Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Flanagan and Some Quick Hits

I've largely gotten out of the Caitlin Flanagan analysis game -- there has been so much good and thoughtful stuff written about her and her new book, "To Hell with All That," that I simply can't compete. But I should note, if you haven't seen it already, the review that made the New York Times this weekend. It's notable for a couple reasons. It generally gives Flanagan a pass on her most outrageous statements and overall worldview, and author Pamela Paul portrays her blogging critics as humorless, jealous ninnies who don't get the point. So for the record, let me state that I don't dislike Flanagan because she is saying the things I'm not brave enough to say. I dislike her because:

1) Taken as a whole, the Flanagan canon promotes a neotraditional lifestyle as not only more personally fulfilling but also morally superior to an egalitarian set of choices. This sticks in the craw of a lot of us.
2) Her work is filled with low-grade hypocrisy, and Flanagan comes off as a defender of housework when she rarely pick up a mop, a scourge of the working mother while comfortably employed. If she's not living the life she's exalting, can we trust her?

Confirmation: I've been telling people for a long time that I think that acceptance of the at-home dad thing has changed noticeably in a relatively short time. Former SAHD Chip seems to agree: things aren't the way they were when he was doing the gig.

I hate to talk about divorce as a battleground in the fight for gender equity -- each case is so different that it is tough to make sweeping generalizations. But according to the Family Man blog, "Lawyers report that more parents are seeking joint legal custody, and 22 percent of the surveyed legal experts noted a trend towards more dads getting full custody, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers."


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