Delano Squires is a Research Fellow at the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at The Heritage Foundation. He joins High Noon to talk about fatherhood in our culture, the sex wars and who is to blame for them, and why he has a different view about restoring masculinity than the online manosphere.

Delano Squires is also a contributor to BlazeTV’s Fearless with Jason Whitlock podcast. Delano’s articles and essays on faith, family, and culture have been published by Newsweek, The American Conservative, The Federalist, The Institute for Family Studies, Black and Married with Kids, The Root, and The Grio. Delano earned his bachelor of science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a graduate degree in Public Policy from George Washington University. He lives in Maryland with his wife and four young children.


Inez Stepman:

Welcome to High Noon, where we talk about controversial subjects with interesting people. Delano Squires is a research fellow in Heritage Foundation’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, where he writes a lot about the nuclear family and the benefits of fatherhood among other subjects. So welcome to High Noon, and I wanted to have you on here for a while. We’ve done some NatCon Squad stuff together. We’ve been at various conferences together. But I’ve always meant to get you on because you bring such an interesting perspective, I think, to this question of family formation and of specifically the role of fatherhood, which I think you talk about really eloquently in a way that really compels people to listen to you. But I guess let’s start there then. This makes sense.

So you’re also, you’re a father, I believe, of four. Your kids are homeschooled. I heard on an, I think when we were chatting at one of these conferences, you said you grew up in New York, I think you went to public school in New York. So how did you end up being sort of a conservative Christian father of four homeschooler?

Delano Squires:

That’s a great question. First of all, thank you for having me on. I’ve always enjoyed our conversations at conferences on NatCon, so really looking forward to this conversation. The Christian part carried forward from my upbringing with my parents and growing up in church didn’t always act according to what I was taught, but oftentimes a man’s deeds and creeds do not align. And sometimes it takes a little while for those two things to come into harmony. But yeah, I grew up in New York City to parents who immigrated to this country. My mom came in late ’70s and my dad came after they got married.

So I grew up in a fairly tight-knit community, in an environment that really typifies that adage that it takes a village to raise a child. So I understand that on a very personal level. But that village didn’t involve any bureaucrats or elected officials. That village was extended family, neighbors, church families, so on and so forth. And as you said, went to public schools in New York for all but two years. I actually went to five schools over the course of my education, K through 12 education, two elementary, two middle, and one high school and went off to college. Did that. Was major in computer engineering, which a lot of people don’t know, which is one of the reasons I write the way I do. And sort of struggled to find full-time employment after I left college, ended up back in New York doing some temp work and then landed here in DC initially as a leasing consultant, so I was renting people apartments, and then ended up working for local government for almost 15 years.

So during that time I had views, social, cultural, political views that were fairly consistent with where I am now, but I didn’t have a worldview. I didn’t have a unifying worldview that held it all together. And the way I would explain it to people is that before, and again, I’m someone who grew up in church, before I thought that I owned my own house, house being a metaphor for my life. So I owned my house. It was built on a moral foundation that I created. So whatever I thought was right and wrong, and in that house was a number of rooms. So finances, relationships, politics, race, culture, and religion was one room in that house.

And every Sunday, I would let Jesus out of that room so he could have the full run of the place for between 10:00 and 11:30. And by 1:00 PM, he had to go back in his room. And then, I continued to be the master of my domain. But over the course of years and just growing spiritually, being under better teaching and just coming to certain realizations, I decided to tear down that house because that foundation was not secure at all. And I realized that now in retrospect, and I decided, or I allowed the reconstruction to be built on a biblical foundation where God owns the entire house, all of the rooms and that’s the fragrance that emanates from the scriptures can be caught in any part of the house.

So it’s not just a Sunday thing. I’m not the type of person that says, ask me a question and I say, “Inez, I give you one answer on Sunday and I give you a completely different answer on Tuesday afternoon.” So I’ve tried to have what I believe and the things that I say and how I live my life come into greater alignment. So with that, my views on education, as you mentioned, we homeschool, stem from the Bible, and particularly the command that fathers are to bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

When I think of education as a parents’ rights issue, that’s not just rhetoric. I really believe that. And that’s why my wife and I decided that we did not want a 24-year-old pink and blue hair Teach for America graduate, who has no children of her own, owns no property, has no investment in our children to be shaping the morals and values of our kids 10 hours a day for the next 12 years. So that by the time they go off to university, after one semester they come back hating everything that we taught them. All of the things that I say about family, about marriage, about fatherhood, about education, about crime and punishment, about life, about sex and sexuality, gender identity and all of those things spring from the new worldview that I’m trying to keep my house built on.

Inez Stepman:

One of the things that I think is something that is often lost even on the center is something that you’re implying with what you’re saying about education, which is that there is a moral instruction component to education. There isn’t really a way of separating out a moral worldview or an ethical instruction from academics fully. I know when we grew up where I think we’re both ’90s babies, I think people imagine that that was possible, but there was still very much a background worldview. It just wasn’t as overtly political.

Delano Squires:


Inez Stepman:

Now, it’s much more overtly political and obvious I think to people. But because I often get pushback sometimes from people even on the right or in the center who say, “Well, I just want my kid to learn the three Rs.” What would you say to that pushback? I just want them to learn how to read, write and do math, learn a little history. I’ll take care of their moral foundation or their moral formation at home.

