Posts Tagged: Fathers Day Results 4
As my dad tells it, my birth coincided with the birth of his identity. A little less than 23 years ago I made him a father, yes, but I also gave him a unique piece of identity that has in some ways been more defining in our father-daughter relationship. My father grew up in northern California during the 1970s, born to two Cal-Berkeley parents who were just shy of making the baby-boomer cutoff; liberals who were a little too old for Woodstock, but not too old to smoke pot. When my dad wanted to channel John Wayne on Halloween, he was forced to carry a sign on his trick or treat bag that touted “I’m a cowboy without a gun, I’m just a peaceful one.”
Father’s Day has just passed, but it’s always interesting to look at the ways in which parenting roles are changing.
True, I live in Greater Park Slope — a progressive neighborhood that may be unlike most other parts of the country. But it’s now common in my neighborhood to see hipsterish young dads carrying their babies in Snuglies in the middle of the day.
I recently witnessed a panel in honor of Father’s Day titled Dads, Dudes, Doing it, where four very bright feminists from different generations charted how their identities were shaped by the men in their lives. Gloria Feldt, Kristal Brent Zook, Deborah Siegel, and Courtney Martin parsed maleness from “a penis and a paycheck” to the encouraging preponderance of voluntary stay-at-home dads.
Dad day ’09 is history, but the subject of dads’ and men’s roles in families and feminism is exponentially relevant every day of the year. A fresh approach to fathering has bubbled up in our country, thanks, in some part, to a president who happily attends parent-teacher conferences and is unafraid to also be father-in-chief. His bold, demonstrative love of family is palpable and inspires both women and men. Even my husband uttered a spontaneous “aw!” while watching a montage of Obama and daughters laughing, cuddling, and publicly loving each other.