My First Father’s Day


Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. Not great parents, or bad parents, a lifetime of experience or a generation of knowledge, every parent has to figure it out on their own. My daughter Sydney will be three months old next week. Sometimes I think if I blink her whole life will pass by me, and yet, there are responsibilities that keep me from the quality time we both deserve.

Today Pastor Hennigan challenged the men of the congregation to do more. To set an example as men. Women have had to battle for their voices to be heard; feminism born from a desire to be treated equally. Men have done little, but play defense, as global events have changed the world around them. They say nothing builds complacency like success, and perhaps men just took it for granted that the world would always be theirs. But as I have asked previously on this blog – where are the male role models these days?

Is it the professional athlete? How many pros dropped out their last year of college just for a shot at big league money? Maybe not all, but look at the ones who make the headlines? Kobe Bryant, Lebron James. Great athletes definitely. Can you blame them for using their talents to make a better life for themselves? Is the media to blame for weaving the tapestry of a rising athletes’ legend?

Are schools causing this male decline? In recent years, I have stumbled upon various articles that point out women’s increasing academic achievements and a decrease in men’s scholarly pursuits. An article on MSN discusses whether schools cater to the strengths of girls, while ignoring the needs of boys. In trying to break away from gender role assignments, are we forgetting that boys & girls are different?

Is feminism stomping out the idea of man? Male chauvinism aside, do women really want a metrosexual sap? Is it possible to look for gender equality, and still celebrate it’s diversity? I know that I love Michelle for all her fierce independence, but I also love the fact that she’s a woman who isn’t constantly trying to prove she’s better than a man. Let me clarify that statement; she can prove she’s worthwhile without a chip on her shoulder. While I’m keenly aware of the statistics that continue to point out women make less money than men, is capitalism really the point of feminism?

OK, I didn’t mean to stray off topic. I just hope that for Michelle & Sydney, I can be the husband & father, the man, that God knows I can be. The kind of man Holli described today in her dedication to Daddy’s Day.

Some related links I scouted while thinkin’ about this post. Consider them NSFW

Top 100 Fictional Male Role Models

Today’s male role models are pathetic.

Are Pickup Artists Bred Fatherless?

I’ll take feminism, misandry & pink bunny slippers for $200

dancing symbolsI’m just going to ramble this afternoon because my attempts to come up with something cohesive & well thought out just aren’t working.

A few years back I was working with a guy who told me he believed that there was a hidden feminist agenda to completely eviscerate masculinity from the face of the planet. It was quite the downer that particular evening and I confess I barely listened to what he was talking about. The memory of that conversation recently resurfaced when I googled the phrase “fathers are unnecessary” as requested by one of my professors last week. That same afternoon I visited Jared and the phrase “can men be feminists?” caught my attention.

[Before I go any further I should point out that there is an EXCELLENT comment thread over at Jared’s site from her original post which is a must read]

Here’s the deal. While reading through the articles, opinions and commentary I wondered was my coworker correct? Not so much in his conspiracy theory, but the idea that while asserting “girl power” society is shunning masculinity? Don’t get me wrong I’m all for gender equality. My mother was a strong role model growing up as my father passed away when I was a teenager. I’ve witnessed “girl power” first hand and my sister Lesli continues to deliver a strong feminist message today. That being said, I still had my awkward moments where I needed a male role model and had nowhere to turn. I often wonder how my life experiences and opinions would be different if my father were still alive.

I’m not attempting to argue the pros & cons of feminism in America. I’m just wondering who’s looking out for the interest of men? While there are a number of songs, TV shows, movies that convey smart, savvy independent women, where are the positive images being reinforced for men? It certainly isn’t Andy Dick. I haven’t read the book “Fatherless America” or “The War Against Boys“, but I assume they stir up some interesting ideas.

On the road to gender equality is it possible to understand & accept the differences between genders? I don’t think feminism will benefit from attempting to make men more like women. Mutual respect between genders is important as well as an open dialogue to express the needs of both groups.

Back in December I posted my thoughts on the abortion issue. I felt by making abortion a woman’s issue it’s difficult to gain support from men. I made comments that it should be seen as “a couple’s right to choose” which garnered this comment from Jared “if a woman bears the burden of incubating, nourishing, and birthing the child that originates from her cells, it is still her body and her choice. when a man incubates and births the child, then it becomes his choice.”

I think that illustrates my current questions about feminism. If Janeane Garofalo correctly defined feminism as “gender equality & social justice” then I think that male viewpoints & opinions would be encouraged. Simply dismissing certain behaviors without understanding the motivation behind them seems a bit reactive to me. It’s an interesting dichotomy in the U.S. where amidst the melting pot people strive to assert their individuality.