Delano Squires:

Yeah, to your point, when I went to school, let’s just even say high school, I don’t remember having teachers that were pressing their political opinions on me. That wasn’t part of the curriculum. And the way I articulate what it is that you said is that education is equal parts scholarship and discipleship. So it’s academic mastery and moral formation so that I hold those two things to be equal parts of the education experience. So I understand parents that say, to your point, “I want them to learn three Rs, reading, writing, and arithmetic.” That’s probably how my parents were. And I think for the most part, that’s what parents got when they sent their kids to school certainly in the ’90s and even into the early 2000s. I’m not sure we can return to that point, because to me the genie’s out of the bottle. And now what it is, it’s a battle in the public square, which is both at the state house and in the schoolhouse.

Maybe getting back to the three R’s is that neutral point of forward neutrality. I don’t get the sense the left wants to go back there. And I think part of what the right is doing is saying, “Look, if the school house is going to be more explicitly involved in moral instruction for a number of reasons, then we prefer that instruction to look like the success sequence where kids are learning, even in a descriptive manner, that if you finish high school, get a job, marry and then have kids, your chance of being in poverty by your mid-30s is in the single digits.” The right may say, “Look, if we’re going to be in the moral formation business, let’s teach that instead of teaching kids that men can have babies and it’s possible for a man to lactate and breastfeed.” Those are two opposite ends of the spectrum. And maybe somewhere in the middle is getting back to that three Rs. But something tells me we’ve blown past that point.

Inez Stepman:

That’s very much what Ian Rowe and the schools that he ran and then now the new schools that he’s running are teaching, which is the success sequence, the cardinal virtues. But it’s a secular worldview because it’s a charter school, but it’s a strong moral shaping worldview. I’ve never bought into this idea that you can have this instruction totally divorced from moral foundation or formation, because it’s also just not interesting. In many cases, the most interesting thing to learn is about human beings and who we are, what our rational rationalizations and motivations are, what we are. Are we just flesh and blood and bones? Is there some kind of spiritual or soul dimension to us? Is the mind the same as the brain? These are the interesting questions. What is human nature? Why do we behave the way that we do? Are we intrinsically good or bad?

These are interesting questions. And it seems to me that an education divorced from those questions is not actually preparing someone to live life as a human being. It may prepare them to be your point, a computer programmer or to have, now it’s college and career readiness, but it’s not really an education in the deep sense and that it leaves kids alone when they inevitably confront these kinds of questions about life and death and morality and human nature. And there is an enormous font of wisdom in the past, whether it comes from revelation in terms of a Christian perspective or whether it comes from the ancient world or the philosophy that proceeded from that. We have this enormous tradition and heritage in the western world that, I don’t want to say answers all of these questions definitively, but it sure helps us to think about them and cutting someone off from that heritage in my view cannot be called an education even if they know how to read a technical document. You know what I mean?

Delano Squires:

Right. No, that’s a fantastic point. And actually, that point I think speaks as much to pedagogy as it does to moral formation. That’s one of the reasons that I’m a fan of, and we actually, my wife who’s the headmistress of our homeschool, we use Classical Conversations as our core curriculum, and it’s a classical Christian curriculum, so you get some of the best of both worlds. And so, it does draw on the past and exposes students to great books, great literature, to great thinkers. But also, again, that particular curriculum rests on a explicitly Christian and biblical worldview. And I think what you get now in a lot of educational sectors, especially anything that builds itself as progressive is a much more inward focus education. So it’s how do I feel? Do I see myself in the curriculum when I’m reading whatever text? Does anyone there talk like me? Do they have my experiences?

And while I may understand people who think that way, I think it’s a very limiting way to approach education. And all it does is feed the worst impulses of the culture across the board. And I would say right up at the top of that list in terms of the worst impulses is narcissism. Everything has to be about me and I have to be at the center of every conversation. And people who look like me have to be proportionally representative in every area of society. And I don’t think that’s particularly healthy because all it does is teach kids to continue to be navel-gazers. And I feel like that’s what our public education churns out today. And not just K – 12, but in college, and I think that has even flowed upstream into some of the advanced professions or advanced degrees and among the so-called elite.

So yeah, I agree with you. I think having an education that takes kids outside of themselves and exposes them to different manners of thinking, I think is a really good idea. And again, with that, answering some of those metaphysical questions come what is the nature of right or wrong? But then even that comes back to how do you define right or wrong? Is morality relative? Is it absolute? Where does it come from? If we’re just cosmic stardust, this will probably be the Neil deGrasse Tyson perspective, why is killing a person wrong? Well, it’s not wrong when a lion kills a zebra. Why is it wrong if Jack kills Jim for something that he wants? Those are some of the questions.

I don’t even think schools are even trying to wrestle with those questions. It’d be nice if they can just, again, before they get to who are we and where do we come from, it would be nice if they could settle on what is a woman. But I feel like we’re sliding backwards, so we can’t move to those greater questions until we can answer the more simple questions.

Inez Stepman:

The obvious ones. Yeah, I mean in terms of the representation argument, it is narcissistic ultimately. I think it’s also very feminine in a certain sense. Little boys often have no problem putting themselves, because they imagine themselves on certain internal things like valor or they read Ivanhoe. And I don’t think, for example, little Black boys have problems identifying when they read Ivanhoe oftentimes, right? Because just there just seems to be something about, and maybe it makes sense, women care more about how they look for good reasons. Maybe it’s just something in the feminine and spirit to always want to see yourself, because it affirms that, yes, you’re beautiful, you’re loved.

