Years ago, back when we first brought my daughter home from the hospital, all swaddled and tiny, I remember thinking what every parent probably thinks: “I can’t wait until she’s old enough for me to tell her all about racism!”
What a fool I was! I should’ve been looking forward to talking to her about racism AND sexism.
As an adult, I understand that my skin, class, and gender give me a leg up in the world; that racism is a system—a cultural ill—as much as it’s any random individual’s lazy reliance on hurtful stereotypes. When I was in elementary school, I didn’t know much of anything about racism beyond “prejudice is bad” and “Don’t use The Racist Word We Don’t Use”. I also knew a lot of other racist words, but didn’t really get that they were racist or that I “Wasn’t Supposed To Use Them”. That’s mostly because I didn’t actually know what racism was. All boiled down, I thought it meant slavery, sitting at the back of the bus, and being mean to a person because of their skin color. Full stop. Continue reading Talking About Racism With the Kids!
Last week, I cut through the park in our neighborhood while I was walking home from some errand or another and saw a group of about 10 or 12 women enjoying a picnic with their kids. The kids had all finished eating and were playing while the moms chatted and laughed. (Don’t judge, working folks, you do the same thing around the water cooler, but you rarely have to interrupt your discussion about the Breaking Bad series finale in order to clean up poop.)
I have to admit that I felt a pang of jealousy when I saw them – for the socialization, not the poop cleaning. The kind of camaraderie I saw at the park or that I had with my colleagues in the professional world is rarely available for dads who serve as their family’s primary caregiver. Continue reading The perils and glories of being a stay-at-home-dad
Welcome to a Quick Rant. It’s like a rant, but quicker.
This article, in the University Herald, is headlined, “Young Men’s Self-Esteem Hurt by Female Companion’s Success” (sic, unless they intend to suggest that inadequate feeling young men all share a single companion). The article reports on a study (link is to a .pdf) published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Kate Ratliff and Shigehiro Oishi that describes how men and women respond differently to a romantic partner’s success. Super-brief overview: they found that men were more likely than women to exhibit lower self-esteem when their partner experienced more success than they did. Continue reading Time for a Quick Rant! Today’s Rant: Women’s Success and Men’s Self-Esteem
Here’s a link to a fantastic article, Why are moms so hesitant to view their male counterparts as full competent parents?, in the Offbeat Families blog. It’s one of my favorite blogs – they always have interesting content. As a stay-at-home dad with an interest in parenting and gender roles, I thought I’d share this particular post because it’s definitely worth a read.
The article is written by a mother who was disturbed by the attitudes expressed in her Mothers of Multiples group about fathers’ general “inability” to co-parent. I’ve heard similar attitudes from many of the moms I’ve known over the years. The comments I’ve heard have generally been delivered with a tone of bemused condescension. “Oh, you don’t even want to see the ‘dinners’ my husband cooks for the kids!” “You wouldn’t believe what my husband’s idea of a good outfit for picture day is!” I haven’t heard quite the bitterness that the author of the article describes, but then, as a stay-at-home-father / interloper I’ve always gotten the feeling that these sorts of conversations are held a bit warily when I’m around – as if there is a hesitance to offend by speaking of fathers generally or angrily, so what I have heard is tinged with humor and is specific to the husband of the speaker. Continue reading Fantastic Article on Equal Parenting in Offbeat Families Blog