Are the Kids All Right?

If women can raise children without men, Justin Cascio writes, where does that leave men?

In my childhood in the 1970s and ‘80s, the prevailing social experiment was whether children could thrive in families headed by a single, working woman, a la Murphy Brown. The situation is now commonplace, and people who think otherwise are unflatteringly compared to the man who famously could not spell “potato.”

My generation has seen the fragmentation of the nuclear family. Now that we’re grown, we try to restore the traditional family model in ways that work for us. As we do, we’re tinkering with its roles and forms, sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity. Couples raise kids together but don’t necessarily marry. Grandparents raise kids, for a variety of reasons. Step-families form and come apart. Amid this diversity of ordinary families, my progressive community contains families whose configurations still defy expectations: divorced lesbian households with three and four mommies, men who give birth, sperm donors who are part of the kids’ lives, but not parents—”spuncles,” one family calls theirs—and yet more dizzyingly complex bonds of community, family, affection, and love that surround and embrace the children in them. The kids accept it as normal, because for them, it is. And despite our hand-wringing, many of them will be just fine.

♦◊♦

In The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko’s film about the changing family, lesbian moms Jules and Nic have teenage kids, a boy and a girl, one the biological child of each mother, with the same sperm donor dad. When 18-year-old Joni is old enough to do so, her younger brother, Laser, asks her to make contact with their biological father. Joni does, and in short succession she and Laser meet Paul, their donor dad, he meets their moms, one of them falls for him, and—spoiler alert—they have an affair, which is soon exposed. The moms stay together, and their relationship seems unharmed by the affair. Yet there’s little doubt that Paul will not remain in Laser and Joni’s life; he’ll simply fade away rather than weather the consequences of the affair.

Why it seems tragic rather than good riddance is that Paul is the kind of guy other Gen-X guys want to be like—or at least think they want to be like. For the men who are too old for Twilight, but have not yet surrendered to the soccer van pool, the new masculine ideal looks a lot like Mark Ruffalo. Sperm-donor dad Paul is attractive to women not only for his mature good looks, but also for his liberal attitudes, as well as his evident professional success. Every clue to Paul’s identity establishes him as a man who thrives in the modern world. He’s in an interracial relationship with his restaurant’s hostess. He’s cool with lesbian moms; they’re just the kind of people he wanted to help by donating sperm. He’s cool with meeting their kids, too, and curious: will they feel a bond?

Paul is part of my generation. We are the MTV generation, a.k.a. “Generation X,” a.k.a. “Slackers.” After our Breakfast Club years, if we didn’t fail to launch and become permanent “Mall Rats” and “Clerks,” we moved out and got the kind of jobs that put us in “Office Space”: still angsty but unavoidably adult. Ten years after the dot com bubble burst, we’re in our thirties and forties, and some of us have given up on the race for cool, have paired off, and settled into the unglamorous work of paying mortgages and making dinner. We’re no longer “the kids,” but, so used to seeing ourselves on the screen, our most pressing question is not for Joni and Laser but for Jules, Nic, and Paul, and by extension, ourselves. Did we turn out all right?

Nic and Jules seem to have turned out well enough, if far from perfect. Nic’s a driven, Type-A sort who drinks a little too much, and Jules’ passion sends her headlong into situations for which she has no exit plan. But they have each other and exert positive, stabilizing influences: Jules softens Nic’s hard edges and drops everything for the kids, and Nic’s career as a physician protects their household from the vicissitudes of Jules’ business sense.

I’m more worried about Paul. I want to understand what went wrong with him—and by extension, other men of my generation. That Paul is still single and childless is just one sign that something may be off. He doesn’t tell Jules she’s wrong to fire her assistant, who cannot help but witness their affair. He doesn’t stop Laser’s friend from skateboarding off the roof, and when he breaks his arm, drives the kid home. Paul’s beautiful young girlfriend and employee, Tanya, would love to have babies with him, but there is a distinction between the self-image Paul cultivates in order to feel good about himself and how he lives his personal life. The successful, self-made man who didn’t step on anybody to get where he is today, the guy who likes to help people and would like to someday have a respectable family, takes what is offered, but doesn’t offer anything of himself. Meeting Laser and Joni is just another fun way to help people that doesn’t require much on his part. If they don’t hit it off, he just won’t see them again.

Paul’s involvement with the kids could have ended at the sperm bank, and like the title of the movie suggests, they would have been all right. Joni and Laser are raised in a stable home by two loving parents. Other than for donating sperm, a man was not necessary to make this family, and Paul had no part in their success. But does this mean that, because (at least some) women can raise children perfectly well without men, that men are not part of the human family?

At the end of the movie, Paul can walk away from Joni and Laser because he isn’t their dad, isn’t anything like a dad to them. In having an affair, Paul and Jules make a huge mistake together, but there is never any question that Jules will leave Nic or the children over it. Even though their mom has an affair, the kids are all right because she never stops being their mother.

Men are half of humanity, so how can their absence not matter? The kids were all right without Paul, but if he’d been there for them, he could have become essential. No one in Laser’s household full of women sees him as a “sensitive jock,” the way Paul describes him after meeting him just once. In contrast, Jules angrily tells her son that she wishes he were gay so he would be sensitive. Joni needs to know that she can be loved by a man without having to charge their relationship with sex. Paul would have become a better person for committing to his relationships: the person Joni wishes he would have been.

♦◊♦

Loving bonds change us and the people we love. We grow into the roles we see ourselves fitting into. By becoming professionals, through having committed relationships with partners, traveling, and having other formative experiences, we develop parts of ourselves that would never come to light otherwise. Being mentors to young people creates another image of ourselves that we stretch to fill. In addition to building families of our own, we can become family by loving others and staying committed. For kids, relationships such as those with close neighbors, honorary or actual uncles, a “spuncle,” a stepdad, coach, pastor, friends of their parents, and other trusted adults are as critical as the relationships they have with their parents. To be a trusted adult in a kid’s life, it doesn’t matter what they call you, as long as they know they can call on you. These relationships may be purely at will, with no legal rights attached to them, and there are forces that will want to push you back out again. It takes faith in your own importance to other people to stay in the face of those forces.

Joni would have let Paul stay in her life: it’s evident from the fact that she steps outside and closes the door to stand with him and let him say whatever he will. If you find yourself, by whatever strange twists, in Paul’s place, or something like it, all you have to do to not screw this up is to not play it cool. Be unafraid to show how much you care. “Cool” guys step back. Heartfelt ones steps forward. Guess which one gets to be a part of a child’s life.

For Paul to continue having a relationship with his kids would have been difficult, but possible. It wasn’t enough for them to be curious about one another. It would have required faith that regardless of what brought them together, once he was in their lives, the commitment was real. People change to become parents, or they fail to parent. Paul fails.

—Photo tinou bao/Flickr

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About Justin Cascio

Justin Cascio is a writer, trans man, and biome. His most recent publication is a short memoir, "Heartbreak and Detox," available on Kindle.
You can follow him on Twitter, Google, and Facebook.

Comments

  1. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t say too much about it, but from what you said it sounds like Paul’s mistake was having an affair, not leaving the kids behind. He was a sperm donor; he never was a dad, so I think it would be unfair to expect him to have any real investment in the children.
    From the start he was only a sperm donor, so he can’t be compared to an absent dad.

    And yes, some women can raise kids just fine without men, while some men can raise kids just fine without women.

    I’m more worried about the kind of person who would name their kid “Laser.”

  2. The half of humanity in that civilization that usually more in than it takes out drops out and ceases to do that, because they are no longer required. Then that civilization collapses and gets taken over by another civilization.

  3. oh and society fills up with anti social behavior, without fathers involved.

  4. I think kids need parents that love them. Some will be women,some will be men. Men and women, gay or straight, all races all need to have influence on our children as they grow.
    I’d like to come to a point where it’s less that women “need” men, and more that men and women want to be together to raise these kids. Because they actually care for and like each other.
    If the only thing keeping women with men is “need” for resources……that’s not a good statement on what relationships are, is it? I want to want to be with my partner. I choose to be with him and he chooses to be with me. Financially, it’s easier if we are both in it together, sure. But he could and I could survive without each other. But that wouldn’t be any fun at all.

  5. Children need fathers. Two moms is not a substitute. Men are different than women, and teach their children different skills. Girls who grow up without fathers have much higher rates of teen pregnancy or to get into abusive relationship. Boys need men as role models. A great deal of our current masculinity crisis has to do with a generation of boys raised without fathers.

    • This insults single mothers and children who grow up just fine without a father. It’s how the mother raises the child, not the absence of a father, that defines how that child is going to grow up. Several of my friends have been raised just by their mothers and grew up just fine. Anecdotal evidence doesn’t transcend to all experiences, but I can guarantee you my friends with single mothers are not an anomaly; therefore, the absence of a father can’t be at fault for the way a child grows up. Children need parents, not necessarily a mother or a father, but plain old parents, whether that be a mom a dad, two moms or two dads, or what, children just need parents. My fiance’s father was abusive to him and his mother. Ultimately he went to prison and died there. Thus, my fiance’s mother raised him. What do you suggest she do? Force herself to seek out another relationship just so my fiance can have some sort of father? That seems ridiculous, considering she has no desire to be in another relationship. Children know when they’re parents are unhappy. Unhappy parents lead to an unhappy child. So should people force themselves in relationships with others just so their children can have that balance of both a mother and father figure? Doesn’t seem ideal, in my opinion.

      • Thats different, she had to leave. I think single mother hood by choice and and whole communities that have had fatherhood socialised out of the culture are more what people object to.

      • Some things are opinions and other things are facts. The studies on this are conclusive – children do better on almost every measure when they have access to their biological father. It is a sign of how much our society has declined that this point is no longer considered self evident.

        People make do in all kinds of unfortunate circumstances. I’m sure they like to pretend that it is all just fine. Its not.

        • Even if the biological father is abusive?
          I think children do best in environments that are safe, where their physical boundaries are not abused and where the adults are showing each other love and respect. Sure fathers can do that. Mothers too. But I don’t think any woman or man should stay in a relationship that is abusive or neglectful. I think it sets an example for children that it’s ok to neglect and abuse.
          Girls don’t need to grow up seeing that, and neither do boys.
          Healthy, emotionally stable, loving parents, yes.
          And I know you won’t agree with me Linguist, but I would rather be raised by a single mother or father, than by two parents who are abusing each other right and left.

          • Children don’t need (as in, cannot survive without) parents at all. They can grow up “just fine” without a mother, father, or even custodial grandparents. I know lots of people who grew up tha way in foster care. My family took in foster kids for over 20 years.

            It’s not a question of what is survivable, but what is best, healthiest. I haven’t heard an argument or seen any data to indicate that it’s not best overall for children to have both a involved father and a mother who are married to each other reasonably happily (nothing’s perfect), who raise their children together under the same roof.

          • Abusive is a relative term. For sure if one of the parents is a dangerous monster then the children are better off outside of an abusive environment and taking the hit for losing one or both parents. But in my personal experience 99 times out of 100 the children would be better off with the absent parent around.

            What gets called “abuse” today is a catch all excuse. If a woman doesn’t want her husband around and they don’t get along due to normal every day type conflicts, she will claim the situation is “abusive”. More to the point I don’t buy at all the argument that children are better off with one parents if the two together “don’t get along”. Children are not that tuned in to their parents conflicts – and don’t care that much that their parents are perfectly happy. They want and need a stable home environment that includes the time and attention of their mother and father.

            i have no respect for parents who break up a marriage for trivial reasons. And most of the ones I have direct experience with fall in that category.

        • Studies *are* conclusive- children do better on almost every measure when they have the social supports that are often given by having both a father and a mother, but are just as well provided for by having two mothers or two fathers or three or one or ten. Having the resources to parent, makes for better parents. It really has no relation to the genders involved.

          • “but are just as well provided for by having two mothers or two fathers or three or one or ten. . .”

            Are you suggesting that mothers are unnecessary? Isn’t, for example, breastfeeding healthier than not breastfeeding?

            I know it’s not politically correct around here but I have seen no evidence that men and women are interchangable.

          • You’re wrong. Read the literature. Children need mothers and fathers. The gender of the parents matters.

            • The children of lesbians do better than the children of heterosexuals, so I’m not sure what literature you’ve been reading. It’s because making an active choice to have a child, as they must have done, is good for that child. Sadly no large studies on gay men parenting yet.

              You are wrong about children not being aware of their parents being unhappy together. Take it from someone who still feels anxious when her parents speak to each other.

              Stability, love, and good, diverse role models are what matters. And getting to keep all the people who love you, no matter who they are.

            • I haven’t seen such a study – but I’m not surprised if children of married lesbians do better than children of single mothers. Children of single mothers have very poor outcomes in general. Children of intact heterosexual families do the best.

            • Livy,
              The few books and studies I have seen that stated lesbians made better parents were debunked on Glenn Sacks website hisside.com

              If I remember correctly, in one of the studies it compared children of lesbians who were upper middle class who were:
              A)well to do
              B) emotionally ready for a child (and sought out articifical impregnation), i.e. they did not have “surprise” children
              C) were low conflict mature couples
              D) were compared to OVERALL children of hetero couples

              It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you’re comparing white collar professional low conflict lesbians in an emotionally ready state for parenthood to the overall population you’re going to get skewed results.

            • Jamie Parsons says:

              Since when? How many billions of children of heterosexuals could possibly be compared to children of lesbians?

              Boys who grow up without a father, will almost always try and find out who their father is. A father figure is very important in young children’s lives. How many men claim that their father is their hero? A lot. A loving father is an important person in any child’s life.

      • I believe children need to have both male and female role models, regardless of who their parents are. This lets the child form their own opinions on how things work and how to gauge their actions instead of trying to learn off secondhand experience.

      • Why when ever men assert their position in the family structure is it an insult to single mothers? Yes people can parent solo, and gay or lesbian parents can raise children, but if we keep sidelining men, showing them as the idiot husband, or make stereotypical assumptions about them, then we should not be supprised when they meet the expectations we set for them. Furthermore we fail to recognize the true nature of men’s struggle thus perpetuating the social problems primarily committed by men.

        • Davyj, there’s a difference between asserting a position and labeling all single-mother environments unhealthy.

          That’s one of the reasons why I stopped associating with the Mens Rights Movement. Their claims of single-mother environments breeding drug-abusing, crime committing criminals when they grow up was too much for me to take. When I once called one out on the claims and studies, I was labelled a “Flat earth denier”

          Look, I support men in gaining their basic rights. But calling every single-mother environment a place where criminals can be bred is taking it too far. No different from extremist feminists and their “Men are oppressors, women the oppressed”.

  6. It’s true that children are raised successfully without a father. Are fathers then unnecessary?
    It’s true that children are raised successfully without a mother. Are mothers then unnecessary?
    It’s true that children are raised successfully without either parent. Are parents then unncessary?
    It’s true that children are raised successfully in foster homes. Is tamily then unnecessary?

    Or, is any scenario possible but it’s best for children to have both a father and a mother?

    Obviously.

  7. “In my childhood in the 1970s and ‘80s, the prevailing social experiment was whether children could thrive in families headed by a single, working woman, a la Murphy Brown. The situation is now commonplace, and people who think otherwise are unflatteringly compared to the man who famously could not spell “potato.””

    Candice Bergen (who played Murphy Brown) thanked Dan Quayle when she won the emmy. And if we read further into your wikipedia link, we see what Bergen actually thought of Quayle’s speech:

    “I never have really said much about the whole episode, which was endless, but his speech was a perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable and nobody agreed with that more than I did.”

  8. Okay, I had a long, complicated response, but it got so long I blogged it instead. But I’d still like to say this here:

    Who’s to say that just because Paul is male, he’s a better role model/mentor/parent figure in any given situation? And who’s to say that Paul’s actions have any bearing on men in society as a whole, anyway? I understand wanting to use the film as a springboard to make a point, but this film in particular is about individuals; the fact that the parents are both women is used primarily to throw their relationship into relief, not to prove that lesbians can be mothers too…

    You make a good point that Paul clearly regrets some of his decisions, but I think his problem was not that he played it too cool, but that he didn’t play it cool enough. That is, he didn’t respect Nic and Jules enough, and thought for a moment he could displace them partially, help the kids to turn out better, and when he was wrong it all blew up. But what this says about men in general is unclear, and I feel like the filmmaker wanted it that way.

    • I agree with part of what you say, which is that this was about individuals more than a statement about men or women. I didn’t get the sense that Paul thought he could displace Nic. I got that he thought he had something to offer, but it would be the extra something, not the main dish. His offer to Jules to grab the kids and move in with him was so ridiculous that she laughed at it. They all knew he was no parent.

  9. “the fact that the parents are both women is used primarily to throw their relationship into relief, not to prove that lesbians can be mothers too”

    I think that’s mostly the point of the film, not whether the kids are alright at all. Cholodenko’s work often deals with themes of control meeting a chaotic influence and watching how the system unravels (and re-ravels) after that meeting.
    In High Art, it’s a tightly wound art writer meeting a heroin addicted famous artists who seduces her.
    In Laurel Canyon it’s a tightly wound graduate student and his tightly wound PHD student fiance, moving in with his wild rock and roll mother and the breakdown of several relationships due to the collision of worlds.
    I watched “Kids” not from the perspective of lesbians, but from the control/chaos frame and it’s an entirely different film. FWIW.

  10. Let’s face it. The family court rules, the extremely broad definitions of what constitutes abuse, the ever-lowered standards of proof required to label someone an abuser — for life and without any meaningful possibility of appeal, speak volumes about which gender is valued as parents. It is women. Women on average want to have control of the kids, and have the power to enforce that desire, using abuse-by-proxy through nervous social workers, nervous and overworked judges against men.

    Just read “How I Became a Deadbeat Dad” on this very website, for a fairly typical example of how the system can be, and all too often is, gamed by women.

    It is not wrong for women to want to be with their children. But nearly without fail women who comment on this webite will say “but what if the man is abusive.” Well, every man is not abusive. But we have created, collectively, the presumption that every man is potentially abusive (a presumption not held against women, despite evidence to the contrary) and therefore every man has access to his children only at the sufferance of their mother, which can be withdrawn at any time for any reason.

    No one here, from what I can see, has answered the question of what it is like to be a boy raised under these circumstances. To be separated from your father today; to be subjected to the potential abuse of a step-father or mother’s boyfriend or mother’s brothers (the statistics here are crystal clear that it is the latter categories that pose by far the greater risk to children); to be told that your potential fatherhood is not nearly as valuable in the future as your potential abuse in the future means you should be separated from children; to be, in effect, told you should not go into teaching or nursing or coaching because you are male and therefore a potential abuser of children.

    This subjects half the children in this country, boys, to systemic and systematic abuse.

    And that doesn’t really seem to matter.

    So, in conclusion, yes, men are no longer needed or wanted for the raising of children. Women will, hereafter, do it all on their own. And it is of no use to then conclude that men are only “deadbeats” or “playboys” (a la the recent article in the Atlantic). Because, after all, when economic and parental roles are denied to men, why should we expect them to have a role at all?

    And since the sperm banks are full: Why keep male children around at all? We don’t really need men for anything at all. What a useless expense to raise male children. And kind of psychologically cruel in its way, too. We don’t keep male cattle or chickens around, after all.

    It is not pretty, but it is a logical conclusion.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      That’s a very dramatic estimation of the future, though I’ve seen the opposite on MRA sites glorifying a future of robot wives and disembodied wombs. As a woman, married to a man, raising male children, and as a woman raised by a woman after my male father died, and being friends with lesbians raising kids and gay men raising kids and at least one poly family raising kids, I think its bunk. Humans need humans.
      Some human beings are abusive. This is hard fact.
      Many people in divorces are big mean jerks, using children to get back at their spouse. This is also fact.
      It’s a crying shame people act that way.
      People need people. Humans need humans and all this one true way stuff denies our humanity, our creativity and our abilities to actually find solutions to conflict.

      Also? Money and middle class status surely helps will all that parenting. The more parents, the more money, the more stability (generally speaking. In that case, i’d be happy to move in with another couple of families, form a pod and have waaaaaay more safety than any old dyad.

      • You are so right. And I love the idea of more than two parents. Raising kids is hard, and with everybody working 40 hours a week it only gets more difficult to do it well. If you can successfully manage your poly life, you have the superior interpersonal skills the next generation needs to succeed.

  11. Linguist–what about someone who is born a male, but identifies as a female (or the other way around)? A transgender woman born as a man could marry a woman. Is that ok then? There was recently an article on here about a very happy and stable couple–both partners were born as women, but married as men. I agree that a child should have male and female influences in his/her life, but there are many ways of doing that, even as a gay couple. And a lack of a male/female character in a child’s life isn’t only something present in homosexual or one parent households. My father traveled so much when we were young due to business, that my young sister called everyone (including grown men) ‘she’ by default because she was only used to females around her.

