While voicing respect for his confrere on the fatherhood front, Louv decries Blankenhorn’s veneration of what he calls the “Good Family Man"--the “traditionally masculine” father--at the expense of what Blankenhorn terms the “superfluous” or “new” father.To the dismay of Louv and others, Blankenhorn portrays this “unnecessary” father figure as weak, genderless and lacking in any central social role.“Within the home,” Blankenhorn wrote in a major policy paper, “fatherhood in our generation has completed its 200-year march from the center to the periphery.”Louv, for one, deems this “attack on the new father” as “absolutely gratuitous, because we need all the fathers we can get.” Polarizing the discussion of fatherhood by posing a sole paradigm--that is, the “Good Family Man"--leads nowhere, Louv said.“It’s offensive to a lot of fathers to set up a single standard,” he said.
“Attributing all these pathologies to the fact that fathers aren’t there--well, it doesn’t seem that simple to me,” said University of Oklahoma history professor Robert Griswold, author of “Fatherhood in America: A History” (Basic Books, 1993).“If the argument is, is a child better off with two parents? “But lots of these families are in deep trouble before the father leaves.”James A.
We are in uncharted waters.”With his book, his think tank and his powerful arsenal of facts about fatherhood, Blankenhorn has taken the helm as de facto navigator.
“No society has ever experienced what we are experiencing.
This void in values, along with the rise in single parenthood and the “volitional” absence of too many fathers, is culturally unprecedented, said Blankenhorn, his voice bleak.
“And the consequences for society have grown so apparent that it is very hard to pretend that there is not an elephant in the room.“But there is an elephant in the room. “The crisis we have today is not simply an absence of fathers, but an absence of ideals and ideas for fathers,” he said.