Mike Rowe: U.S. facing ‘epidemic of fatherlessness’
TV host Mike Rowe said Tuesday that guns and video games are merely a symptom to America’s bullying problem and that fatherless homes and lazy parenting are the real contributors to violence.
Mr. Rowe, who is known for his work on the Discovery Channel “Dirty Jobs” and CNN “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” wrote in a Facebook post that bullying is a “symptom of a society that seems to value fatherhood less and less.”
He shared a list of statistics showing that suicide, homelessness, behavioral disorders and violent tendencies occur more regularly in children who come from fatherless homes.
“Is it really so surprising to learn that a majority of bullies also come from fatherless homes?” he asked. “As do a majority of school shooters? As do a majority of older male shooters?”
Mr. Rowe continued, “I know this is controversial, and I’m sorry to inject an uncomfortable element into a post about a ‘feel-good’ show, but I think it’s important to consider the possibility that this thing we like to call ‘an epidemic of bullying,’ is really an ‘epidemic of fatherlessness.’ I also think it’s reasonable to conclude that our society is sending a message to men of all ages that is decidedly mixed. Think about it. On the one hand, we’re telling them to ‘man-up’ whenever the going gets tough. On the other, we’re condemning a climate of ‘toxic masculinity’ at every turn. If that strikes you as confusing, imagine being a fourteen-year old boy with no father figure to help you make sense of it.”
Mr. Rowe said society is falsely blaming issues such as guns and violent video games instead of recognizing the deeper cultural problem.
“[T]he bullying crisis is real, but the root cause has nothing to do with video games, or guns, or social media, or rock and roll, or sugary drinks, or any of the other boogymen currently in fashion,” he wrote. “Nor is it a function of some new chromosome unique to the current crop of kids coming of age. Kids are the same now as they were a hundred years ago — petulant, brave, arrogant, earnest, frightened, and cocksure. It’s the parents who have changed. It’s the parents who have put their own happiness above the best interests of their kids. It’s the parents who actually believe ‘the village’ will raise their kids, when the village is profoundly incapable of doing anything of the sort.”
Mr. Rowe’s comments come on the heels of Warren Farrell’s newly released book, “The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It,” which shows that boys without fathers fare worse than boys with fathers on more than 70 different metrics.
“They’re much more likely to drink, much more likely to do drugs, much more likely to be depressed, much more likely to be suicidal, much more likely to be violent, much more likely to be in prison,” Mr. Farrell said. “And they’re also much more likely to commit mass shootings.”
The book was published one month after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and teachers were killed.
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