Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mom's The Word?

There is something that bothers me as a father. Not as a gay father - I'm sure it would have annoyed me even if I was married to a woman. It's not something that makes me lose sleep or want to punch a hole in the wall, but it bothers me nonetheless.

It's hard to avoid it, it's everyhwhere: magazines, blogs, advertisements. It seems as if mothers are somehow considered to be "more parents" than fathers.

A certain food product is the "choice of mothers", because we all know fathers are incapable of choosing anything in the supermarket other than their favourite beer brand. An article discusses the pros and cons for a mother to go back to full time work, because it is an indisputable fact that fathers must get back to work two weeks after the birth of their child - there's not even a question about it. 

Back in London when I was hanging out with a much younger Blake I did get occasional comments along the lines of "are you babysitting today?" and "Mommy has the day off today?" Because it's so rare and unnatural for a father to spend time with a very young child...

Now I can see how this view can bother some feminists (I say some, as I consider myself to be one). We live in an undeniably patriarchal society where women suffer from many forms of discrimination, so on top of everything I now come and demand to take their sacred motherhood status away.

I'm sorry, but just as it's wrong for a man to get paid more for doing the same job as a woman just because he has a penis, it's also wrong to assume someone can be a more nurturing parent just because they have a vagina. If you are a good parent take pride in that and don't bring your gender into it. 

You might argue that it's biological: mothers carry their children inside them for nine months. The babies grow inside them, literally starting out as part of them. Then they bond intimately over breast feeding. 

That is awesome and I can't dismiss that unique connection between mother and child. I'm even a bit jealous. But what does it mean, really? Are we saying that mothers who adopt, use surrogacy or choose not to breastfeed are somehow second rate mothers? And in the long run how much do pregnancy and breastfeeding weigh against actually spending 18 years raising your child, nurturing and guiding them into adulthood? 

I'll close with the story of Patrick Henry Hughes and his dedicated father, who makes us all look bad with his amount of dedication to his child. His personal sacrifices and love make him a great parent, not his gender.



Giulia said...

thank you for letting me know this amazing little much love in his father's eyes and how much life in Patrick's smile. Life is way!!! thank you for sharing your 14 legs life with me too.. ;-) hugs from Italy!

Mark said...

Okay, I've given some time to cool down. Feel better today?
Love that video that you posted. what an amazing Family!

Mickey Blumental said...

Glad the video hit the spot with you guys as it did with me. Hugs all around.

Daddy Times Two said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful and inspiring video.
All the best,