Whereas, I feel like boys left to their own devices, I don’t think they really tend to think that way. They tend to immediately say, “Of course, I’m the knight in the story. Of course, I could be.” But maybe we should turn this conversation at least temporarily to race, because a lot of what you write about for those who aren’t watching on YouTube, Delano is in fact Black. You can see on YouTube, no, but Senator Moynihan, I think of New York, wrote this report all the way back in the early ’60s talking about the out of wedlock birth rate in the Black community and saying basically, “This is a crisis. This is going to cause a huge problem.” Of course, now we look back and I think it was at 25% or 30% then.

Delano Squires:

Correct. Yeah, 25%.

Inez Stepman:

And now, we look at it, the Black community, I think it’s like 79 or 80%, but it’s you guys are far—

Delano Squires:

Not that high.

Inez Stepman:

… because we’re all catching up, right?

Delano Squires:


Inez Stepman:

You look at it increasingly, if you look at Hispanic out of wedlock birth rate, white out of wedlock birth rate, I think Asians are still very low on this metric, fortunately for them. But overall, America is, I saw a really shocking map that America has the highest or among in the world, among the highest percentage of children who are not living with both biological parents. One, what in your view has this done since Moynihan wrote that report to your community? And then what are your fears about us all, because I feel like this is a much more universal question now?

Delano Squires:

Yeah, absolutely. I call that 25% mark the Moynihan threshold. And in 1965, that was a cause for emergency. One out of four black children being born to unwed parents was a cause for emergency. And to your point, the only major ethnic group that falls below the Moynihan threshold today are Asians. They’re at about 12%. Whites are about 28%. Overall as a country, we’re at 40%. So 4 out of 10 children in this country are born to parents who are not married. Hispanics at 52%, American Indians at 69%, and the Black community at 70%. So these are not numbers that bode well for anyone. These trends are going completely in the wrong direction. I’m concerned a great deal, and particularly with respect to the Black community, because again, the number is so high.

Let me say this for a quick second. Oftentimes what people will do to deflect from social phenomenon that are hard for them to deal with honestly, is to say, “Oh, well the majority of, insert ethnic group, are not doing, insert bad thing. Majority of white people aren’t doing drugs. The majority of Black people aren’t committing crimes.” And again, those things are very well be true, but that’s not the point. The point is to look at a particular trend and see which way it’s going. This is one of the few things where you can actually say, “Yes, the majority of Black children are born with parents who are not married.” So the norm is out of wedlock births in the Black community, and it’s not just within low income neighborhoods.

I saw data that showed that about one-third of Black women who have college degrees have children out of wedlock. And this was back in 2016. So to the extent that this social phenomenon is real, and it is, this is something that has to be dealt with openly and honestly. Now, many of the women who are in that category today are in a much better position to take care of their children financially than women were, let’s say, in 1965, where at that time the median occupation for a Black woman, particularly in the south, was domestic.

That is not the case anymore. You have women who have degrees in cybersecurity and nurses and teachers who were able to financially care for a child in a way that was, again, not necessarily the norm a generation ago, but fathers are more than just paychecks. And I believe that if it takes two to make, it takes two to raise. And that children need a father in the same way that children need a mother. And to the extent that the role of fathers has been exclusively about provision and protection, I think we done ourselves a disservice. Obviously, I’d say that that’s a baseline.

And going back to my upbringing, I remember my Sunday school teacher, me and my three best friends known within our family said as the four horsemen. And he was teaching from a biblical text and he said, “Any man that doesn’t take care of his household is worse than an infidel.” And that was seared into my mind as a child. So I’m all four baseline as a man, you are responsible for the children that you create. But as a father now, I know I bring a lot more to the table than just what I’m able to provide financially and kids desire, presence, E-N-C-E a lot more than presents, E-N-T-S. And there’s a certain sense of security that fathers bring. Children tend to interact differently with their dads. Dads are much more likely to roughhouse with kids, particularly with boys. There’s certain things that dads do in terms of their tendency towards gross motor skill development as opposed to moms, generally speaking, are more on the fine motor skill development.

So they’re all types of things that fathers bring to the table. But one of the most important ones is the understanding, particularly as kids get older, that even if their dad is not around, they have a father and his absence creates questions in their mind. Now it’s one thing for you to say, “Well son, your dad served honorably in the military and he was killed in battle.” Kids at a certain age can grapple with that. Obviously, there’s going to be loss, but they understand that. It’s another thing to say, “Well, your dad is around, he just doesn’t want anything to do with you.” And whether you say that or not, kids eventually will get the picture.

And to paint how clearly this is not just an issue of race, one of the stories that’s out now is that the President of the United States who has a drug addicted son, also has a granddaughter that he will not allow his staff to acknowledge. So neither Hunter Biden nor the President, Joe Biden, will acknowledge the child that Hunter had, I want to say, this woman was a stripper. I believe that’s correct. And no matter what she gets in child support or the other side benefits that she gets from people knowing that she’s a Biden, I think it is highly unlikely that that child will not grow up with some loss wanting to know why her father and her grandfather do not want her.

And especially as she gets older and she sees the political ads where the current President says, “Oh, they’re not your children, they’re our children. These are America’s children. Delano, your kid is my kid.” And she’s going to say, “Man, he feels more ownership over the children of strangers than he does over me, and I’m his flesh and blood.” That does something to a child. So I think there are reasons to talk about this particular issue that go beyond the poverty rate for single mothers, though important, dads bring a lot more to the table than just a paycheck.

Inez Stepman:

How do you talk about these issues because of the numbers that you’ve just listed out, and we haven’t even talked about children of divorce, right?

Delano Squires:


Inez Stepman:

How do you have these conversations in a place where two things are true? One, basically everyone, either they themselves have experienced this kind of loss in terms of not growing up in a married, biological two-parent household, or they have friends or relatives who have not. So one, there’s a lot of defensiveness out there, but two, I think there’s a denial of the loss at all. When it becomes the norm, when you’re talking about a neighborhood where four out of five children are born without their fathers in the picture, at what point does it just become, almost like you don’t know what you’re missing because not only do you not have anything to compare it to in your own life, none of your friends have anything to compare it to. At that point, it’s not the individual tragedy of a child without a father, it’s truly fatherlessness in an entire community and nobody even knows that they’re missing a limb.

Delano Squires:

I love the way you ended that question because the phrase that came into my mind as you were talking was compensation injury. You see this sometimes in sports, a person will hurt, they may be coming back from an Achilles tear. And one of the things that you have to be mindful of is that while trying to compensate for bad Achilles, that you don’t end up messing up your ACL, because that’s what tends to happen. Most people obviously are not professional athletes, but if you sprain your ankle, you walk with a limp and you walk a little more gingerly. But that sprain in the ankle can lead to injuries other places. And I think what happens is, yes, it is possible for you to be compensating for so long that your limp becomes normal to you, but other people can tell that you’re limping.

And when you have, to your point, a community where none of the kids are being raised by married biological parents, that has serious downstream effects. Now, I will say this, and I think this is important to point out, particularly for conservatives. One of the ways that I talk about this, and I understand that this issue of non-marital birth, our wedlock birth rate is inextricably linked to race for some of the reasons that we talked about. Going back to Moynihan, and even particularly if you talk to folks on particularly progressives and Black progressives, they will tie this back to the plantations of the South. They’ll say that they started in slavery.

One, I think it’s important to point out that in the early 20th century, up until, I want to say like 1950, Black men and women were more likely to be married by 35 than their white counterparts. So the notion that the Black family disintegrated in slavery does not line up with the facts. And in fact, one of the first things that newly emancipated slaves did was look to piece their families back together. There are newspapers, and there’s a project that I want to say is partnering with Villanova University to digitize a lot of these ads and papers. And it would be something to the effect of, I’m Jack Johnson, my wife Emma May was sold from the Liscum plantation in Louisiana to a different plantation in Texas. And I’m looking for her and our four children, and if you see her or find her, tell her to find me here, care of Pastor Manning in Louisiana.

There’s hundreds if not thousands of ads like that, that were taken out by free Blacks after emancipation. So this is much more, the proximate cause, particularly in the Black community, is much more tied to the 1960s than it is the 1860s. That being said, I think for conservatives, one of the things that’s important is to be precise in our language. And this is a principle that I hold to. The more dangerous the weapon, the more care you have to take in wielding it. So I’ll put it this way, when I’m playing with my kids with a Super Soaker, I’m much freer than if I was handling a live weapon.

And I say that because sometimes what conservatives will do, they’ll take 70% out of wedlock birth rate and say, “70% of kids in the Black community are fatherless.” And that’s not true. I know it’s not true not just because of the data, because a significant number of Black children are being raised by parents who are cohabiting because that is one thing that is present today across ethnic groups that was not present in the 1960s. So if you were being raised by a single parent, an unmarried parent in the 1960s, it was 88% moms and 12% dads, I want to say it’s like 30% of couples now are cohabiting, unmarried couples with children are cohabiting. So that’s one thing.

But the other thing is that there are fathers, and I’ve seen this just from places I live, where when we lived in DC and I did drop-offs at daycare, local, right in my neighborhood or at my daughter’s public charter school, I’d say at least 30 to 35% of the drop-offs of pickups were dads. And these were overwhelmingly Black men, 98%. So it’s not to say that these men are not involved in the lives of their children. What I will say is it’s a lot easier to be involved in the life of your child when your child is under five years old. But the United States is not Europe. So we don’t have a culture of long-term monogamous partnership outside of marriage. And the longer you wait and the longer you remain unmarried, the more likely the relationship is to break up, and then that leads to multi-partner fertility, so a guy has three kids, about two women, and a woman has four kids, about three men, that type of thing.

So I think it’s important to be precise with our language. 70% out wedlock birth rate is different than saying 70% of kids are fatherless. But with that, I think we need to be honest and upfront. We need to let people know that just because we’re talking about family formation, marriage, out of wedlock birth rates, we’re not attacking you, your life decisions, your mom, your dad, your family. And we find a way to do this when we’re talking about college, because every urban education system has their walls plastered with flags, Harvard Class of 2036 and Hampton University Class of 2042, that type of thing. And schools do that knowing that they’re talking to kids, many of whom come from families where no one’s gone to college.

So we know how to have conversations talking about ideals in the context of people who have not necessarily lived those out in their lives. So I think a big part of it is just talking about what we think is best for society, what is most likely to lead to human flourishing, to let people know we’re not making personal judgments on your specific behavior. And ultimately, we promote the natural family because common sense and decades of data show that that is what is best for children. And you said this the other day on Twitter, and I want to like it 1,000 times where you said, and I’m paraphrasing something to the effect of, and I’ve said this as well, “The greatest privilege that any child has today is not their skin color, but it’s being raised in a loving, stable, low conflict home with a married mom and dad.” And I agree with that with every fiber of my being. And that’s across ethnic groups, across religion. I think you were spot on with your assessment.

