tue 07/04/2020

Who Needs Fathers?, BBC Two | reviews, news & interviews

Who Needs Fathers?, BBC Two

Who Needs Fathers?, BBC Two

Some mothers do 'ave 'em

Take two sets of separated parents and observe their opposing response to sharing the children. Colin and Alison haven’t involved lawyers, and divide childcare equally and amicably. Sandy, on the other hand, has spent tens of thousands of pounds on legal fees in order secure access to his four children with Rose, a woman who was so inured to being dragged through the family courts by her ex-husband that not until fairly late on in the quietly excellent Who Needs Fathers? did she notice that she had now been pulled into the court of public opinion - and a trial by television. It gave a whole meaning to the term “in camera”.

Take two sets of separated parents and observe their opposing response to sharing the children. Colin and Alison haven’t involved lawyers, and divide childcare equally and amicably. Sandy, on the other hand, has spent tens of thousands of pounds on legal fees in order secure access to his four children with Rose, a woman who was so inured to being dragged through the family courts by her ex-husband that not until fairly late on in the quietly excellent Who Needs Fathers? did she notice that she had now been pulled into the court of public opinion - and a trial by television. It gave a whole meaning to the term “in camera”.

Share this article

Comments

I understand it is very hard for a mother to let their children go especially to somebody who they dislike now however I don't think I can put across in words how desperately much I want my father in my life. My parents separated when I was 6 and my dad died when I was 10 and I literally would give anything to have him back in my life. My point is Juliette should not disregard how much of a role Alex will play in his children's lives and however much she mate hate him he needs to be there.

I hear what the programmes are saying however I am bothered that I don't see the question addressed: what about when the father is abusive, and maybe not in the most obvious ways? The act pushes so strongly the need for fathers to have contact with their children that it does not seem to be able to address the very serious problems in such a scenario.

Regards to Val comment, no disrespect every case is intirely diffrent but just to let you know mothers can be equaly abusive.. in todays society there are bad mothers aswell as bad fathers. It is not about bad parents every child has the right to have contact with both parents that is the best interest of the child or children concerned.

Despite missing the second instalment in this trilogy, I found this series quite moving. After setting it to record on Freeview, I found myself postponing sitting down to watch it, mainly because of the suspected drag it would have on my nerves. When I did watch it I was in total sympathy with the men whose interaction with their children had been suspended or limited, or dwindled to a point of degrading rarity. The dilemma of these fathers in the face of indifference, both maternal and legal, and the feeling of stalemate that closed the valve on their best efforts, reduces them to pathetic and palpable anguish. I should say that my interest in this to-fro futility has its roots in the fact that in my profession I am exposed to the thwarted endeavours of riven families to maintain solidarity with their children; but also, and more potently, I myself have been estranged from my two-year old daughter for a year now. Extreme measures that create further polarity, such as the Brussels II bis, seem mercifully subjected to redress. It is hard enough that a father, even in the situation of being gratefully allowed some routine ‘quality’ time with his child, is often no doubt playing second fiddle to some parasitic usurper who has displaced his proper role and who doesn’t have enough spunk in his balls to sire his own offspring. Thus the maltreated cuckold reacts, sometimes extremely, and is demonized for the fire of his passion. The fire having dwindled, he becomes, in the ash of his own fervour, merely vulnerable and exposed. Not for him the experience of joy in watching his child compete on sports’ days; not for him to see his child perform in school plays or to be involved in parents’ evenings or family holidays. So many men must endure the stigma of being considered indifferent to the fate of their children, as if they walked out at will, impervious creatures of stone.

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters