Non-Parent Bill Maher Celebrates Father’s Day By Claiming That ‘Trad-Dads’ Will Cure Anxiety

Maher believes that ‘gentle parenting’ and participation trophies are responsible for the mental health epidemic among today’s teens
Non-Parent Bill Maher Celebrates Father’s Day By Claiming That ‘Trad-Dads’ Will Cure Anxiety

Last night, Bill Maher delivered a very special “New Rule” for Father’s Day in order to entertain all the dads in the Real Time fandom who weren’t too busy getting calls from their kids to tune in.

“Before you start in with, ‘But Bill, what do you know about it? You aren’t a parent,’” Maher began his segment on the trendy and oft-mocked child-rearing philosophy of “gentle parenting,” in which parents seek to understand and acknowledge the emotional impulses behind bad behavior instead of emphasizing discipline. “I don’t give blow jobs either, but I can tell when someone’s doing it wrong,” Maher cracked while loudly smacking his wet lips into his lavalier microphone like he was making an ASMR video for rosacea-ridden Boomers who still share memes about participation trophies with their 14 Facebook friends.

In “New Rule: Bring Back Trad Dads,” Maher identified the sharp rise in anxiety and other mental illnesses among the American youth while thumbing his nose at the doctors behind the studies he sourced, claiming that a lack of authoritarianism among today’s patriarchs is behind the epidemic. 

“Our kids are crippled with anxiety because they havent been properly prepared for a world that doesnt revolve around them,” Maher posited after citing a 2008 article from Psychology Today that claimed, “The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.” 

Even though Mahers source predates the “gentle parenting” fad that instigated his latest “kids these days” rant by over a decade, his personal explanation for the well-documented rise in mental illness among young people was punctuated by applause breaks roughly every 15 seconds, stretching out this Elon-Musk-tweets worth of information into nine minutes of claps-over-laughs “comedy.”

Maher further ranted against a recently released study that showed how PTSD diagnoses are increasing among college students, incredulously riffing, “From college? The cradle of saftyism? The home of safe spaces and trigger warnings and policing offensive words?” 

Of course, at no point during the segment did Maher acknowledge the emphasized point of the report that the sharpest increase occurred during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, during which campuses were shut down, many students lost housing and/or lost loved ones and social unrest violently fractured many college communities.

In fact, nowhere in Mahers recycling of his old rants about how all the young people raised by his own generation are too sensitive and weak to laugh at his “Did you just assume my gender?”-style comedy did he acknowledge any of the oft-cited factors in the declining mental health of Americas children. Actual experts on mental health attribute the rise of mental illness in teens to various causes, including the pervasive influence of social media on their self-esteem, the continued dropping of the age at which kids hit puberty, structural problems like poverty, food insecurity, homelessness and lack of access to health care, and, of course, the aforementioned pandemic in which 200,000 kids in America lost a parent or caregiver and 29 percent of all high school students had a parent lose their job, leading to a spike in domestic abuse as struggling families were forced to quarantine together with schools closed and tensions rising.

No, instead of acknowledging all of the unique stressors that todays young people face on the path to adulthood, Maher attacked the scientists responsible for documenting the mental health crisis, saying of the National Institute of Mental Health's findings that 49.5 percent of U.S. adolescents had any kind of mental health disorder in their most recent study, “The National Institute of Health is also part of the problem. The mental health disorder is on the part of the adults, not the children, the adults who forgot that, to a child, discipline is love and that kids need structure and authority. Of course they think they have traumatic stress disorder (sic) when they get to college, if, before they left the house, they never heard the word ‘no.’” 

Funny how, when Maher heard that word for the first time while trying to weasel his way into an A-list Oscar party, he fired his agents and threw a tantrum worse than that of any two-year-old in a grocery store. Maybe all that authoritarian, tough-loving, traditional parenting would be better used on a certain 68-year-old man-child rather than on traumatized teens.


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