Inez Stepman:

We’ll get to some of the, I think, after effects of men and women essentially splitting and living most of their lives separately in context of when there are so many families, let’s say it’s a smaller percentage, but some percentage, as you say, if the mom and dad are not married, it’s much more likely that the father talks to the children once a week, once a month. Just that’s statistically more likely. So in the context that a lot of kids are not getting, they not have a relationship with their father, especially if they’re a girl and they don’t have a relationship with their father, there are probably fewer boys that don’t have a relationship with their mother just by the nature of childcare. More women end up taking care of the kids when the parents split. Although, children raised by single fathers have better outcomes often than those raised by single mothers.

I think that’s probably selection. In other words, if the dad is dedicated enough and the mother crazy enough that the children go to the father oftentimes, that’s a self-selecting group. So there are more and more kids who don’t have that relationship. We have smaller families, so there are more and more kids who don’t have siblings. I was thinking about this a few weeks ago. The number of people who have never had a long-lasting, deep-loving relationship with the opposite sex is probably quite high.

And if your first introduction to relationships with the opposite sex is the modern sexual market, I can see how that creates a certain antagonism on both sides. I think on the female side, it is showing up even in political polls where single women are vastly pulling away to the left, not only versus men as a whole, but versus married women. And then, in Gen Z we’ve seen quite a bit of a diversion in the graph where Gen Z girls are extremely left wing and Gen Z boys are starting to be extremely right wing.

And so, you’ve written some critiques. So all of that I think I want to put as the background. So you’ve written a critique of the online manosphere, basically talking about this reaction, the men going their own way or the game blogs that focus on being able to pick up women but not adhering to what you said when we started this conversation about the line from the Bible about a man who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an infidel, definitely not adhering to that line either foregoing having children or leaving it to women to raise their children, and encouraging that because feminism and women have gotten so bad that it’s a bad prospect for a man to commit himself to a wife and children. So first, why don’t you lay out your argument there and then we can discuss it?

Delano Squires:

Sure. My argument there is that conservatives should not let what I call the “masculine critique” go unchallenged. So the masculine critique in many respects is the mirror image of the feminine mystique. Many people are familiar with Betty Friedan’s 1960s work on that particular topic. And the core of the masculine critique is that in a world where women have more economic, political, legal, and cultural power than ever before, traditional notions of marriage, family, children are a bad deal for men. So what a lot of these guys will say is, would you encourage someone to go into a business relationship when the other person is incentivized to break the contract? And not only that, even if they break it, they still walk away with half of your assets.

First, let me say I understand that critique and the more I listen to some of these guys and the more I just observe what’s going on in the culture, the more I said, okay, I understand how this person will get there. Now, personally, my wife and I will be married for 11 years coming up at the end of the month. I’ve never once looked at the divorce laws in any of the states that we’ve lived in. I’ve never looked at child support, alimony, none of that. I have no idea what those laws say, but I understand if you’re a guy who’s going through a messy divorce, an ugly custody battle, I understand why you would get to the point where you say, “Look, this is not a good deal for men.”

And one of the people that I named specifically in a recent piece I did was Jeff Younger. He ran for Congress in Texas, again, involved in a very ugly custody battle with his ex-wife. And particularly she wanted to “transition” their son into a girl. And that was a very public thing. He went through this court case in Texas. So when he says that men who desire family should avoid marriage and basically procure children through adoption or surrogacy, I think it’s important to acknowledge he’s probably speaking from a place of very deep and personal pain in the same way many of the feminists who are easy to caricature speak from a similar place of deep and personal pain when it comes to how they saw their mothers treated by their dads. And it made them say, “I don’t want any part of this thing.”

I guess my major contention is if the feminists on the far left say, “Marriage is a bad deal for women, it’s oppressive, children keep them tied to the household. And really what women should be doing particularly in their 20s and 30s in their prime years is focusing on their education and their career.” And the red pill guys on the right sort of are saying, “Marriage and family are a bad deal. They sap men of their energy and their resources, and really what men should be doing in their 20s and 30s and their prime years is focusing on their education and career.”

We are doomed as a society because the primary function of one generation is to propagate the next. And if those two opposite ends of the spectrum end up bending in towards one another to form a complete circle, and that becomes our norm, we’re in big trouble. So that’s why I don’t think conservatives should overlook some of these issues. There may be ways to address child support laws and divorce laws and so on and so on and so forth. But I always think part of what we should be doing and part of what I try to do is to paint a more positive and affirming vision of what marriage and family can look like, even in the midst of the cultural changes we’ve seen over the last 60 years.

Inez Stepman:

Yeah, so I’m kind of two minds about this. On the one hand, I agree with you at the end of the day, as I told you off-air, there is no winning the battle of the sex wars. If the sex wars continue, there is no future for the human race. So at some point, there’ll be too much fraternizing with the enemy. This has to come to a close. On the other hand, I do find myself in agreement with two major critiques I think, even laying aside the specific policy about which I think there is plenty to be done in terms of family courts and elsewhere strengthening marriage. My husband and I actually, it’s a useless gesture, but we are what my parents called super married.

But my mother likes to joke that my husband is my second husband, my second marriage, because a year after we got married in California, we went to Arizona. They’re one of three states that have so-called covenant marriage, but it’s not really legally enforceable because even if you lived in the state, all one party would have to do is go to another state. It’s not really legally functional, but it meant something to us that essentially that it’s not no-fault divorce, you have to show fault to leave. It’s not that there are no situations in which it’s better for married people to be apart than together, but you have to show one of the traditional basis of fault, which I believe are abandonment, addiction, adultery, and-

Delano Squires:


Inez Stepman:

And abuse, yes. There’s plenty to be done on the laws, but where I find myself in agreement with some of these angry manosphere pickup artists type people is that the culture encourages female bad behavior. In a way, it doesn’t encourage men’s bad behavior, by which I mean, of course women are no worse than men. There are feminine virtues and feminine negative qualities, toxic qualities you might call them. There are masculine good qualities and masculine bad qualities. Many of these qualities are the same thing, depending on how they’re channeled. Just like aggression in men could be channeled towards protecting their families and those weaker than them, or it could be into being violent and taking stuff from the weak.

Those are, in some sense, the same trait, I think, caring about consensus and is a very important trait within a family that women often bring, caring about people’s feelings and consensus. But when it goes into the boardroom, it becomes this oppressive PC like HR regime where everybody has to care about the person who is most easily offended, basically wins the game and everybody else has to cater to them.

So many of these things are the same thing. But it strikes me that there’s no political movement and no cultural mass celebration of men sleeping with their secretaries, of men who leave their wives and families to sleep with their 25-year-old subordinates. There are plenty of depictions of that happening, as indeed it happens not infrequently in real life, but there isn’t this cultural sanction. If you as a man, let’s say you’re a 45-year-old man with a 40-year-old wife who has three kids of yours, and you leave her for a 25-year-old, your friends aren’t going to endorse it. They may continue to be your friends, but nobody’s going to clap you on the back and say, “Go for it. You deserve this.” There’s not going to be a movie made about you and how you’re exploring yourself by leaving your 40-year-old wife and sleeping with a 25-year-old.

And yet we have all of those things for women. We have the Eat, Pray, Love, entire thing. We have this self-care therapeutic idea that it’s a positive thing. Your selfishness is not something that you should fight and rise above hopefully and maybe sometimes you’re selfish anyway, but then you try not to be. There’s none of that. The culture full on lauds female narcissism and selfishness in a way that it doesn’t laud male negative traits in the same way. And so, in that environment, I can really see why, maybe I don’t agree, obviously, that men shouldn’t get married, but I understand why there’s this frustration because what’s happened is that the female side of this equation has been handed a whole lot of power with basically no accountability, and I can see why there’s a huge backlash to that.

Delano Squires:

Yeah, I think sometimes we share some of the same notes because I’ve said it exactly the same way right now. I think maybe the closest you can get to the male counterpart, the male side of the equation in terms of executive leaving his family for secretary is like Mad Men or something like that. Now, I didn’t watch Mad Men.

Inez Stepman:

Shows that it’s very negative. That’s what I always get, by the way, is Mad Men. And I think it shows what it does to his life and what ultimately he ends up humiliating his young daughter who he loves with the way that he behaves. I think that’s like a good art shows something that’s true, that happens, it’s a depiction of it, but-

Delano Squires:

It doesn’t always glorify.

Inez Stepman:

I guess you could very shallowly read that series, it’s like, “Yeah, he’s just having a great time sleeping with a series of younger women.” But that’s completely not any serious reading of the show is not that I think.

Delano Squires:

Okay, so I’m glad you clarified. So all I know as an outside observer is that the show was very popular and I know that this was part of what it was depicting in that culture, I think in the 1960s. But to your point, now you have out-and-out celebration. I’m thinking of, I want to say it was The Atlantic ran a piece couple years ago and it started with a woman saying, “I destroyed my marriage and my family.” And this was, again, this piece was hailed because apparently this person was a well-known writer. And then, you get down to it and she’s like, okay. She was somewhat unhappy. She didn’t want her identity to be tied to herself as a wife and a mom. She wanted to do yoga on Tuesday afternoon and drink Chardonnay on Thursday evening. It’s like, okay. So because of that you destroy your family?

And I do think that that is one significant difference. And I think you hit the nail right on the head. I’m thinking of someone like Tia Mowry who was a child actor, her and her twin sister, who when she announced her divorce on the show, whatever the show is called, it’s not The View but similar type of deal. She said she graduated from her relationship. So it’s always the language of personal therapy. It’s about living your truth and all this other stuff that, again, as an engineer, I don’t necessarily understand.

I don’t typically speak in this ephemeral language, but I do think, to your point, the culture rewards female bad behavior as a sign of empowerment. And that’s both in terms of standards of whether you’re talking about modesty and decorum or you’re talking about family formation or family destruction. And I don’t think that that’s healthy for a culture. And I understand why guys are very hesitant to enter into a marriage and I’m like you, I think of marriage as a covenant, as a lifelong relationship where husband and wife become one, not as a contract where someone can get out of it as soon as they don’t feel that they’re at a level 100 state of happiness. But I do think that that’s something that has to be addressed. But it’s hard because we live in a culture that says that any boundaries on what women think, say or do are oppressive.

And my wife and I have had this conversation and I’ve said people are not against gender roles at all. No one actually believes in equality because if they did, then even the Uber feminist who happens to be married to a man, she would say, when something goes bump in the night, “Honey, you stay there. You got it last time. And because we’re a feminist family, I’ll get up and check on what’s going on downstairs.” So I don’t think that even the feminists believe truly in gender equality in that sense. But the way I would frame it is this, I just think the terms of roles, there’s much more elasticity on the side of women than on the side of men, because again, even today, a man has to at least be a protector and a provider. And those roles are rigid and they remain in place.

