Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stirring the Pot at the WaPo

Today, I wrote a post for the WashingtonPost.com, my regular gig, about the process of hiring a Spanish tutor for my daughter, and the fact that I am, hypocritically, a bit uncomfortable about getting a guy in that position. That's not a reasoned, statistically driven opinion. It's just something in the back of my head. I'm not especially proud to feel that way.

But I will stand on my record of promoting father involvement and breaking down barriers for male caregivers. Heck, my kids have probably spent more time with non-family men than 99 percent of children in this country. My point wasn't that guys are intrinsically dangerous: I was trying to be honest about something that nagged at me, even though it shouldn't .

So I am currently getting hammered in the comments section, which thrills me. I'm not thrilled to have people equated my feelings to the worst kind of racism or question my commitment to dads, but I am thrilled that so many people are so publicly taking me to task for even admitting to these thoughts. It means there is a huge and vocal group of parents who are completely gender-blind when it comes to their children. For the sake of argument, I take them at their word. My big fear, of course, is that these outraged readers represent a minority ... we'd be living in a vastly different world if no one actually gave a second thought to gender.

The big question that went unanswered in the Post commentary is what I should do about my feelings, both on a personal level and a societal level. Is it enough to acknowledge my unease and move on?

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