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Why men won't get married anymore: Women complain chaps today won't

settle down. Sorry, ladies, but it's all your fault, argues a wickedly provocative
new book

By Peter Lloyd For The Daily Mail

A controversial new book argues that the triumph of feminism has meant men are
now second-class citizens.

On Saturday, in our first extract, it laid bare how men are abused, belittled and
exploited. Today, it shows how men are treated unfairly in marriage and fatherhood.

According to the Office for National Statistics, marriage in Britain is at its lowest level
since 1895

George Clooney, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne may have all taken
the plunge recently but they are a diminishing band of brothers, for the number of
men marrying in the West has plunged in recent decades.

The state of matrimony is not just ailing. It is dying out faster than a mobile phone

According to the Office for National Statistics, marriage in Britain is at its lowest level
since 1895. In 2011, there were just 286,634 ceremonies a 41 per cent free fall
from 1972, when 480,285 couples tied the knot.

For an army of women, Mr Right is simply not there, no matter how hard they look for
him. And the reason? When it comes to marriage, men are on strike.

Why? Because the rewards are far less than they used to be, while the cost and
dangers it presents are far greater.

Ultimately, men know theres a good chance theyll lose their friends, their respect,
their space, their sex life, their money and if it all goes wrong their family, says
Dr Helen Smith, author of Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood And The
American Dream.

They dont want to enter into a legal contract with someone who could effectively
take half their savings, pension and property when the honeymoon period is over.

Men arent wimping out by staying unmarried or being commitment phobes. Theyre
being smart.

When British businessman Alan Miller married his first wife, Melissa, in 2003, he
thought it was for ever. She immediately decided to give up work, including her
85,000 salary, to become what is known as a Harvey Nichols wife spending her
time shopping and lunching.

When they separated just two years and nine months later, he was forced to pay her
a 5million divorce settlement, which included his 2.3million home in Chelsea and a
2.7million lump sum despite the fact they did not have children. Thats 5,000 a
day of marriage. Ker-ching!

Or take former Arsenal footballer Ray Parlour. When he wed girlfriend Karen in 1998,
it all started out rosy. But by the time the relationship fell apart in 2004, the former
opticians nurse didnt just get two mortgage-free houses, 38,500 in annual support
for their three children and a 250,000 tax-free lump sum...

Oh no. She also got personal maintenance of 406,500 a year from her exs future
earnings. This, she said, was because she had encouraged him to be a good

This is precisely why the WAG culture rages through our country like an aggressive
disease. Girls of 16 aspire to be glamorous girlfriends because its an easy life not
because they love the game or even the men playing it.

Young women who wear so much make-up they have to tip their heads back to get
their eyes open are encouraged to hunt in packs until they snag a rich footballer.

Why? Because it beats getting up at 7am, doing the daily commute and actually
thinking about something other than themselves.

And then, when the marriage is over, its time for the wife to make what Mayfair-
based divorce lawyer Camilla Baldwin calls some real money more than the
average person ever dreams of. Especially as some judges, particularly those in
London, are renowned for favouring the wife in the division of assets.

So, whats a man to do? If hes determined to get married, then he must get a pre-
nuptial agreement, says Baldwin. Otherwise steer clear altogether.

Be in a relationship, even live together. But dont get married. Especially if you have
any prospect of making money.

American social commentator Suzanne Venker agrees. The problem with divorce
settlements, she says, is women want to have their cake and eat it.

We messed with the old marriage structure and now its broken, she says. Back in
the old days, stay-at-home mothers got a financial reward because child-rearing
doesnt pay cash.

Now we want total independence from men, but if we divorce even without having
children we expect to get alimony for ever. We cant have it both ways.

Along with the prospect of endless domestic criticism, this is why men are saying I
dont rather than I do. Men need marriage like a fish needs a bicycle.

Many women have been raised to think of men as the enemy, says Venker. Its
precisely this dynamic women good, men bad that has destroyed the
relationship between the sexes.
After decades of browbeating, men are tired. Tired of being told theres something
fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women arent happy, its
their fault. The rise of women has not threatened men. It has just irritated them.