But when you ask someone, “Okay, so what does a woman have to do? What are the two or three things that she has to do to be seen as a good wife and a good mother by society?” Then everybody starts to backpedal and they start to mumble. And it’s not cooking and cleaning because you can pay someone for that. It’s not… So, I think there’s just a lot more, the roles on that side are a lot more elastic. And I think it causes difficulty because elasticity and boundaries don’t go together, because norms say you should go this far no further. But when people want complete elasticity, they want complete freedom, complete range of motion and movement, any type of norm, any type of boundary, even on behavior and conduct is seen as oppressive.

So yeah, I get why guys think that this is a bad deal. I’ll give you a perfect example of this, tangible example. I’m not sure if this has crossed your timeline. It certainly has been all over mine. CNN picked up this story, by the way, there’s an actress fairly young, she’s in her mid-’20s named Keke Palmer. So she’s a Black woman, been in a number of different Disney type films when she was younger. She has a baby with a guy. I don’t think he’s an actor, I’m not sure who he is. So she has a baby with this gentleman, they’re not married. Video surfaced this weekend of her out, I want to say in Vegas at an Usher concert. And Usher was serenading her. And not only that, she twirled around because she just had the baby and showed off her postpartum body.

And how do I describe the outfit? Basically looked like a one piece swimsuit with a sheer black see-through skirt dress thing attached. So you could see her bottom. And the father of her child got on Twitter and said, “I don’t like this.” He said, “You’re a mom.” And he was, as you can guess, roundly criticized and attacked for this. And then, he went on to say, I’m paraphrasing, but something to the effect of, “We live in a crazy generation when the man of the family basically says he doesn’t want the wife and mother of his child to be out there showing her bare cheeks to the entire world.”

And I mean, he got so much criticism, I think he deleted his account. And when it gets to the point where you can’t even say, “Hey, I don’t like the fact that my lady is out there showing her cheeks to Usher and everybody else on the internet,” and you get attacked for that, that just goes to show you this is a very different cultural norms than what we had 60 years ago. And I don’t see any appetite to recover more traditional ways of being outside of a few religious communities or people who have a very, very strong sense of public morality.

The general mainstream culture, no one is going to criticize that. And I think it’s because of what you said, people and particularly women, don’t want to feel as if they are being overly critical, that they’re leaving anyone out. And this is the same impulse that has fueled the transgender movement, where yesterday’s feminist who said, “My identity is rooted in patriarchal oppression, don’t want to be tomorrow’s oppressors to so-called transgender people.” And because of that, they will allow men to come into their space and set the rules and terms and definitions of womanhood, and they’ll do so and say, “Look, I’m a caring and inclusive person. This is real feminism. Getting men into women’s sports is real feminism.” That’s the type of thing that they would say. And it’s unfortunate and it’s ironic because those women have finally found a group of men that they’re willing to submit to. Unfortunately, those are men who also think that they’re women.

Inez Stepman:

Yeah, no, the Keke Palmer thing is a good example of the dynamic that I was talking about. It’s not that women behave more badly than men, I don’t think. I think both sexes are in a competition right now to outdo each other. But women’s bad behavior, you’ve got the entire culture comes in and it’s always like, I’m sure there’s some background to that, every individual interaction like that has a completely personal dimension outside of what the public can see. But in terms of the public domain, there’s so much support for women behaving this way, there is no incentive. It’s hard to be a good person, it’s hard to be a good woman. It’s hard to be a good man, and if there’s no incentive from the culture to push people in that direction.

That’s really where I see the difference. It’s not so much in, obviously I don’t think my sex is worse than yours. I don’t think that women behave or are inherently worse, they have less virtue than men. I simply think the environment for them, there’s so much incentive to behave badly, and there’s nobody saying, “Don’t behave this way.” In fact, there’s encouragement for it. I wanted to ask you one more thing before we start wrapping up here.

And that’s the other side of this critique, because some of the online, let’s call it the Bathysphere or whatever, there’s also, you mentioned the idea that a wife and family sort of sap something from men that you were disagreeing with. Is there not some diversion in history between glory and family for men? In other words, is there not a role for a certain kind of martial class outside of the norms of family and having that influence? Because I think on average, especially in a good marriage, men and women influence each other positively. And you can even see that politically, you can see that women who are married, they come a lot closer to their husband’s political opinions oftentimes. And you can see that in the statistics. Men find different side of themselves when they feel tender towards their children. I think for the most part, this is a good thing. But can’t you acknowledge that there’s a need for society to have a certain percentage of young men who are out there for ambition and glory, unblunted by not just the burdens, but even the transformation of a family?

Delano Squires:

That’s a really interesting question. I could certainly see that. For instance, I could see why having a certain percentage of men who enlisted in the military be men who do not have sort of the obligations that come with having a wife and children. I could get that right. Even I’m thinking of James Bond and particularly the Daniel Craig legacy, they went into his backstory and not only was he unmarried and didn’t have any kids, I won’t go into any spoilers, but I think his backstory was he was also an orphan. So men who are “unencumbered” by family, I do think have a place in society. I think that that’s a momentary, that’s a time-bound position to be in.

