Mr. Mom? Not so much.
I ran across this article on Yahoo! and I had to take a moment and check it out.
I began reading with a healthy sense of skepticism, not really knowing where the article would take me. The author is a self-proclaimed feminist Kelly Wickham and describes herself like this:
“All that is to say that I am a product of my upbringing and that all these things are great influences into the woman I am today.
What woman is that? you may ask. Let me tell you. It’s a woman who singlehandedly raised a daughter on her own and who has worked since age 14 when she had to secure a worker’s permit to do so. It’s a woman who has been the primary breadwinner for the bulk of her career. It’s a woman who, while in a committed and non-marital relationship, is the sole owner of the house in which her family lives.” (emphasis mine)
Ms. Wickham continues the article by relaying a story about watching an episode of the ABC prime time program 20/20. Ms. Wickham goes on to say:
“All that is to also say that I feel like in the 40+ years I’ve been on this planet that I like to think we’ve come a long way regarding parenting gender roles and that men are as competent as women in household chores, cooking for a family, and raising children.
Except last night I wondered why everyone hasn’t also come that far.”
She then goes on to relate her astonishment and outrage when she watched a segment that aired entitled D is for Dad and Dumb. In this segment, the show’s resident expert (as described by Ms. Wickham), Dr. Jeff Gardere, made some comments regarding a father’s ability to care and nurture for children at home.
“…The interviewer set him up poorly by asking, “Is there something with the hardwiring of the male brain that makes us just slightly less capable in this arena?”
“I think you’re being very kind by saying slightly less capable. I think we’re a lot dumber in some of these things. Yes, of course, it’s the way that we’re hardwired, we’re much more rough and tumble, we’re not as nurturing.”
Now I don’t know Dr. Gardere. I know nothing about his thoughts on men, women and their respective roles in society. And to be honest, when I first read his statements, I too was a little put off. I’m a dad. I’m not dumb. There were many days when my son was growing up when it was just him and me because mom was at work or busy with other responsibilities. I was able to do what I needed to do to ensure that my child was taken care of. But after reading the entire article, I believe that Dr. Gardere made a stupid remark trying to express a true notion. Men and women are not the same when it comes to nurturing and taking care of children. In fact, men and women are not the same. Period.
But these statements were enough to send Ms. Wickham into a sarcastic, self-righteous, I’m-oh-so-progressive rant. Ms. Wickham was indignant. Not so much over the fact that men were being called dumb. No, I’m sure that calling a male a demeaning name would cause her no concern. Her problem was with the fact that internal, hard-wired differences between men and women were being pointed out and discussed. By having the audacity to say that women might be better nurturers of children and might do a better job at child rearing, Dr. Gardere committed the cardinal sin of saying that men and women are different. This doesn’t fly in Ms. Wickham’s world. To her, men and women are interchangeable. Differences are not to be cherished and celebrated. They are to be smothered, castigated and minimized. There are no differences that can’t be socialized out of the sexes.
Her rant goes on to include comments from friend and fellow feminist, Sarah Manley (oh, the irony) regarding Dr. Gardere:
“It seems negligent for a psychologist to label men as ‘rough and tumble,’ and ‘dumber.’ It diminishes all parents, not just fathers. It’s misogyny via the backdoor.”
Got that? Calling dads dumb is misogyny. Only in the fertile minds of a modern feminist can something like that actually make sense. It might be worth noting that Sarah Manley is the same woman who wrote an article called My Son is Gay in which she talked about how perfectly fine she was with having her 5 year old son go out during Halloween dressed as the character Daphne from the Scooby Doo cartoon. Click on the link to the article for a picture. (I was going to post it here but it just didn’t feel right doing that to a 5 year old kid.)
Ms. Wickham ended her eye-rolling pontification with a direct jab at Dr. Gardere:
“Because there’s no room for you, Dr. Gardere. Fathers are much smarter than you can even bother to credit them so you can stop pretending to believe this dominant fairy tale you’ve been pushing. Because once upon a time, people believed that crap. The happily ever after turned out far differently.”
Her and her feminist friends have it all figured out. Men and Women are equal in each and every way conceivable. Equal – as in the same. All we have to do is shape and mold society to conform to this egalitarian utopia and all will be right with the world. The sad thing is, her views are not only common, they are dominant in Western society. However, I take heart in the fact that those that believe otherwise are beginning to speak out and to push back against the progressive bullies that want to eliminate the differences that makes being a man or a woman special.