But by far the most negative aspect of marriage is the likelihood of being edited out of
your childrens lives if it all goes pear-shaped by a state that has relegated the
role of father to its lowest point ever.

It wasnt always this way. In the 1800s, men typically got custody of the children in
the event of a split not as a result of privilege, but because they were solely
financially responsible for them.

They got the children, but they also got the bill. Benefits Britain didnt exist,
encouraging single mums to go it alone.

Now, 200 years on, women get the children, but men still get the bill. Sometimes,
men even pay for children who arent theirs.

The Child Support Agency has 500 cases of paternity fraud a year, where a mother
names a man as the biological father of her child, even when she has a good idea he
isnt. And thats just the cases we know about. According to a YouGov study, 1.2
million men doubt they are the fathers of their partners children.

The recent case of Steven Carter, from Devon, is not unusual. The CSA deducted
50,000 from his bank account between 2007 and 2014, even though a DNA test
later proved the child in question wasnt his.


Men have long been considered aggressors and threats to the safety of children, but
getting it wrong is a human trait, not a male defect.

In fact, in the past few years, some high- profile perpetrators of child abuse have
been women: Karen Matthews, who staged the kidnap of her daughter Shannon;
Amanda Hutton, whose sons mummified body was found two years after he died;
and Baby Ps mother Tracey Connelly.

There is absolutely no magic ingredient that women have when it comes to being
parents, says Adrienne Burgess from the Fatherhood Institute. Men are equally
innately hard-wired to care for children.

The only difference is that the rest of the world thinks theyre dangerous,
uninterested and lacking skills mothers are born with. That is a total myth.

The problem is exacerbated by the way fathers are portrayed in countless films and
TV shows as being utterly inept and untrustworthy. Off the top of my head, I can cite
Men Behaving Badly, Last Of The Summer Wine, The Simpsons, Everybody Loves
Raymond and Friends as examples, plus Three Men And A Baby the highest-
grossing box office hit of 1987.
They acknowledged this, but the Department of Work and Pensions still will not
refund him because the child is now 22, thus an adult, and so the case is officially

Then theres Mark Webb, who raised his daughter for 17 years, only to discover she
was not biologically related to him. When he sued his former wife for compensation,
county and appeal court judges denied his damages claim, brushing it off as a mans
obligation. To this day, no British woman has been convicted of paternity fraud.

This set-up is no accident, though. Since Harriet Harman and her pals entered
politics, the laws that govern family life have been re-jigged to put women on top and
men on the back foot.

They decided that families arent societys natural, balanced building block, but a
cunning plot to oppress mothers while placing men in undeserving positions of power
(when many men were breaking their backs in jobs they hated to keep everything
ticking over).

To avenge this, they squeezed men from the home and hit them where it hurts: the

Dont believe me? The Children Act of 1989 specifically declares: The rule of law that
a father is the natural guardian of his legitimate child is abolished.

A year later, a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research called The Family
Way saw Harman declare: It cannot be assumed men are bound to be an asset to
family life or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social

Even now, the Children and Families Act of 2014 doesnt mention the word father
once. Not once.

Sir Bob Geldof was one of the first high-profile men to challenge the legislation after
losing access to his daughters Peaches, Pixie and Fifi when Paula Yates left him in

It was beyond expensive, he told me. I had to borrow money and was close to
losing it all. In the end, my circumstances changed, but it could have been very

Men still spend thousands getting court orders that arent worth the paper theyre
written on. The whole system is disgusting.

I remember a court clerk telling me: Whatever you do, dont say you love your
children. Family courts consider men who articulate this as extreme. It was

According to the Office for National Statistics, one in three youngsters have no
access to their fathers, which equates to four million children in the UK.
But there is a ray of hope, says Dr Craig Pickering, from the charity Families Need
Fathers. The Children and Families Act says, for the first time in English law, that
both parents should be involved in a childs life after divorce, he says.

