"Madonna Wishes Herself a 'Happy Father's Day' as a #MomDad"

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

So reports Tyler O'Neil (PJMedia). Well, Madonna's most well-known son is said to have not quite had a father in the conventional sense …. Of course, look what happened to him.


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  1. Heh.

    Substantively: one does not wish oneself a happy Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. One’s children do that, or, if the children are particularly small, the children’s other parent does so. Divorce does not change this; aside from the circumstances in which the other parent is downright awful or abusive, a custodial parent gives their children a tremendous gift when he or she actively supports a relationship with the non-custodial parent.

    1. Oh, are you actually sticking around now? Welcome back, and congratulations on the wedding

      1. At least occasionally.

        Thank you!

    2. Substantively: one does not wish oneself a happy Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

      That observation may be dated. People increasingly call themselves scholars (including some professors associated with quasi-legal blogs), append esquire to their own names, and substitute myself for me.

      What do you think of the lonely person who says “Happy Birthday” to herself at the end of the day during which no one else remembered?

  2. I have to critisize the linked story (not sure if you meant to endorse it’s views on this point) in it’s unfounded hostility to the suggestion that single moms *can* be perfectly good parents on their own and that’s dad’s may not be necessary.

    For the moment let’s ignore the fact that the primary reason that children with involved dads are so much more likely to succeed is simply the fact that the rich, educated and responsible people are much more likely to stick together (or at least nearby) to raise a child. Suppose this really was causation, would that justify the kind of harsh criticism given here?

    No, because we just don’t believe being proud of a certain parenting choice warrants criticism because it’s not the statistically best choice along some particular metric. Or do you think non-tiger moms who tweet their pride in that are equally deserving of criticism? What about a parent who chooses not to impoverish themselves by paying for an ivy league education to give their child a slight leg up but proudly defends their choice only to pay for a state university. Do they deserve this kind of criticism?

    No, because we don’t think parents owe their children all possible advantages, just love and good treatment.

    So focusing on this one kind of choice that happens to align with certain traditional values issues and suggest it’s about something else is pretty unpersuasive.

    1. Just to clarify dads aren’t *necessary* in the same sense moms are not. Even though they may add something it is possible to perfectly satisfactorily raise a happy successful child without them even if it may be harder.

    2. My understanding of the data is that (1) it is a matter of causation – controlling for race, income, parental education, etc., one sees these effects; and (2) the effects are enormous, much larger than almost any other parenting decision.

      If you do something that means your kid is five times as likely to wind up in prison (and it’s not that your kid goes from a one in a million chance to a five in a million chance), are we wrong as a society to level criticism?

      These days, over 40% of kids are born out of wedlock, almost a million babies are aborted every year, huge numbers are born addicted to opiods, but we freak out at mothers who don’t breastfeed their kids for at least six months. We intuitively understand that some parenting decisions harm children, but have deemed the ones that harm them the worst (e.g., single parenthood, abortion) to be socially acceptable.

      That doesn’t make for good parenting, does not help children, and silences the pain of children who are subjected to this. Not many kids are going to come out and say that they were hurt by the socially-acceptable decisions their parents made. So all we have are studies of imprisonment and drug use, which overwhelmingly show that unmarried parenthood is not a good idea.

    3. The truly sad part is wishing oneself Happy Father’s or Mother’s Day. I didn’t wish myself either even though I was a single father of two great kids.

  3. You need only look at the screwed up lives of people pushing the opposite mindset to know that children generally are best raised with an actual mother and father and perhaps the extended family as well. And by actual I don’t mean the kind that thinks they can transform back and forth between either role by clicking their ruby slippers to change their biological sex.

    1. Yes, Madonna is proof of deep sociological truths.

    2. And by actual I don’t mean the kind that thinks they can transform back and forth between either role by clicking their ruby slippers to change their biological sex.

      We knew you meant the kind who are wife-beaters, alcoholics, religious kooks, drug addicts, homeschoolers, child-beaters, etc. . . . you know, the “regular” kind.

  4. Now we can tell her not to preach.

  5. I happen to believe that President Obama was the classiest acts to occupy the Oval Office in my lifetime. Intelligence is mostly genetic (I think) but intellectual curiosity, civility, ambition and courtesy are learned behaviors.

    President Obama is the son of – for the most part – a single mother with some help from grandparents. Agent Orange, on the other hand …

    1. Thanx for the great comic relief.

    2. ‘some help’ is quite the understatement. After parading him from paramour to paramour and being absent a large chunk of the time preoccupied with her career, Obama’s mummy basically ditched him at the tender age of 10 and then again permanently around 14-15 to jetset around the world pursuing her empowered savior complex. I doubt even the most earnest defenders of the extraneous father theory would openly defend this kind of parenting. The rumor is years later he delayed seeing her on her deathbed due to pent up animosity, this is just a rumor given. Obama’s life trajectory makes it clear it is defined by a tortured dichotomy of alternating resentment against and need to be accepted by his absentee parents, especially his daddy, whom by comparison to mommy is one of the few ways she can actually look like a good parent. Regardless of whether you like how he turned into a social justice avenger its not exactly the healthiest environment for a young child would you say?

      1. Children don’t get to choose their parents or their hometowns.

        For children with losers for parents, or those born in shambling backwaters, overcoming those obstacles can be part of becoming strong, accomplished, educated adults.

        Society should provide a strong lifeline — education, support, a ticket out of a bad situation — for children whose parents or hometowns are losers.

  6. “is said to have not quite had” my head hurts

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