Lost gen­er­a­tion of un­moth­ered kids

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - MI­RANDA DEVINE

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL Women’s Day might be good for power break­fasts, but it is an em­bar­rass­ing anachro­nism whose time has passed. If we re­ally are into gen­der equal­ity, we can’t keep em­pow­er­ing women at the ex­pense of men, fam­i­lies and our own ful­fil­ment.

The war on mas­culin­ity now has en­trenched wide­spread in­jus­tices for boys and men, from school fail­ure to fall­ing univer­sity en­rol­ment to an epi­demic of male de­spair and sui­cide.

This hurts every­one be­cause women need in­tact men to love for our species to sur­vive.

Hav­ing achieved all the equal­ity Western women want, and then some, fem­i­nism has mu­tated into ever more de­struc­tive at­tacks on men, on the in­tact nu­clear fam­ily, on women who be­lieve their great­est role is be­ing a mother, or on any­one who sees women as more than just non-men.

So that on Fri­day, when Chan­nel Ten chat show host Jes­sica Rowe made the an­nounce­ment that she was quit­ting the daily grind to spend more time with her chil­dren, it was no sur­prise when the at­tacks came thick and fast.

She must have been pushed out by Ten man­age­ment, be­cause no women in her right mind would put chil­dren ahead of ca­reer, was the gen­eral tenor.

But Rowe’s mes­sage could not have been clearer. “My fam­ily need me. “I want to be a more present mother for my girls, Al­le­gra and Giselle,” she said on air.

“They need their mum. I want to be there in the morn­ings for them, to take them to school. It is some­thing that I need to do, it is as sim­ple as that.”

Good fa­ther­ing is just as im­por­tant, but it’s dif­fer­ent. One statis­tic demon­strates just how im­por­tant: al­most all the school shoot­ers in the United States come from fa­ther­less fam­i­lies.

But Rowe knows, no mat­ter how sup­port­ive her Chan­nel 9 news­reader hus­band Peter Over­ton is, her daugh­ters need their mother.

Over­ton, who is also the hands-on fa­ther of their daugh­ters Al­le­gra, 11, and Giselle, 8, was com­pelled to tweet in de­fence of his wife’s de­ci­sion last week.

“Jess and I have had some long talks about this and the bot­tom line is our lit­tle girls need their mum. For break­fast, for the school run, for the fam­ily.

“Our daugh­ters Al­le­gra and Giselle were in­volved in the dis­cus­sion. This morn­ing, when I asked 12- year- old Al­le­gra how she felt that Mum was go­ing to be home in the morn­ings … she said ‘ I am a bil­lion times happy’ … and that says it all.” That re­ally does say it all. It’s a sad in­dict­ment of where fem­i­nism has taken us that a mother has to be em­bar­rassed and on the de­fen­sive over a de­ci­sion to put the wel­fare of her chil­dren first.

If you’ve spent any time with chil­dren, you will know that they prob­a­bly need you most at the very time they think they don’t need you at all. At pu­berty, when they are ex­plor­ing the wider world and prop­erly re­belling against their par­ents, is when they need to know you’re watch­ing in the back­ground, that you know where they are and who they’re with, that you are around and re­cep­tive at the very mo­ments they de­cide you’re worth con­sult­ing, that you care enough to be their un­seen safety net.

That’s what Jes­sica Rowe has de­cided to pro­vide to her chil­dren as they nav­i­gate a world made more fraught and con­fus­ing for girls by the very fem­i­nism which pur­ports to cel­e­brate and em­power them but re­ally just cul­ti­vates neu­roses and an un­earned sense of en­ti­tle­ment. So, good on Jes­sica Rowe. Chil­dren grow up fast. Ca­reers can be re­claimed after pe­ri­ods of ab­sence, and who, on their deathbed, val­ues ex­tra episodes of Stu­dio Ten hosted by Rowe over con­fi­dent, happy prog­eny, equipped to be good par­ents them­selves?

Good mother­ing is some­thing so­ci­ety used to ap­plaud and sup­port for ob­vi­ous, self-serv­ing rea­sons.

Now it is seen as a shame­ful waste of fe­male tal­ent, best out­sourced to child­care cen­tres.

What fu­ture is there for a so­ci­ety of emas­cu­lated men no woman wants to mate with, of mis­er­able non-males ap­ing what men used to be, who no man finds sex­u­ally arous­ing — or a bunch of un­moth­ered chil­dren grow­ing up neu­rotic and rud­der­less?

It is up to moth­ers of boys to de­fend the once stronger sex against ir­ra­tional ef­forts to crush the frag­ile male ego, colonise male do­mains and dis­par­age in­nate fe­male de­sires.

Stu­dio 10 co

host Jes­sica Rowe, who is step­ping down to spend more time with her school-aged

daugh­ters. Pic­ture: Tim

Hunter

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