All too often, fathers of unborn children have no say in deciding whether their own child lives or dies. But how often is this terrible situation reversed? That is, how often is it that the unwilling father who, through active encouragement or deliberate neglect, forces a “liberated” woman to abort the very child he has sired? Feminists offer no help to mothers, pregnant with the unwanted children of casual sexual encounters. Betrayed by the rhetoric of freedom, these women are pressed to exercise the only choice feminists are willing to defend: abortion. Today, if a pregnant woman stands up for her unborn child – and stands up to the demands of men – she stands alone.

For all of their talk of defending “freedom,” feminist abortion advocates refuse to recognize the coercive contexts in which women make their “choice.” They fail to see that so many poor mothers reluctantly and unwillingly concede to the demands of those around them: the endless rhetoric of “choice” does not make their decision any more free or any less forced.

Since the modern women’s movement is unwilling to promote the vital virtues that would defend women from the coercions of immature men – to say nothing of the perversions of our carnal culture – we must address the problem from another angle. We must promote the ideals and virtues of fatherhood to make up for the failings of feminism; we must teach young men about respect, restraint and responsibility.

And virtuous fathers are not only an example for young men, they are also essential for maturing young women as well: the affirmation of her father gives a young woman a source of non-sexual male approval so that she does not need to seek sexual acceptance from boys. Good fathers protect their daughters from the appetitive predation of their irresponsible peers, simply by their strong love and affirming presence.

Father’s Day is an occasion not only to celebrate our own fathers, but also to reflect on the essential role fathers play in the family and in society. Since modern feminism is unwilling to teach girls how to be women, true advocates for women must look to fathers to teach their daughters the essential, but unfashionable, truths young women so sorely need to hear: that real women deserve more than what feminists have told them to settle for; that real men rise above the impulses in which our culture encourages them to indulge; and that real love is permanent, committed and procreative.