Despite this, when my wife was pregnant, I must admit I was somewhat terrified about having a girl. I know boy stuff (camping, baseball, puberty) really well but didn’t know if I’d come to like and be good at girl stuff (tea parties, dress-up, puberty).
As it turns out, we had a son, who at age seven and a half is the joy of my life, as I get to relive a second boyhood through him. He’s our only child, and as my wife says, that store has closed. So, whew, no princess stuff for me.
In her article, “Dumbing down Dad: How media present husbands, fathers as useless,” Sarah Petersen does a great job in identifying the different elements to society’s treatment of fathers. Petersen acknowledges a problem with the media, but then identifies that society too is slow to help fathers reach their at-home potential with their families.
The most pointed and clear commentary in the article comes from author/speaker (“The Dad Man“) Joe Kelly, who says that the way fathers are treated is a habit. “The habit is that men are of secondary importance in the life of a family,” Kelly told The Deseret News. “Therefore we all kind of expect men to be secondary. And it’s not surprising that attitude plays itself out in many ways in our culture: in media portrayals and in the habits we have as families.”
Over the weekend, what was the only real major-media coverage of the Dad 2.0 Summit emerged in The New York Times in a piece about how fathers are seeking better ads aimed at them. The Dad 2.0 Summit, which took place the first weekend of February, gathered in Houston, Texas to talk about the image of dads in the media. And while some things will never change, show organizers see PR companies and marketing agencies eager to get to fathers as a demographic.
It’s interesting to note that of all of the recaps of the Dad 2.0 Summit and the discussions of its importance, no large media outlets touched on it (unless we missed it, which is always possible). It took a month for this NYT piece to come out.
These days, when Tom Burns sneezes, the parent blogger world catches a cold. So it goes for his latest, a piece called “25 Things I Think Every Dad Should Teach His Kids,” which appeared on The Good Men Project and then made the jump up to The Huffington Post.
Burns outlines his life’s tips that sound like a sequel to Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free”, including gems such as “Even though, yes, I just admitted that I don’t know everything, pointing that out when we’re arguing is never going to work in your favor.”
French ministers have promised talks with father’s rights groups after a father spent more than three days over the weekend on top of a crane protesting the custodial loss of his son.
The father, Serge Charnay, had lost custody of his son after being accused of kidnapping him. His son, born in 2006, has been without Charnay for two years. Charnay scaled up the 40-meter-high crane in a Nantes shipyard and hung a banner saying “Benoit, two years without a dad” and spray painting the phrase “sauver nos enfants de la justice” above his perch.
In case you missed when President Barack Obama dropped 8BD’s favorite “f-bomb” (fatherhood) about two-thirds of the way through his State of The Union Speech last week Tuesday, here’s the segment:
“[W]e’ll work to strengthen families by…doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.”
Later last week in Chicago, President Obama was again talking about parenthood (in a variety of forms) and specifically fatherhood as a hedge against many of America’s social ills. The President appears to be “ramping up the rhetoric” in the best kind of way.