Poor kid

To steal a quote from our good friend the Captain, "we don't need to stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiking fathers!":
Spurred on by the profound regret of an older friend who'd searched high and low for the perfect father only to run out of time, I decided to take control of my own fate. Not for me waiting for a knight in shining armour, while my eggs, already in short supply, dwindled. 
At first I considered a sperm donor clinic, but then a serendipitous meeting presented a different route to my dream of single parenthood. When a strapping young man of 21 happened to cross my path and give me a second look, I had a lightbulb moment. 
What if, in the heat of the moment and emboldened by alcohol, we found ourselves having unprotected sex? What if I didn't spell out the risks of pregnancy? And what if he said he didn't want anything to do with the resulting child? Then all the better.
I really wasn't interested in a long-term relationship, and as an independent woman with a career in the financial sector, I felt I would do a far superior job of raising a baby on my own, thank you. 
Now 42, I have a beautiful four-year-old daughter, Hannah, and am happier than I could ever have imagined. There are no regrets. [Didact: Uh, not for YOU, maybe- but did you ever stop to think about what your daughter might think?]
Some will criticise my single-mindedness or say I've deprived my child of a loving father. 
But what of the one in three marriages that end in divorce? At least Hannah is spared the painful decline of her parents' relationship. 
Gentlemen, some of you may remember that I wrote a while back about how you'd be nucking futs to have sex with British women. Actually, I wrote it not quite a year ago, while sitting in a rather nice apartment in London on a cold and dreary night that I had spent watching those very same British women out on the streets of the city under the mistaken assumption that they were God's gift to men.

The problem with this particular story is that there are no good guys. The little girl, Hannah, was the product of a mother with severe baby rabies and a father who was perfectly happy to be a deadbeat dad. And that little girl is the person that I really feel sorry for in this whole sordid episode.

She is going to grow up with a hamster-addled mother, and without the benefits of a strong father figure to teach her the difference between right and wrong, to provide the immutable and final word of authority, and to serve as the bulwark of protection between her innocence and the wider world.

I am not exaggerating about the mother's hamstering, either. Take a look at these wheel-spinning quotes farther down in the article:
[T]he nuclear family is in sharp decline: we have gay couples having babies, transgender parents, 'blended' families with biological and stepchildren. The new generation is much more open-minded. [...]
I have a strong personality and not many men can handle that. I can't stand shrinking violets; they need to have backbone. 
It was never my intention to trick Ben, but did I point that out sex was risky? Did I mention I wasn't on the Pill? Did I try to warn him I could get pregnant? No, I didn't. [...]
Mum actually said she was proud of me for 'going out and getting what I wanted on my own'. There was no admonishment about not being married or fears over my child not having a father. [...]
She is now four and we are very happy together. There are no rowing parents for her to contend with. It is all very peaceful. She has never asked about her daddy, but I know the time will come when she does. I haven't planned exactly what I will say, but it will be age appropriate. 
Meanwhile, I don't worry about Hannah lacking a male role model. We are sociable people and have lots of male friends. 
Just... wow, man. If this isn't dropping the jaws of every guy reading this- and causing an epic case of testicular shrinkage among the same- then we are truly past the point of no return.

What you are witnessing there is a woman's selfishness in full flow. And it is not a pretty picture.

Essentially, a Strong Independent Woman decided that she was SO strong and independent and womanly that "ain't NO man ever gonna tame that!". 

Ms. Robertshaw may well have wanted a baby in her very late thirties and wanted to fulfill her biological imperative. All well and good there. As long as she knew what she was getting into, and as long as she and her child's father were both on board with the idea of having children, such a decision would have been entirely between them and nobody else would have had any business claiming otherwise.

What Ms. Robertshaw did instead was essentially to dupe a man into acting as an unwitting sperm donor.

It actually says quite a lot in Ms. Robertshaw's favour that she did not then use her pregnancy to imprison the child's father in "18 years of baby jail". The guy did not deserve that kind of punishment- not for a woman who looks like, um, this:

However, the person I feel the worst for is not Ms. Robertshaw- she got into this on her own, of her own free will. It isn't the guy she duped- he got off quite lightly, all things considered.

It's the little girl.

Thanks to her mother's selfishness, she will now have to grow up without the steady, stabilising influence of a strong and loving father. Instead, she will have only the example of her mother to follow.

What does this mean for little girls as they grow up? As it happens, even the most progressive among us would be forced to admit that the results are not pretty:
Females who lose their fathers to divorce or abandonment seek much more attention from men and had more physical contact with boys their age than girls from intact homes. They also tend to be more critical of their fathers and the opposite sex. These females constantly seek refuge for their missing father and as a result there is a constant need to be accepted by men from whom they aggressively seek attention (Grimm-Wassil, 1994, p. 147). 
Girls with absent fathers grow up without the day-by-day experience of attentive, caring and loving interaction with a man. Without this continuous sense of being valued and loved, a young girl does not thrive, but rather is stunted in her emotional development. The coping mechanisms that adolescent girls whose parents are divorced develop in response to the absence of their father include the following (Lohr, Legg, Mendell, and Reimer, 1989, p. 352) 
Studies show that females with absent fathers often have diminished cognitive, development; poor school performance, lower achievement test scores and lower IQ scores (Grimm-Wassil, 1994). Cognitive development affects how children perceive and interpret the information they are presented, thus making it difficult for them to excel if cognitive development is impeded.
Ms. Robertshaw might somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat and raise a perfectly healthy, happy, normal daughter. But what are the odds of that happening? A strong-willed mother in her late fifties by the time her daughter is fully grown; the lack of a compensating strong and authoritative father figure; and a culture that is rapidly going to seed- I would say that little girl would probably have a higher probability of winning the next PowerBall lottery.

For women, this story is a sobering reminder of what the responsibility of parenthood- especially motherhood- means. It does not mean having children "just because I feel like it". It does not mean succumbing so completely to baby-rabies as to abandon reason, ethics, and plain human decency. And it absolutely does not mean forcing a little girl to grow up without a father.

For men, the story is a stark lesson in the importance of being very very careful about where you let Mr. Happy seek "aid and comfort". If you're dating a childless woman in her late thirties or early forties, and she has at least some friends in her immediate circle who have children and appear to be happy, then do as the old saying goes: "Don't be a fool- wrap your tool".

Or, as Animal might say- don't stick it in Crazy.

Otherwise, you could find yourself suddenly confronted with the prospect of being a dad when you least expect it, when you're least prepared for it, and when  your worth as a man is still more potential than reality. There is no way out of that baby jail once you're in it, short of abandoning your child and fleeing to another country- and that, in the eyes of society and your fellow men, simply makes you a coward.

Better by far never to find yourself facing such a horrible fate in the first place.


  1. Oddly enough, whether the kid grows up more or less normally may depend on whether the woman has brothers or a father, herself, to provide the male influence.

    1. True. But that only goes so far.

      My kid sister has both a strong father and a significantly older brother, plus male cousins on both sides. And yet she self-identifies as a feminist- with tatoos, piercings, and short funky-coloured hair. This, despite a very tight-knit family, two quite traditional parents, and my quite vocal disapproval of her aesthetic choices. She's quite normal and lovable in most respects, but she went to a VERY liberal college; as a result, she's more than a little off-the-wall.

      With a strong-willed mother and no father figure to balance it all out, I wonder what that little girl in the article will turn out to be. I can only hope and pray that she'll be all right.

  2. Well, contemplate the daughter who was, either actually or in effect, Heather of the Heather has two Mommies set. She grew up to excoriate and detest the notion of gay marriage. Environment matters, but genetics matter too. The kid may well turn out okay.


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