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No Fathers Allowed

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Tabitha loved her father. She took him for granted. She did not realize how unusual it was for a cat to know their father.

In most human societies, fathers are expected to have some sort of role in their children's lives. Even if they're not around much, they're at least expected to support their offspring.

Not in this society.

In this society, fathers are not expected to have a bond with their children. Everyone has a Disappeared Dad. Maybe the kids are expected to be reared by only their mother and her family. Often times, this overlaps with Lady Land and/or Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe.

This often appears in alien, animal, or otherwise non-human societies, but it can appear in human-centric societies as well.

Compare Hands-Off Parenting, Glorified Sperm Donor, and Disappeared Dad. See also No Blood Ties, where the mothers aren't involved with raising their children either.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the French comic Dungeon: The Early Years, male dragons are not supposed to see their own children (doing so is a serious crime against their religion). After Marvin does so anyway, he willingly blinds himself then slaughters the dragons exiling him. Years later, he meets one of his friends and posits that the law was set up by dragons who didn't want any of the responsibilities of parenting.
  • In the Spider-Man story where Toxin was introduced, the story opens with Venom and Carnage arguing about what to do with Carnage's incoming offspring (it's complicated, just go with it). Carnage wants to kill it, Venom wants to take it from Carnage and rear the infant symbiote himself. The one point they can agree on is that a "loving" relationship between a father and his direct offspring is against the natural order of their kind. Whether this is actually part of symbiote "culture" or a result of the fact the hosts of said symbiotes are batpoop insane is unclear.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987) introduced the Bana as a faction of antagonistic cruel misandrist Amazons who had perpetuated their line by kidnapping men and keeping them in breeding stalls before murdering them as they did not have the same immortality as the Themyscirans.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): The Citizenry are an extraterrestrial collective which began kidnapping, raping and then murdering men after Astarte took over.
    • Wonder Woman (2011) (New 52): The titular protagonist is one of many children on Themyscira. The Amazons hate men, but they kidnap men who cross near their island, reproduce with them, and then kill them (and their sons if a baby is born male).

    Fan Works 
  • In Warriors Redux, fathers are optional. Queens rear their kits together and don't need to disclose their kits fathers. It's an Open Secret that ThunderClan cats often breed with pets in order to avoid Royal Inbreeding.

    Films — Animation 
  • Deconstructed in Bambi and Bambi II. Like in the original novel, the Great Prince lives mostly in seclusion, watching the herd from afar. When his mate is killed by a hunter, he is wary about rearing Bambi himself since the general order of things is that he doesn't care for the young. As time passes, however, he grows a bond with Bambi and relents.
  • In Mars Needs Moms, on Mars all the men are banished from society due to be perceived as useless. Children are raised exclusively by women, but they're not very good at it so they have to kidnap human mothers from Earth and use them to programme robots that rear the children (and they always go after human mothers rather than fathers). This is averted in the ending; following a revolution men are allowed to participate in Martian society again, and both fathers and mothers raise children.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Born In The Maelstrom: The community does not have any men, so the childrens' fathers aren't involved with their lives. In the case of Rebecca, this is because she'd been conceived by rape, but in the others' cases it isn't clear why.

