Saturday, October 09, 2010

NY Times Unwarranted Soap-box: Stay at Home Dad Whining

The NY Times Magazine section had a little essay written by a stay at home dad. He was bitching about the spotlight placed on him by stay at home moms and assorted others at different kid things. Here's a suggestion NY Times: start screening things before you run them. Here's a suggestion to the dad: don't take your identity crisis and hatred of your life out on others around you that are trying to be 'nice' to you since you are obviously the outlier at events. Doesn't it feel like the NY Times actively wants readers to dislike the people they spotlight? I hope that is the case and not obliviousness to the lame traits of the people they showcase. This guy is an entertaining whiner.

Boo-hoo, so you're the only dad at many, daytime kid events. These women are trying to be inclusive. It strikes me as a little odd how Mommy and Me centric these daytime activities are, and they might change lyrics or a story to use Daddy instead so you don't feel left out. This is a side effect of people always trying to be sensitive about diversity. Go out of your way to include a guy and he freaks out. He feels ostracized as they try to include him. Thank God they didn't automatically accuse him of being a molester. The librarian was damned if she did or not. Buck up buddy, you are the outlier, so get used to it. Maybe some women gave him attention because in the back of their mind they were attracted to him as they saw him as 'taken' and an engaged parent (stamp of approval!!!). This is your life as long as you be the stay at home dad so get used to it.

Possibly the lamest portion of the essay was his mention of 'manpowerment'. Seriously, you need to feel empowered to get in touch with your feelings? What are these feelings? Are they different from normal emotions men should have as a 3 dimensional human being? He never writes what they are, which would have been more interesting than his whining. Men get together and blog or conference about this. This sounds like the 'bitch session' discussion in the original "The Stepford Wives". If all he wants is to be treated the same and ignored, then why go through the conferencing, blogging and whining to the NY Times? Just be as good a dad as you can to your infant daughter.

Obviously, this guy has issues with his own life and whined to the NY Times. That is why he doesn't write about the feelings he gets in touch with or faces. The essay is more about his reactions to the benign, inclusive behavior. Nothing is good enough. He gets to have time with his daughter and recognition from all others around him for it, and yet he whines. The manpowerment paragraph and his examples of being the only dad around at different moments implies he doesn't feel like a 'man'. It doesn't make him a lesser man to stay at home. Women today can be primary income earners, which means men can be primary child care providers. Despite writing to the NY Times, he doesn't want the attention because it will remind him he is doing something different from 'traditional' gender roles. That is the real issue for him. This is the focus while countless stay at home dads just shrug their shoulders, face daily conflicts & enjoy their time with their children.

No comments: