It’s a presumption shared by other books on my shelf, including Robert Wilder’s Daddy Needs a Drink, Neal Pollack’s Alternadad, and the 2004 collection The Bastard on the Couch, editor Daniel Jones’ sequel to a mom-centred volume titled The Bitch in the House. What they all share is a devotion to the task of documenting our labour-intensive, fully-scheduled and emotionally-invested relationship with our kids today, the parenting magazines-playdates-and-soccer-practice-filled reality that defines middle-class family life, and has since around the time Bill Clinton took office.
(I’m trying to find the connection between these two events. I haven’t found it yet but I’m certain that when I do it’ll illuminate some heretofore overlooked social and cultural fulcrum of Pearl Harbor-like proportions.)
…fatherhood isn’t just passing on your taste in cool bands to your kids, or getting to have ice cream in the fridge all the time, at least for a certain small but vocal demographic who can’t believe that they’re someone’s dad. That’s the key to all these books, as summed up in the title of the Jones collection and its predecessor, both of which seem to regard mom and dad from the perspective of a sullen, rebellious teenager – the bitch and the bastard who think they’re in charge.
Much depends on whether African families adopt the Eurasian marriage system, i.e., monogamy, long-lasting marital bonds, and high parental investment in children (including high paternal investment). To date, despite the efforts of missionaries and government authorities, there has been little change in this direction.
African men, in particular, are reluctant to assume a more active parental role (…)
As Africans migrate to other parts of the world, they tend to recreate the African marriage system in their host countries by using local people and institutions as “surrogate kin” Draper describes the situation in England, where young African couples often place their children in foster homes.
Ironically, when infertile Western couples go to Africa to adopt, as is increasingly the case, the adopted child evokes a degree of parental attachment that it would not normally evoke from its natural parents—even in the best of circumstances.
NSFW: “A nigga will say some sh*t like, ‘I take care of my kids.; You’re supposed to, you dumb motherf*cker! What kind of ignorant sh*t is that?”