  • In the original Bambi book, the females usually don't know who fathered their children. During the breeding season, Bambi becomes head-over-heels for his cousin, Faline and rarely wants to leave her side. After she becomes pregnant, Bambi finds his interest in Faline quickly waning until he can't stand to be around her anymore and runs off to live in seclusion.
  • Implied in Cat Pack as a Furry Reminder. Carlotta has kittens, and the other cats want to be their step-father, but no one ever brings up the kittens' biological father.
  • Hainish: In "Solitude", the society of Eleven-Soro has collapsed to an effectively neolithic level following a massive civilizational collapse. Not only fathers are not expected to rear their children, but they are not expected to have any contact with women outside of reproduction — the women live in "circles", small circular villages home to women who never directly interact with one another and to their children, while the men live hermit-like lives alone or in pairs (implied to be homosexual relationships). Boys above a certain age are driven out of the circles, at which point they band together with other boys until adulthood, roving in groups until they reach adulthood and set off on their own. After that, women only seek men out when they wish to have children, and the men have no further interactions with the children.
  • Halo: In Sangheili culture, children are typically not told who their fathers are, so as to discourage favoritism and over-dependence. They may be tutored by an "uncle" who sometimes actually is their father. This system is tricky to maintain, and Serin Osman points out in Halo: The Thursday War that the adult Sangheili must know who their offspring are to prevent inbreeding. A few exceptions exist; Ussans in Halo: Broken Circle and Juranai in Halo: Shadow of Intent are Sangheili clans who break from tradition due to living in remote locations.
  • Among the Panserbjorne from His Dark Materials, fathers don't play much a role in their children's lives, much like Real Life bears. Bears have patronymics in true Scandinavian fashion, though.
  • The Adem nation in The Kingkiller Chronicle doesn't recognize "fatherhood" as a concept at all. To them, men and sex play no role in reproduction, and women instead just naturally "ripen" at times and bear children (part of it has to do with the Adem in general being very liberal about sex). Their language doesn't even have a word for "father", instead translating it as "manmother" when they have to communicate with other cultures.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: Part of Witch culture, as said in the third book:
    "I didn't know wi... your people had fathers." said Cassie. "You all seem to be girls." The cleric blushed with embarrassment.
    "Oh, we got fathers," said Bianca. "We just don't have much to do with them. Our moms pick guys with good magic backgrounds, have us, and then they're gone."
  • Redwall: Male badgers are expected to leave their father's home relatively early, as two large male animals in a tunnel system are one too many.
  • Stray: Pufftail's daughter Tabitha is unusual in that she's close to him. Most cats don't know their fathers. Tabitha's own son Kitchener was the result of a short fling with an unnamed roaming tom. Pufftail himself says that he doesn't understand why humans seem so obsessed with their adult children. To him, it's unnatural for parents to care about, or even think much about, their offspring. He likely has hundreds of children but doesn't care to meet them. Pufftail is close to Tabitha because she's different from the others. Pufftail loves Tabitha so much because she is the spitting image of her Missing Mom, Pufftail's Lost Lenore Tammy.
  • In Survivor Dogs, male Leashed Dogs are usually not in their pup's lives. As a result, fathers are usually called "Sire-Dogs" while mothers are called "Mother-Dogs".
  • Early Warrior Cats books noted that males rarely care for their kits. In the first arc, queens take care of their kits together (much like real cats) and they can choose not to disclose their kits' father if they wish. This was changed in the second arc. Toms who don't pay attention to their children are looked down upon as deadbeat dads.
  • Wings of Fire: MudWing dragons have a Hands-Off Parenting style. They mate in groups, so females don't even know (or care) who fathered their dragonets. The mothers have little-to-no interaction with their children after laying their eggs. The dragonets are expected to take care of themselves, with the oldest sibling acting as the group leader.
  • The Efrosians in the Star Trek Novel Verse are described this way - children are raised solely by their mother, and their culture has no concept or word for "father". The closest analog according to the Universal Translator is "seed-donor".
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Inverted with the Mandalorians. Mothers are expected to care for the infants. Once a child is old enough to walk, the father is expected to step in and do the bulk of rearing and training them, to the point where "deadbeat dad" is one of their worst insults.
    • Female Barabels mate with 3-4 males each before laying eggs, and the young donít know who their dads are, let alone being raised by them.
  • Earth's Children: All the cultures portrayed in the books have no concept of fatherhood, not realizing there's a connection between having sex and reproduction. While some do notice a resemblance between certain men and children, this is ascribed to their "spirit" affecting them. Thus a man will refer to one as the "child of their spirit", but this isn't viewed as a biological connection. Because of this, their sisters' children are a man's heirs, not any child whom their mate has. Children refer to their mother's mate as "the man of my hearth", though usually, they have the emotional relationship a father would. However, in some cases this may not be their birth father anyway, since sexual exclusivity isn't strictly enforced due to the aforementioned lack of knowledge that paternity exists (though a person's mate may be hurt if they have sex with another). Ayla realizes that men are needed to produce children, however, as a result of her observations. Despite initial skepticism, she eventually convinces people it's true and the series makes clear this will profoundly change the culture into what is normal now.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Zigzagged in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Muse". There are an alien species called the Tavnians that has a society where the girls are only reared by their mothers, but on the other hand, the boys are only reared by their fathers. In fact, nobody's told the other sex exists until their adolescence.
  • In the "Slice Girls" episode of Supernatural, a single-gender society of Amazonian women sustains itself by having sex with men they meet in bars. They intentionally have unprotected sex in order to get pregnant and then leave with no intention of informing the fathers. When the children, who are always female, are ready to be inducted as a full member of society, their rite of passage is to go back and murder their unsuspecting biological fathers.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In some myths, the Amazons were believed to reproduce through an arrangement with an all-male tribe living near their lands (Classical Mythology named these people the Gargareans, while during the Age of Exploration the supposed Amazons of Guyana were described as having a similar arrangement with an unnamed Guyanan tribe). Once a year, the two peoples would meet and attend to business, after which they would separate again. During each meeting, the Amazons would deliver any sons conceived in the last year's meeting to the men's tribe, and keep the daughters. The girls would then be reared as Amazons with no input from their fathers; the sons, in an inversion, would be reared in the all-male tribe with no input from their mothers.

    Web Comics 
  • Fishgirls in Ennui GO! are an all-female race that require human men in order to reproduce, though the fact that they can only stay out of the water for a few hours at a time means that they usually only have sex for the purpose of having a kid and then leave the guy behind. The few exceptions that we do see are either chimeras (who are stuck on land due to a genetic disorder), or used magic to turn themselves human.
  • Outsider: Among the Loroi, men make up only a small portion of the total population and live in isolated, semi-monastic communities, and their interactions with the outside world are largely limited to mating encounters. Loroi women typically "meet" with any given man only once, as strong attachments to mating partners are frowned upon in Loroi society, and afterward return to their families to go through pregnancy and birth their child. Daughters are reared by their mothers, aunts and other female relatives, while the rare sons are reared in the cloistered male societies. Either way, fathers rarely if ever meet their children.

    Real Life 
  • When an animal exhibits parental care, it's usually maternal. 95% of mammals have exclusive maternal care. Birds are unique for being a class of animals that almost uniformly show biparental care (equal roles for males and females in parenting). As for humans, they are unique not just among mammals but all animals in mostly having fathers who not only nurture their children, but are around throughout their lives.
  • Although they're never taken to the extreme of never seeing their children, among indigenous peoples of Oceania, it is customary for the fathers to let the women rear the children almost exclusively.