DEAR ABBY: I was appalled when I saw in your column that you had trotted out an outdated, sexist, factually inaccurate and socially dangerous quote: "The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
Surely you are aware of the research which now establishes that fathers have unique and important contributions to make to the healthy development of their children. Fathers (not race, not income and not mothers) are the key ingredient in reducing youth violence (crime and gangs), drug abuse, promiscuity, eating disorders and suicides. Fathers have a greater effect than mothers in producing empathy, a sense of humor, academic achievement and more.
My son's mother has assaulted me, harassed me, stalked me, vandalized my property, stolen from me, made false allegations against me and more. I don't love her. But I do something far more important. During most of my son's waking moments since he was 8 months old, the hands he has seen holding him and helping him, the voice he has heard teaching him and loving him, the face he has seen smiling at him and encouraging him have been mine!
My son's mother is not insane and not that rare. She has simply been encouraged by the media to blame a man for everything that makes her unhappy and to think of fathers as second-class parents. You can sign me ... FIRST-CLASS PARENT
DEAR PARENT: Considering the fact that your ex-wife suffers from the emotional instability (not insanity) which you have described, you son is indeed fortunate to have such a committed father. However, there are far more absent fathers in single-parent families than mothers.