The trouble is that its effectiveness depends on what the judges make of it. It
wouldnt be the first time that they came up with their own bizarre interpretation of
something straightforward.

Pickering says sanctions should be imposed on mothers who fail to co-operate, such
as passports and driving licences being confiscated.


Think your wedding day will be the happiest day of your life, chaps? You may need to
think again. The quantity and quality of sex dwindles after marriage, say

A recent survey of 3,000 couples found those who had sex four times a week before
their wedding did the deed just once a week afterwards.

Then theres the cost of bankrolling the average wedding a burden that is
increasingly falling on couples rather than their parents.

Its not called the big day for nothing; the latest stats say youll need to have saved
up around 18,000 to pay the bills.

For the same amount, though, you could get an amazing holiday with first-class
flights round the world, a nice car, a deposit on an apartment or a wardrobe of Savile
Row suits.

Makes you think, doesnt it?

The Government consulted on this, but stopped mid-way through, he says. We

dont know why.

I put this to Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families. Eventually, I was
told by the Ministry of Justice: The consultation concluded we should not introduce
further punitive enforcement elements. There are already punishments available.

Hmm. Perhaps someone needs to tell them they dont work.

Considering that the annual cost of family breakdown is reportedly 44billion thats
more than the defence budget youd think curing fatherlessness would be a priority
for a country haemorrhaging money. But it isnt.

Instead, everyone is petrified of inadvertently apportioning blame to single mothers,

even though its not about them. Only recently, in a bid to woo the female vote, David
Cameron said deadbeat dads should be looked at like drink drivers, yet said nothing
about the mothers who deliberately steer them off the road.
Here we had the head of the Government telling men to raise children properly, yet
offering a law that actively keeps children and fathers apart as the solution. So much
for family values.

Meanwhile, single-parent organisations such as Gingerbread supported by

childrens author J. K. Rowling of all people casually dismiss studies that suggest
a lack of male role models at home increases the likelihood of crime and mental

This is despite a study conducted by Oxford University, which followed 20,000

children from 1958 and found those with a father were far less likely to break the law
or suffer from psychological issues. Young boys with involved fathers also performed
better at school.

Dr Paul Ramchandani, of Imperial College London, conducted a study that found

disengaged and remote father-child interactions as early as the third month of life
often lead to behaviour problems in children when they are older.

The logic is simple not having a father leaves a hole in the soul.

For an army of women, Mr Right is simply not there, no matter how hard they look for
him. And the reason? When it comes to marriage, men are on strike

A void that young people frequently fill with drugs, alcohol or intimacy. This might not
sit well in the feminist family framework, but sometimes the truth hurts.

In 2012, the substance misuse charity Addaction published a report that proved
father deficit to be real, causing anger, self-loathing, addiction and identity issues.

It saw young men compensate with a counterfeit masculinity of strength, anger and
violence, often combined with sexual prowess.

Meanwhile, young women act out a skewed version of femininity that prioritises the
use of sex and relationships with men above all else.

Cruelly, this creates the cycle all over again, with teenagers jumping into bed with
each other without a thought for the consequences.

The Trust for the Study of Adolescence recently proved scores of teenage girls in
Britain are deliberately becoming young mothers as a career move because, with the
state and the father contributing, it offers more guaranteed security than a job.

Even 13-year-old girls admitted this, which might explain why Britain has the highest
teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, at an annual government cost of nearly

Perhaps the law-makers need to think about radical action to break the cycle. Maybe
men could be allowed to have a financial abortion from a child to which they didnt
In a specified time say, legal abortion guidelines men could be allowed to
formally relinquish all monetary obligations, rights and responsibilities if duped into
fatherhood. The woman still wants to proceed? Fine, thats her choice. But not on his

Controversial? Yes. But overnight we would see fewer acts of conception by

deception. And that can only be a good thing for men and for society.

Stand By Your Manhood by Peter Lloyd (Biteback, 16.99). 2015 Peter Lloyd.
To buy a copy for 13.59, visit