We Americans have never been all that comfortable with patriarchy in the strict sense of the word. The men who established our political independence — guys who, for the most part, would be considered late adolescents by today’s standards (including Benjamin Franklin…, in some ways the most boyish of the bunch) — did so partly in revolt against the authority of King George III, a corrupt, unreasonable and abusive father figure. It was not until more than a century later that those rebellious sons became paternal symbols in their own right. They weren’t widely referred to as Founding Fathers until Warren Harding, then a senator, used the phrase around the time of World War I.
A. O. Scott, “The Post-Man: Charting the final, exhausted collapse of the adult white male, from Huck Finn to ‘Mad Men’ (with stops at Tony Soprano, Beyoncé, Apatow, ‘Girls,’ ‘Louie,’ ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ Miley, Updike, ‘Weeds’…)”, The New York Times Magazine (14 September 2014), 40.