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.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Introducing Fowl Moon

I'm trying out a new blog that focuses on videogame development (that's what I do for a living in case you don't know). First post just went up. Check it out if you're into games!


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Canada's South Park

Ah, bless you, people of Altona, Manitboa. Just when I complain about a lack of inspiration to write, you bunch of neandrethal, knuckle-dragging, bible-thumping block heads give me something to write about.

First let me clarify: not all of the people of Altona are like that. Obviously the fact that there is a conflict is a sign that there are plenty of good and loving people in Altona, religious and otherwise, but they have lost the current round in the battle for human rights. As it is now, Altona is shaping up to become Manitoba's own little South Park.

Quick summary of my previous post on this issue: A couple of grade 4-6 teachers placed cards of support for LGBT rights, which I thought was awesome and wished some of my teachers did it when I was a kid. In response a bunch of overly religious parents protested and demanded that the cards will be removed so they could ensure that their children will grow up to be ignorant homophobes like their parents.

Well, now they won

While the school originally backed their teachers, they now decided to remove the cards altogether and instead issue a generic anti-bullying program. Why on earth did they not have an anti-bullying program already in place is a different matter, but the results of its absence are already quite evident by the way some of the parents turned out.

Here is the thing though: in Canada the fight for gay rights has already concluded with a sweeping victory for human rights. This is why I chose to move here with my family. There are some small battles still being waged across the land by pockets of insurgents, but it's only a matter of time before they'll seep underground to the same dark place racism now resides in.

The parents' main false argument was that "their children are too young to learn about sex and especially about different sexual orientations."

It's a weak argument for the following reasons:

1. Kids start learning about sex from the first time they touch their sex organs and wonder what they are for. 

2. It's best to make sure kids learn the correct information - and on time. Children need to find out about sex before it's an issue, not after the fact. Same with all forms of bigotry: you don't just try to combat it, you should do your best to prevent it from ever manifesting.

3. Teaching kids about homosexuality is not the same as teaching them about sex. Kids understand the concept of couples: mommy and daddy, grandma and grandpa, uncle and aunty -  etc.. You just teach them that some couples can be two boys or two girls and they love each other just the same way. The end! 

See how I magically went through the explanation without talking about butt-sex? I'm a wizard with words.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Slow News Year

I haven't been writing too much this year, mostly to avoid repetition and writing posts that are too similar to previous ones. Leo is still limping, Blake is still incredibly adorable, Winnipeg is still cold but awesome and there are plenty of homophobes out there in the world being idiots. Cut and paste. The downside of having a blissfully boring life is that it doesn't make for exciting blog writing.

So here's a photo of Blake and sled, his daily commute to his nursery school. Hopefully this will do until inspiration strikes again.