Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Another Rebel Faction in the "Mommy Wars"

I received an interesting link by way of reader Erika, a blog posting from The New Republic by Jonathan Cohn noting the general quiet regarding the "Mommy Wars" (especially the new book by Linda Hirshman) among men. I think it's great that thoughtful journalists are noticing that the conversation about gender and families roles has largely been confined to women, even if it does ignore the fact that there are *some* guys who, you know, blog about the subject every once in a while.

Hirshman's thesis, as you may remember from when this first surfaced last November is that women won't ever achieve equality as long as they get suckered into the whole raising-the-kids thing. She consistently dodges the real issue, which is that parents don't want a black-and-white, work-or-home choice. They want the option to choose the proper balance. And one way to get to that choice is to get the guys involved and ensure that men have some flexibility, too, to boost their family time. So I'm thrilled that Cohn -- and some of the other blogosphere's guys -- are now looking at the issue and starting a dialogue about where, exactly, the men are in this discussion.

Of course, I vote that we leave Leslie Morgan Steiner's husband (and, probably, Steiner herself) out of that dialogue. As part of Steiner's ongoing blog effort to paint her hubby as some sort of clueless sitcom father from the 1950s (an image he has done little to contradict), she let loose with a post last week suggesting that dads in general -- and her husband specifically -- say they want to stay home but aren't actually interested in the realities of the gig. "For him," Steiner says of her mate, "'staying home' is code for 'goofing off.'"

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