My dear friend Jeff Sabo asked on FB a while back why there isn't a 'Fathering' magazine. He is completely right. Parenting from the father's side is still a complete obscure subject. While there are some dad bloggers out there, they are still a minority, and in general, when it comes to dads blogging, they are mostly profiled as professionals (doctors, psychologists...) instead of fathers.
When we talk about stranger danger, aren't we specifically implying male strangers? A woman looking at a stranger's child with soft eyes is endearing, but an unknown man doing the same must be a pedophile.
Anyway, if men want to be present in their children's lives, there must be something wrong with them. If men have any interest in children at all, they are looked upon with a strange eye. The only way a man can legitimize an interest in children is by making it into his profession, becoming a so-called expert.
Yet on the other hand, women in general keep complaining about male absence in the home... All very contradictory once again.
Feminists have strived to free themselves of the role of the house-slave and have pushed their men behind the dishwasher. They have battled to get the diaper changed by those same men. They will sigh in frustration about their men not being present, but when those men show a genuine interest, when they do create an intimate bond with their child, they are stepping too far?
|Image: Difei Li|
How can you wave the flag of feminism when you talk about women wearing veils in faraway countries, yet have a husband who fills a completely archaic gender pattern? How does one scream about equal pay and then tell their boy child that make-up is for girls? Why do we fight for our girl's freedom, yet enforce masculinity on our boys?
I think a lot of men want to be closer. I think many men are struggling with their feelings because they are deemed inappropriate by society.
If you are a father and you are reading this: it is ok to feel, to connect, to be close, to unconditionally love. If you are a woman reading this, encourage your man to show this closeness. Break these patterns together. Show your children there is another way. Actively engage in changing the father role!
Who knows, maybe a couple years from now we can have a Fathering magazine.