I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the title of the second part in the New York Times “Room for Debate” series about dads didn’t do much for me.
First of all, we’re not just like moms. We are purposefully different than moms. That’s why we’re called dads instead of moms. And we are different because we have different purposes (more about that after going through the seven contributors). And we shouldn’t try to be just like moms. Ok, now that that’s off my mind, let’s look at the substance of the second article.
Neal Pollack is an author, and he rightly point out that dads are ignored in the main stream media and characterized as dopes or absent by entertainment. All true statements, but he gives no hope that this trend will change other than it must since so many dads are involved.
And Neal should know because he also has lots of friends. He knows hundreds, maybe thousands of dads. And these dads “with very few exceptions, are totally present and full contributors to the conversation, both in person and online.” I just want to know how in the world he knows this about thousands of people. How does he have time to keep up with the habits and conversations off and on-line of all these dads—and be a writer? So, now we have strike two.
Finally, I was annoyed that the only concrete example of these conversations was in reference to when dads should let their kids listen to hip-hop. Isn’t part of the issue that dads aren’t involved in the serious stuff of parenting? Sure, he says that dads are involved in things like what their kids eat, their education, their consumption of media, but the one concrete example he gives (out of the thousands that he apparently hears) is the (self-described) absurd one.
He says that dads voices are loud and obnoxious, and he assumes the news media will eventually catch up. They already have: they think we are absurd and obnoxious, and this particular addition to the conversation hasn’t changed that. Strike three.