Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Monday, July 19, 2010

Encouragement from a True Leader

ESP afficionado, Curtis Hart, posted up this wonderful video of Gloria Steinem on The Colbert Report on our Facebook Page recently. It is worth the few minutes of viewing! In just a short time- in between the jokes and such - Ms. Steinem voices her crystal clear support of equally shared parenting.

So I got a bit brave. Watching the clip made me smile ear-to-ear...and so I decided to write to Ms. Steinem to thank her. Much to my surprise, her staff wrote back right away, and said they would definitely forward my comments to her and sent me an address to which we could send our book for her to read. And then Gloria wrote back herself. I would like to share with you an excerpt of what she wrote (with her permission granted):

"I never thought that Hillary Clinton -- or any woman who represented equality -- could be elected at the top as long as almost all of us were raised by women, and so we associate female authority with childhood. I think men especially, but many women, too, feel regressed to childhood when they see a powerful woman; it was the last time they experienced one.

Of course, men pay the parallel price of being deprived of all those human qualities that are wrongly called "feminine" -- empathy, flexibility, awareness of detail -- but are only those necessary to raise children -- or being brought up to raise children.

If you want to see that this [meaning equally shared parenting] is the path away from the cult of masculinity and toward something as huge as world peace, read The Mermaid and the Minotaur by Dorothy Dinnerstein. She was ahead of her time -- I think she published this in the '70s, and she's no longer with us -- but it's a landmark book and should be re-published.

You are doing in a practical and personal way something that has bigtime importance to us all!" 
By allowing both women and men access to the full array of human qualities, we free us all. By breaking free of our self-ascribed labels of "masculine" and "feminine" we allow ourselves to be, well, just who we actually are. The peace in living as our authentic selves really does seem like a key ingredient to world peace.

I can't wait to read The Mermaid and the Minotaur, a book I have seen referenced many times but have not yet acquired. A dear friend is lending me her copy this afternoon. And I will ride high on the encouragement to press forward with the good news about ESP from a true world leader.


Blogger Angela V-C said...

I am in absolute awe. You guys rock.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Katrina Alcorn said...

I recently conducted a survey about how parents divide certain types of parenting responsibilities when both parents work. The results were fascinating and prompted a friend of mine to recommend your book. I LOVE the idea of equally sharing the different spheres of work/family life. If you want more evidence that working couples need your advice, check out the survey results here: workingmomsbreak.com

3:47 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Ang - thanks...it was definitely the highlight of our month to speak with her!

Katrina - we will definitely check out the survey results, and thanks for sharing this with us. Our motivation for writing this blog and our book is just as you say - to guide parents with practical how-to advice on something that seems culturally impossible but is wholly possible. And a wonderful way of life for all! We hope you enjoy the book.

9:46 PM  
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3:24 AM  

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