Google+ Authentic Parenting: Fatherhood, Gendering and Feminism (rerun)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fatherhood, Gendering and Feminism (rerun)

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 it comes to parenting, men are still completely out of the picture... It goes as far that when men are implied in parenting, they get scrutinized. If men want to share a family bed, they are perverts, if they want to stay at home with the kids, they are slackers, they lack ambition, there must be something wrong with them...
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
I often think that men suffer more from gendering, because their gender is much more closely defined, specifically when it comes to parenting. Yet, if we want to make a change where it comes to gender, aren't our kids the first ones we should start with. If we want to change gender roles, isn't the home the first place to make an impression?
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.



  1. I am grateful every single day that my husband is an involved, compassionate, & sensitive dad. He's a babywearer and not afraid to shed a tear. He's also a damn good officer in the US Navy.

    A nurturing spirit is a wonderful thing and it definitely does not make one more or less masculine. It makes you more human.

    Great piece!

  2. my husband struggles with this too - there should be more room for discussion on his critical role. On a different note - I noticed that when you post on your FB site your comments become public (easily found through a google search by your name). Unless you plan to change that I will no longer be posting comments on your FB posts.

  3. Hey! That's *Mister* Unambitious-slacker-pedophile-pervert! And don't you forget it.

  4. I have a collection of things by and for dads here:

  5. @Cap'n Franko LOL
    @Sandra thanks!

  6. @Anonymous: apparently this problem can be fixed by changing your privacy settings (under the account tab) that way only your friends will be able to find your comments (nothing can be done about that)

  7. i cant seem to get my husband involved with the kids except at bedtime when he goes upstairs to watch the movie with them, watching movies 1x a month an when he watches the kids because i am doing something and can't have the kids with me. if you're a hands on dad, good 4 u! ur wives will be very appreciative

  8. Hi,

    I'm the Family and Parenting editor at Before It's News. Our site is a People Powered news platform with over 4,000,000 visits a month and growing fast.

    We would be honored if we could republish your blog RSS feed in our new Family and Parenting category. This will generate more traffic for your site.

    Please tell me what you would like as your byline (typically the blog's name)

    You can have any text and/or links you wish appended to the end of each of your posts on Before It's News. Just email me the text and links that you want to include. If you have html you can send me that. If not, just send me the text and a link to your site. It should be around 200 characters or less (not including links). 
    We don't censor or edit work.

    Please email me at so our readers can start looking at Authentic Parenting

    Zack Stieber
    Family and Parenting Editor, Before It's News

  9. Loved this! Have shared it on my weekly links post today:

  10. thank you! I saw that you are being shared at Before the news, they probably came to me bc of your sharing sunday :)


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