Sunday, June 01, 2008

Mothering on Fathering

If I had a dime for every time I've used this space to rail against the gleeful mommy-first coverage of Parents and Parenting magazines, I'd have about a buck-fifty. But that's only because my interesting in dinging those publications over and over again has waned. I've grown accustomed -- though not happy -- to the idea that parenting magazines will generally ignore dads.

But that doesn't mean I don't still pine for change, so I hope every parenting magazine editor picks up a copy of the latest Mothering -- the hippie aunt in the family of kid publications -- and check out the editorial on their historic focus on moms and why they're beginning to bulk up their dad coverage:
There is a new generation of fathers who are not second-class parents to their wives. They are fully present and know what to do. Just like mothers, they have to figure things out for themselves and learn from their mistakes, but more of them than ever are willing to show up and get involved. ...

In addition, here are some other things I want to do to more actively include fathers in the pages of Mothering and on mothering.com. While we've always welcomed articles by fathers, we now want to encourage and publish them even more. Please send us your ideas and submissions.

We're also developing a new regular department, "In His Own Words": a short interview of a dad by a dad, with a photo. Look for the premiere interview in the July/August issue. Give us your suggestions about fathers to interview.

Joe Kelly is our online fathering expert.

But we want to develop even more content for fathers on mothering.com, and have asked Jeremy Adam Smith, of Daddy Dialectic (www.daddy-dialectic.blogspot.com), to help us set up daddy blogs: uncensored epistles about the experiences of real fathers. I'd also like to use our considerable experience in managing Web forums to host online discussions among daddies. I don't know, however, if that again crosses a line, is condescending. While it's important that Mothering facilitate intimate conversation among mothers and fathers, it's also important that fathers have their own autonomy.

Sadly, all magazine journalists have not suddenly become thoughtful observers on modern gender relations. But I'll get to Women's Health later this week.

(Thanks for Clint for the tip.)

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