In a tweet Sunday, the Canadian psychologist wished his 1.22 million followers a “Happy Father’s Day” and linked to a Washington Examiner op-ed headlined “The future of men and marriage is bleak.” The writer, Suzanne Venker, a relationship coach known as the Feminist Fixer, argued that “nearly all” of America’s problems are due to a lack of dads.
Happy Father's Day: https://t.co/VLjmwWxZBD
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) June 16, 2019
According to Venker, the problem isn’t “deadbeat” men, but rather women – specifically the “empowered” type. She blamed decades of feminist activism for high rates of divorce and single motherhood.
“Marriage began to be viewed not as a given but as a possible accompaniment to a woman’s otherwise more important and exciting independent life — and men went along for the ride. What choice did they have? Then, sometime later, America upped the ante with a full-scale war on men and, more recently, with an attack on men’s very nature,” she said. “Men and boys have heard this message loud and clear, and as a result have stepped back or stopped trying.”
JP, are you with me?
Venker warned that the sins of the mother are passed from generation to generation.
“Boys are failing to grow up and make something of themselves because they lack fathers who can help them do just that,” she said. “They lack fathers because America has made it clear that men are superfluous and even dangerous to women and children.”
The result has been a crisis of “fatherlessness,” Venker continued, which is why Jordan Peterson has “become a lifeline to a lost generation of men.”
“But it will be our loss in the end,” she predicted, speaking as a woman.
“It has been 50 years since feminists first began to make the claim that women don’t need men, and by every statistical measure we are worse off because of it,” she said. “How much longer are we willing to stay silent?”
Why Jordan Peterson defends Father’s Day
As Venker noted, cultural vilification of men has only escalated in recent years. It it amid the mainstreaming of ideas like the “patriarchy” and “toxic masculinity,” that Peterson has emerged as an anti-feminist icon.
But conservative intellectuals have long faulted liberal elites for refusing the promote the family values that they generally practice and benefit from. Political scientist Charles Murray made the case at length in his 2012 book “Coming Apart.”
Some on the left have copped to the problem. Writing for the Atlantic in 2013, Emma Green attributed the left’s silence on family issues to a broader skepticism of tradition and an emphasis on state-sponsored solutions to social problems. She advocated a middle path.
“Experts believe the rising number of single mothers among lower- to middle-class women will create new challenges for those women, their children, and their communities, but the intertwined history of left-leaning politics and feminism makes it difficult for leaders to call out the problem,” she said.
According to an analysis of Census data by the Pew Research Center last year, about one-third of U.S. children lived with an unmarried parent in 2017, more than twice the shared as in 1968. Two-thirds of those cases, or 21 percent of kids, live without their father.