Why did Mike grow up thinking he could get away with disrespecting people? Why is Elly a frustrated mess who nails herself to her cross and yells at those who would pry her loose? Why is Liz as addicted to martyrdom as her mother? Why is April thought of as some sort of spoiled princess when she's only mildly so? All their dysfunction has one cause: John. Not only did he spend Mike's formative years filling the boy's head with the notion that woman and opinions don't mix, his boys-will-be-boys 'philosophy' undercut any attempt Elly made to get him to stop act like swine. No child likes to be disciplined and naturally sees the go-to parent as a heavy. By setting himself up as the 'good guy', John not only did a disservice to his wife but to society at large. That's not all the damage he did. By explaining away the legitimate concerns of the women in his life as hormonal babbling, he's produced one daughter who can't fend for herself but talks a good game and another headed down the same path. What's more, he's managed to convince his wife that his irrational, selfish view of the world is right and proper as well as encouraged her desire to immolate herself. They'd all have been manifestly better off if, twelve-and-half years ago, two mutts had stroked out and died at a river bank.