    • I’m the author of both this article and the one you mention. As Julie G notes above, this film is more about chaos v. stability than it is a clear statement about men. But as with the Murphy Brown incident, I’m more interested in how laymen took the message. What do men read in this movie about what we should be or are? Most of the comments here are about whether children need two parents, one of each gender. That kids do better with two parents than one is a matter of math. Man and woman are still archetypes in our society and I think Cholodenko does manage to say a few things about the prejudices we have for our own kind: my bio-mom versus other mom, parent of my gender versus parent of other gender. Not that everyone gets to have as many role models as we need in our own families. It does take a village, for at least that reason. We aren’t yet in a culture of decanted children, where Joni and Laser’s experience is mainstream, so in there case, being in a minotiry, I think it’s normal for them to react to a sperm donor as a long-lost dad, even if that turns out to be a sad error.

    • A woman who dresses like a man is not an appropriate male role model. (And vice versa) We, unfortunately have a lot of transexuals in the city where I live. I have yet to see an M to F who dresses like an actual woman. Mostly they wear some kind of sexually exaggerated clothing – like stripper style micro-minis (you’ve seen ‘em). In no way are they acting like normal male or female role models and I bet they are detrimental to a child’s normal development.

      “It takes a village to raise a child” – baloney. It takes a family to raise a child. That slogan is just part of the effort to replace the role of the family with the state. It is part of why family stability is so poor in western countries. I reject it.

      • You’re full of stereotypes about trans people. You’re also wrong. But I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you that on the internet.

        It takes a village because we’re not exactly like our parents, and need more models than just our own family to know how things are done in our culture. The problems we see today are the result of the breakdown of our communities–our villages–not with greater state involvement in our private lives.

  12. Why is it so important to a lot of people to find the “one true way”? Do we even believe that we achieve the best possibly society if every child is raised in the statistically best way (if such a thing could be established)? Or do we believe that we would have lost something important in such a monoculture?

    I don’t understand why it’s such a threat to fatherhood that a woman-women same-sex couple can raise children, and do a good job at it. It’s not going to precent fathers everywhere from doing a great job raising their kids – if they want to and have the commitment it takes.

    For fatherhood, what other people do and how they raise their children is really of no consequence at all. All that matters is that you understand what fatherhood means to you and that you have the integrity to do what you know is right.

    • Its like we’ve devolved into some kind of crazy town parallel universe, where obvious truths need to be defended. Yes there is an optimal family structure that has worked for all of recorded history.

      What you call “monoculture” is just what happens when a well organized society optimizes families for the benefit of children – instead of the selfish desires of the parents. We’re at over 40% of children born outside of marriage, and about half of the children who start in intact families experience family dissolution at some point. With it come all the social problems we see around us, from teen pregnancy, a falling marriage and birth rate, and low achievement. Our economy is increasingly out-competed by societies with healthier families ( like China, Brazil and India ).

      Back in the days of “monoculture” we were putting men on the moon, and we were the undisputed most powerful country on earth, with the world’s highest standard of living. Now we are in sharp decline, fighting over whether to fund healthcare or education. These things are related.

      • “These things are related.”

        Ir’s a nice assertion. Unfortunately, you present absolutely no facts an no argument to back it up. You can’t just willy-nilly pick trends and claim a causal relationship.

  13. Fred Flange says:

    Two things:
    I think it was David Popenoe (yes, the conservative researcher) who found that, among stable gay couples, over time one would be the more nuturing (maternal role) parent while the other would be more the disciplinarian (father role). So in that sense, yes, two stable parents of whatever grouping can do a good job, as those behaviors are hard-wired into stable parenting situations. Emphasis on stable. (Not new mating partners coming and going)

    Still the comments revive the notion, back from the 1980’s, that all childing should be left to the “wimmin”, ‘cos the men are a) useless or b) “potentially abusive”, meaning guaranteed abusive. So men should just step back from the kids because they’re too dangerous, keep all the money and run everything like the ol’ Good Book supposedly says. Have I got that right? Can I walk out on my family and have some fun now? One of y’all will explain to the kids why this has to happen? Thanks.

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