Friday, October 24, 2008

One More for the RebelDad Hall of Shame: Similac

I was flipping though Real Simple the other day (which has mysteriously begun showing up in the mail) when I noticed that Similac was running a super-bizarre ad campaign in which they boast that their new can was "Designed With Moms for Moms." And the celebrity mom they're using to sell the stuff is ... um ... Ty Pennington. Which is interesting, since Ty is a) not a mom, b) not a dad and c) not in the baby-products-design business. So I'm equal part confused and offended.

Needless to say, dads have a choice when it comes to formula, so I'd encourage you to go with the choice that is not (as) gendered: Enfamil.

(Thanks to Daddy Types for reminding me about this.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Note to British Vogue: We Have No Desire to Return to the '50s

Thanks to my international connections and good fortune relating to my decision to go to my 15-year high school reunion (thanks Louise!) , a copy of an article from the November article of British Vogue has come to my attention. (It is not, sadly, available online. Not yet, anyway.) It is titled "How To Be a Good Wife," and it is a musing on whether the old days of man-as-lord-of-his-castle were actually good-old-days. Why this is a question that requires musing is beyond me.

The conclusion backs away from the dangerous full-on endorsement of a household in which everyone caters to dad's every whim, but not far enough. It's bad enough we have to hear this pining-for-the'50s crap from Laura Schlessinger and Caitlin Flanagan. Can everyone else give it a rest. I like having an equal as a wife, and I like getting my hands dirty with the kids.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On Parenting: What You Might Have Missed

Cross-Promotion Alert:

I may be slacking off around here, but I have been making my deadlines over at On Parenting, my side gig. For those of you who don't hit the, here's what you've missed lately.

You should be happy to note that you now need to register to post comments, which means that he volume of comments over there is way smaller, and the number of idiots has been substantially reduced. So please hop over on Thursdays and take part, won't you?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good News About the 'Gateway Drug' for Involved Fatherhood

I have gone on and on over the years about the fact that the best way to create an involved father is to give 'em as much paternity leave as you possibly can; patterns set in those first weeks and months have a way of pulling through long after the workaday life resumes.

So the good news, according to Working Mother magazine (via Working Dad), is that 42 percent of the magazine's "100 Best" employers offer paid paternity leave. The bad news is that the "100 Best" are, indeed, the 100 best. Only about 13 percent of everyone else offers paid leave to dads.

I'm hoping that number continues to inch up as employers realize that time off is every bit as important for dads as it is for moms. And -- heck -- I hope that the number of employers offering paid leave for moms rises, too. Why the U.S. is virtually alone in refusing to make paid leave a right continues to confound me ...

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Never Really Stop Being a SAHD

Note to Greg Barbera: just because you're headed back to work doesn't mean it's the end of the kid era. Once an at-home dad, always an at-home dad. At least in spirit.

And we should all be so lucky as to transition from full-time fatherhood to the editor of a beer magazine.

Once Again, the Dads-Are-Dangerous Meme Appears

Thanks to Peter Baylies, I have been following the plight of Rick Kasel, a dad in Surrey, BC, who was politely asked not to attend a local MeetUp for area moms because of "the security of our children." You can read the newspaper report here. You can read Peter's first take here. Peter has a follow-up here, where the mom who founded the group recoiled at the decision. ("I just wanted to let you know that I am the original creator of that particular meetup and was horrified by the decision of the new organizer.")

She's apparently working to create a new, inclusive group, which is absolutely wonderful. And she has everyone in the community behind her; the newspaper's poll is now running 9 to 1 against the decision to kick Rick out out of the group.

But ... if you know of any dad's groups (or parenting groups for that matter) in the greater Surrey area, by all means leave a comment for me here or for Peter. And thanks to Mike from DCMetroDads for being so good about shining a light on this.

For the record, I think this kind of exclusionary behavior is dumb. It's dumb when it's moms keeping dads out and it's dumb when it's dad keeping moms out. I'm not opposed to a guy's poker night or a mom's night out or any kind of small group that is designed to let friends blow off steam with members of the same sex, but when you start having daytime events, with kids, that are open to anyone with an internet connection, there's just no good reason for bouncing dads.

(Oh, and don't even get me started with the "security of our children" claptrap.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Must I Revisit My Stance my Parent-Oriented Magazine

In the comments to the Working Dad post that linked to the why-moms-should-not-be-afraid-of-good-dads piece in Parenting, someone noted that the magazine no longer shouts "What Matters to Moms" on the cover. And -- from what I can see -- the word "mom" doesn't appear at all on the cover. Are we making progress?

Voices from the Past

Though I am genuinely interested in seeing what Lisa Belkin has to say, her reappearance on the parenting scene made me think back to other writers who were subjected to much eye-rolling around here. Like Caitlin Flanagan.

I honestly have not heard her name mentioned in a year, so I did some Googling. She's been sporadically writing book reviews for the Atlantic -- nice enough pieces, but nothing particularly enraging. But her tagline suggests that she'll get at least one opportunity to drive us all nuts: "She is at work on Girl Land, a book about the emotional life of pubescent girls."

Given how badly she managed to misunderstand parenting, anyone have any faith that she'll nail the subject of pubescent girls? (For a sneak peak, see Salon's take from January.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Welcome to the Blogosphere, Lisa Belkin

Though I have taken issue with some of her reporting in the past (can anyone say "Opt-Out Revolution"?), Lisa Belkin has been -- at the least -- someone who has been consistently interested in the nuances for parenting, so I'm curious to see how her new blog, Motherlode, plays out.

And, to her credit, she has said to me privately and on the blog today that the blog's title should be seen as cute play on words, not as a veiled statement of a moms-only approach to parenting.