I was approached by the New York Times about a week ago asking if I’d like to contribute a short essay to their Room for Debate section for Father’s Day, the topic being described as:
“With all of the endless discussion about the Mommy Wars this spring, dads were pretty much left out of the discussion, which reveals that Attachment Parenting is really just Intensive Mothering. But with the approaching of Father’s Day, all the attention turns to men–for one day out of 364. Theoretically, men are included as a *topic* of parenting discussions (equality for women, the importance of a two-parent home, shared responsibilities), but less so as as actors in the conversation. When men are discussed, it is usually about single fathers, child support and responsibility, not about normative parenting styles that best suit children. So here’s the obvious but strangely overlooked question: why are men routinely omitted from discussions about children, and when did all parents become women?”
I spent about a day thinking about what I wanted to say — as 300 words isn’t very much space! — and finally came up with what I hope was an interesting essay on father’s rights and cultural attitudes towards mothers vs. those towards fathers in contemporary society:
Give Us Dads a Little Respect @ NYTIMES.COM
What’s most interesting to me is to watch the comments, the “vox populi” that is the lifeblood of the modern Internet. Go ahead, pop back, read my essay, and make sure you check them out too.
I am so honored to have had a chance to contribute to the Old Grey Lady: is there any newspaper in the United States that’s more prestigious than the New York Times?
Even better, once the op-ed went up, I got a call from a reported for the Orlando Sentinel, and was interviewed for a column the writer was producing for Father’s Day. The result: It’s Time for Mom’s To Give Dads More Credit. Not so thrilled about her opening line, “I’m surprised more dads aren’t as peeved as Dave Taylor: He’s a single father in a mother’s world.”, but all coverage is good coverage, right?
In any case, I look forward to the conversations that I start in this area, whether they’re supportive or otherwise…
I read your blog every time you post. What you wrote in the Father’s Day article really hit home with me. When my husband was a live and still able to care for our 2 children, he confided to me much of the same sentiment that a lot of the comments were saying. He would drive a pick the kids up for school and it took the “Moms” almost half a year to stop looking at him like he was deranged because he was the “at home” caregiver and I worked.My husband was a wonderful father. Not because he was a man but because he was a good person. Both parents bring their own unique styles to the table and should be given credit for it. Good parenting isn’t a right divined by DNA. I’ve seen dead beats in both genders. I’ve seen mothers who are more abusive, louder or more distant than what most seem to tag on men. I spent the first year after my husbands death hear “that’s not how Daddy does it”, and ya know what, sometimes his way was better and for that I’m thankful.