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So Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older Muslim Boston bomber brother, had a loving white American wife of WASPy lineage who donned his approved Islamic head coverage and bore him his hell-spawnage. Some have asked, where was Katherine Russell’s father during her descent into badboy servitude? If the photo of the dad after news of Tamerlan’s death is any indication, the guy is giddy that his son-in-law is no longer for this world.

Arranged marriages don’t sound like much fun, but one problem with moving as a culture toward exclusively love-based marriage is that it neuters the ability of parents to exert any control over their daughters’ instinctual romantic compulsions. The ancients knew that women’s libidos were dangerous when left unchecked. But a culture that prizes doe-eyed love as the be-all and end-all of legitimate marriage must come to terms with the fact that many women love the wrong kinds of men. It’s in their genes.

When lust-fueled love as a basis for forming putative lifelong marital unions crowds out all other considerations, the influence that parents wield over their daughters’ mate choices gets winnowed as well. After all, who is a parent to say what his or her daughter feels? Love knows no reason. And so what you get is fathers like the one above, powerless to stop his daughter’s stupid decisions, and overjoyed when fate steps in to excise the cancer from his family that he wished he could excise himself, but never had the guts nor the informal societal support to do so.

Love makes betas of men, in more ways than one, and it would be wise to remember that some of those men are fathers whose authority has been gutted by the awesome power of love.


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