For 99.875% of modern human existence, women tended the village and the home while men did dangerous things for long periods of time. And for the past 50 years, our academics and planners have pretended the entire history of our species didn’t matter.
The academics and planners are killing us.
I just looked at a list of 286 quotes about fathers. It is a modern list. For every positive quote about fathers, the list contains eight negative quotes.
Don’t look at that list. The authors of the quotes were mostly literary hacks with an axes to grind. People who blame their failings and shortcomings and frustrations on their parents. Terminal losers who end up homeless or, worse, working at CNN.
Next, you might be wondering why these losers hate their fathers. Some of them probably had terrible fathers. People are not rational, so growing up with a bad father will probably taint your view of all fathers. So I’ll give the people who had terrible fathers a break.
But only a bit of a break. As Epictetus said, you are entitled to a father, but no one is entitled to a good father. The authors of those nasty, anti-father quotes should ask themselves if reading a bad book means all books are bad.
Wait ‘til your father gets home.
And it’s unlikely that every modern writer had a terrible father. It’s more likely that those writers spent a good deal of time listening to NPR and reading academic journals. Because NPR and academic journals teach us two pervasive, permanent myths:
- We’re all helpless victims of some evil system.
- White men like our fathers built that evil system.
A father’s role is also wildly misunderstood. For example, I read that a lot of women complain that their husbands (or the fathers of their children) don’t assume the role of disciplinarian. But fathers were never the primary disciplinarians among humans. Mothers are primary disciplinarians. Fathers are the disciplinarians of last resort. When dad has to get involved, there’s hell to pay. Thus, the terrible warning so many of us remember from our youths: “Wait ‘til your father gets home.”
Think back 100 years. Now, think back 40,000 years. In 1918, men worked more than 40 hours a week, usually in back-breaking, dangerous jobs. Divorce and abandonment were unusual, but there were many single-female households. Because men died in horrible workplace accidents. Or wars.
And that was true 40,000 years ago, too.
Mothers, on the other hand, didn’t work outside the home 100 years ago. Nor 40,000 years ago when humans first showed up on multiple continents. For 99.875% of human history, people were content with the biological duties of the sexes. Men hunted, protected, and explored. Women nurtured, preserved, and raised the young.
And it worked.
In 40,000 years, humans spread to every continent on the planet, mastered flight, harnessed fire and electricity, and conquered thousands of diseases. Life expectancies quadrupled. Life got better.
But something happened about 50 years ago. Things started getting worse, not better. In America, crime soared. As we standardized education, students learned less. As we homogenized sex roles, men and women alike grew less satisfied with life, with the opposite sex, and even with their own sex.
And, somehow, those nasty academics and NPR hosts fixed the blame for our dissatisfaction on fathers.
For father’s day, forget the cards and the gifts. If you really want to make Dads happy, remember what dads are for. And what moms are for. And why we have all the wonderful things we have.
We have wonderful things when we do what we were put on earth to do. And that means men being men and women being women. You can start by watching this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX2ep5fCJZ8 Dr. Jordan B. Peterson on The Meaning of Life for Men