People used to lament the advent of the nuclear family because it heralded the death of the extended family. Now, according to Britain’s top family court judge, we should applaud the death of the married mum, dad and kids family norm as it dies of neglect before our eyes.
Sir James Munby, president of the High Court’s family division, is very familiar with what he calls the “complexity” of family life these days. To simplify things, he told a university audience last week, we should forget about things like marital status or who exactly a child’s parents are, and welcome the new “reality” of people living together, married or unmarried, of opposite sexes or the same, monogamous or not.
It is easy enough to see social hazards in this trend and the whole piece is well worth reading, but this comment highlights an important problem too.
Whenever I see one of these "Ain't if awful" pieces the question that comes to my mind is "What do you suggest we do about it?"
For good or ill, norms of behviour are changing. So what should be done?
I do not see how there is any choice but to accommodate to the changes.
Indeed - what can one do other than adapt? To my mind the trend is deplorable for a number of reasons and there are sinister political aspects too, but apart from saying how deplorable it is, what is the most pragmatic response? What else can we do apart from what Mr Meyer suggests - accommodate to the changes.
Social change is a powerful beast but is anyone riding the beast? I don't think so. As intelligent beings we should be in the saddle but we are not. Nobody is.