds that lesbian parents tend to be more emotionally involved with their children than those of traditional husband-and-wife couples, who tend to raise little ones who have more behavior problems, less interest in school and, as adults, give less credibility to the findings of questionable scientific studies.
"The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there's nothing objectively essential about his contribution (to parenting)," Paul writes. "The good news is, we've gotten used to him."
This pronouncement came as a relief to Ms. Paul's husband. Meanwhile, their children have been spotted pleading for asylum outside the home of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
With me soon to be out of the fathering game, the question is what am I going to do with myself. With my services apparently no longer needed to teach my offspring how to use proper breath control while burping the alphabet or how to correctly position their hands to maximize the volume of armpit flatulence sounds, I'll have a load of free time.
The Atlantic doesn't offer me or other fathers any help here. The same issue has another article, titled "The End of Men," that says that we males are losing ground everywhere: in the classroom, in the workplace, in possession time of the TV remote. We don't fit in anywhere anymore because, out of the goodness and/or laziness of our saturated-fat clogged hearts, women now are setting the rules. They are apparently breaking them as well, as the article notes rising rates of violent crimes committed by women. In essence, they're acting like men when men were men and women were known as the fairer, gentler sex.
Maybe that was their gender's whole ploy from the beginning. Women's suffrage, feminism, ABC Afterschool Specials like Free to be … You and Me -- on the surface, they were a call for equality among the sexes, but bubbling underneath, they may have been a nefarious scheme to take over traditional male dominance in vital categories such as having a shorter life span and more cell space on death row. If nothing else, this approach has certainly led to women kicking our tails in the competition to write more outrageous articles for major media publications. Well played, ladies, very well played.
That's it! Once I become free from my chains of fatherhood, I'll be able to fully pursue my next full-time role – editor of a once credible, now irrelevant magazine.
Anyone know if there's an opening over at Ms.?
If you are a lesbian or thinking of becoming one and you would like to replace a father in an otherwise heterosexual family, please send your applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell her I sent you.
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