Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Lindsay Ferrier's At it Again"

"Lindsay Ferrier's at it again." That was the subject line in my Gmailbox letting me know that Nashville's unofficial spokesmom, Lindsay Ferrier, has followed up her edgy-yet-clueless column about how dads and moms are two great tastes that taste weird together with a second column defending the first.

This deserves a thoughtful response in a higher-profile venue -- and that's coming -- but I wanted to get a couple of quick reactions out right now:

1. All of my originial objections stand. The idea that a dad would fundamentally screw up a mommy playgroup is silly. Moms were welcome at my old at-home dad playgroup. Women are welcome at the At-Home Dad Convention. I play hockey with a couple of women. And they come drink with the guys after the game. And no one's head explodes if the conversation turns to vasectomies or whether Brooks Laich is hot. Why erect gender barriers?

2. Ms. Ferrier has plumbed the depths of her e-mail and the internet and come to the conclusion that men in general -- and at-home dads in particular -- are perverted home wreckers. All I can say is if she believes what she's writing, she has about zero understanding of how men actually act and think.

3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the big difference between poker night with the guys (or a girls night out) and a playgroup is that -- in theory -- a playgroup involves some thought to the social development/amusement of the kids. At least a little. But apparently in Ferrier's world, the desire to talk dirty about the Wiggles outweighs the needs of the children to play with a diverse group. (I know this is a weak argument. Most playgroups I've seen are primarily about the need for parents to break up the routine, not provide age-appropriate mental stimulation for the toddlers. But let's pay at least lip service to the idea that when you tell adults that they're not welcome at a playgroup, there's a kid who's not welcome, too.)

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