I don’t think having a society where the average man remains a bachelor until he dies is a good thing. And part of what some of the red pill guys will say is men in their 20s, and particularly one person says, “If you want to be a high value man in your 20s, one,” he says, “get a vasectomy.” And I’m not going to go into all the reasons why I think that’s a bad idea, but I’ll just… He says, “Get a vasectomy. Get off of drugs and alcohol.” Okay, cool. I’m with you on that one. “Don’t get into anything that saps your energy.” So if he’s saying, kick your porn addiction, okay, I’m with you. And he’s saying, “This will increase your value as a guy.” And there may be something to that.

But my thing is the gift of masculinity and I think both masculinity and femininity are gifts from God. I think we’re creative beings made in God’s image and likeness. And part of that is that our bodies are literally fit together. And that’s what the marriage covenant does, is brings two together as one. So part of the reason I reject that part of what the manosphere is pushing is that men need women and women need men. We can’t just live as these atomized lives where there is constant resentment, but my masculine strength and my earning potential should be used for a particular purpose that’s greater, that’s outside of myself. Because a man who thinks he’s a king or has no queen and no heirs is just a rich guy in a big house. And once he’s gone, that’s the end of his line. So I don’t think it’s wise to advise men to live like they’re 20 forever. So that’s how I would respond to that.

The other thing is this, getting married and particularly having children, completely changed me as a person. And it got me up off the couch with some of these culture war things because before that I could have commentary and I could say these are my opinions. But once you have kids, and particularly obviously a lot of the controversies around what kids are being taught in school, now you have real skin in the game, real skin in the game. It’s not just philosophical anymore. This is the difference between your 12-year-old girl being told, “No, you’re not just a tomboy, you’re a boy named Tom because you like to play basketball and wear overalls.” Things that we grew up seeing girls do… There was a name for that. There was, you were a tomboy, and nobody questioned-

Inez Stepman:

I did both of those things.

Delano Squires:

Right. And I think that when people like Admiral Richard Levine, who goes by Rachel now, says that official government policy for gender confused kids, so to speak, should be social, medicinal, and surgical transition. I don’t think that the people fighting him on the frontline should be women. I think it should be dads who line up, surround the CDC, the NIH, local school board, the central office, individual schools, libraries, wherever. I think it should be men who take up their positions and are on their posts to say, “You are not going to do this to me, that this is the way it’s going to go.”

Now, again, let me just say this. I’m not speaking on behalf of any organization and I’m not advocating violence or any type of violent conduct, but part of what I see in the way school administrators, elected officials and unelected bureaucrats, the way that they’re operating as it relates to kids and gender ideology, they are acting like people who have no fear of consequences. When I was a young guy growing up and I met a girl and she said she has seven brothers, I carried myself in a different way because I knew if I mess with her, then I would be inviting the wrath of her seven brothers. But if you’re a guy and you’re like, “Look, this girl don’t even have a dad, let alone brothers,” you operate in a different way.

And what these people I’m talking about, they have no fear because they know in our society, going back to sort of the cultural reference, it’s not lost on me that one of the biggest acts in hip hop today is a woman named Megan Thee Stallion. So she’s literally named after a horse that’s been uncut. And I would argue that in today’s culture, the women are the stallions and the men are geldings. And that’s why so many women on the front lines are all cultural battles because the guys have been snipped and they have grown up in a culture that for 60 years have told them their impulses. The few guys left will say, “You know what? I don’t think being half naked all the time is good for you or society. I don’t think that that shows that you have respect for yourself, your family, your fellow man or your community.” Those guys have been beaten into submission.

And what you get are the feminist allies that say, “Oh yes, queen! Oh, slay, girlfriend,” and all that other stuff. So guys are weak and I don’t think selling guys additional weakness in the form of, well, you shouldn’t get married and have a family because there’s a chance that it may fail, is a good deal for men. Now, mind you, these same men would not tell other guys not to start a business for fear that a business may fail and many of them do, but they’ll tell them, “Don’t get married and have kids because it may not work out for you.”

And there’s just something about that that I can’t wrap my mind around because marriage and family, and I’ll just speak for myself, are not only my highest vocations, but they also gave me something both to live and die for. And when my wife had her last birthday and we were talking, the kids were in bed, and I said, “Look, I hope you know that I would literally lay my life on the line for you. That’s just not talk. If a bullet was speeding towards you, I would step in front of it and take it for you.” And you don’t get that with conscious co-parenting. You don’t get that with baby mama drama. You don’t get that with a surrogate sperm donor relationship. That type of commitment only comes through marriage.

And that’s why I think we can’t allow, and I don’t want to say lesser, but lesser relationship forms to… I don’t think we should look at those. I don’t think the type of conscious co-parenting that sort of people like Van Jones and other people advocate are a good substitute for marriage because I’ve never seen, for better or for worse till death do us part in any child support decree that I’ve ever heard of. So I think there’s a reason to keep what we’ve had and what sustained us for so long. I don’t think we should abandon that just because we’re going through a difficult season right now.

Inez Stepman:

On that note, Delano Squires, thank you so much for joining High Noon. Where can people find more of your work?

Delano Squires:

Well, I do, most of my attempts to stay out trouble are on Twitter, again, not very successful, but they can follow me @DelanoSquires, D-E-L-A-N-O-S-Q-U-I-R-E-S, all one string on Twitter and on Instagram.

Inez Stepman:

Thanks very much, and thanks to our listeners. High Noon with Inez Stepman is the production of the Independent Women’s Forum. As always, you can send comments and questions to [email protected]. Please help us out by hitting the subscribe button and leaving us a comment or review on Apple Podcast, Acast, Google Play, YouTube, or Be brave and we’ll see you next time on High Noon.