It's Our Day
Tomorrow is Father's Day, and rather than simply wish all you fellow dads out there a happy day by the barbeque with a beer, I'm going to wish you a happy life. You see, it used to be that being a dad was rather narrowly defined as a good provider and role model of a Man. Now, a father can be anything from this traditional figure to the sole caretaking parent. In between these extremes, we guys get to be 'involved dads' or ESP dads or stay-at-home dads. It is kind of like technicolor meets fatherhood!
A few readers of Lisa Belkin's New York Times article on ESP have criticized the Times for printing something that denigrates fathers on the very day that we should be applauding them and slapping them on the back for jobs well done. Of course you might guess that I disagree, and that I feel these readers are missing the whole point of the article. Yes, the statistics about how much housework is done by men versus women are still off balance. But who's to blame here? Is it really just men? No - it takes two genders to create this inequality, and decades and decades of cultural brainwashing about our required family roles.
What if instead of complaining and blaming anyone for the commonality of unequal housework, we instead celebrated the fact that we can indeed change the situation? Men no longer have to accept being saddled with primary breadwinning or being relegated to subordinates in their own homes. We can fight, alongside our partners (not against them), for our right to balanced lives, intimate and equal connections with our kids, and equal say in how often the bedsheets get changed.
So, happy Father's Day to dads of all stripes and colors. It's our day, and it's our time.