Monday, September 20, 2004

Equal Time: I received a very nice letter from Fernanda Moore, the author of the Parenting article that got me all worked up last month. She was furthermore nice enough to allow me to post parts of the her response, with the understanding that this is part of a civil discourse.
Hello to everyone...

Just for the record: Parenting magazine assigned me the piece, along with the topic. I chose to make it lighthearted instead of earnest (obviously one does not give one's husband a time out in any serious way.) ... I'm sorry if I offended anyone, it was certainly not my intention (and the piece was supposed to be light, not serious, and dopey, not intellectual.)

Thanks.
I have had a most pleasant dialogue with Fernanda, and I should apologize if I took the article with a tad more seriousness than the piece deserved. That said, the response makes two troubling things clear:

1) Yeah, it was a sassy, tongue-in-cheek piece, but the punch line was that it's funny to treat dads as if they deserve no substantive respect in the domestic sphere. I don't want to come off as humor-impaired -- I let Hollywood off the hook when it comes to stupid-ass domestic stereotypes -- but this should be lowest-common denominator stuff for a *parenting* publication.

2) The edit staff of Parenting picked the friggin' topic. This confirms my long-held suspicion that the magazine is targeted so specifically at moms that a little light-hearted dad-bashing isn't only tolerated, it's encouraged. Remember, this is a magazine that markets itself under the tagline "We Get Moms." (As Laid-Off Dad once said, that slogan must have narrow won out over the equally true "Dads Perplex Us.")

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