Let's end this obsession that traditional mum-and-dad parenting is best for children. Single parents and same-sex couples also raise happy, contented kids.
It's time to fight back for the non-nuclear family.
She argues that although the nuclear family is a good way to raise children, so too are homosexual and single parent families. She thinks it is hurtfully judgemental to think of the nuclear family as a better option.
The problem is that what she is really claiming is that fatherless families should be accepted as an equally valid model of family life as those with fathers. And if men and women really came to believe such a thing, family life would rapidly deteriorate.
What's one of the most significant things that hold family life together? A marriage is much more likely to last if the wife believes that the presence of the husband is critical for the well-being of the family. Typically these days that's a belief more likely to be found amongst middle-class and upper middle-class women. Such women are a bit more ambitious for themselves and their children and so they make more of an effort to keep dad involved in family life.
This is the bottom line: if you want stable, prosperous, secure suburbs then you need to keep dad involved in family life. And you keep dad involved by recognising that fathers are critical to the well-being of families. Which then means you cannot advocate the idea that same sex or single parent families are to be thought of as equally valid models of family life.
(Yes, you can recognise the sacrifices made by many single parents and you can recognise that there are children from single parent families who will do well. But what is to be avoided is the idea that we cannot discriminate between a fatherless model of family life and a traditional one. If it were really believed that fatherlessness didn't matter, then the instability that you can already see at the bottom of the social scale would quickly spread more widely through society.)
And the response to Susie O'Brien's column? Overwhelmingly opposed. The readers who commented weren't persuaded to abandon the traditional family as an ideal.