I am hardly alone in needing to find a way to make a lot of moving parts fit together. Working dads are so normal that we don’t even talk about it. A Google search for “working mom” or mother versus “working dad” or father comes out at a 10:1 ratio. Bing turns up a 20:1 ratio. A Google books search for “working mom” shows at least 15 times more results than “working dad,” and “working mother” breaks the chart.I have been thinking about this essay for awhile and tracking these stats. Basically, no change in the last two years.
Our silence on issues facing working dads is bad for men. It’s worse for women, because the idea that women are the default parents leads to all kinds of discrimination. In fact, it affects all caregivers, not just parents, but also those caring for spouses, parents, or a sick loved one. It’s even bad for people without children. Fundamentally, the “working-dad problem” is about patriarchy. Men and women get confined to definite gender roles and punished, or at least pushed back, whenever they transgress or transcend those norms. On the one hand, working dads lack the vocabulary to talk about the challenges of work-life fit. There is no neat, culturally accepted, set of norms from which working dads can integrate the various aspects of their lives. Often we’re just workers, not dads.
Two other published pieces this week:
- Public Shaming has a bodycount - From Salon.com: on Jeb Bush and Izabel Laxamana (a 13 year old girl who killed herself after her father shamed her for sending a selfie). To be clear, it is not medieval. It's not a throwback. It's built deeply into our culture.
- I also had a piece at Al Jazeera about how easy it is for special education to turn into babysitting (and a blog post)
And then these blog posts:
- Mental Illness and Charleston - Let's not talk about a potential diagnosis, but about white supremacy.
- Neurodiversity, Colonialism, and the Cult of Compliance - An interesting pagan take on neurodiversity and colonialism.
- The Death of Jermaine McBean - #CultOfCompliance and hearing loss. - People who cannot hear, whether due to being Deaf or wearing ear buds, keep getting killed by police.