J. Soltys's Weblog

April 2, 2009

April Is Autism Awareness Month, And Sexism Creeps In

father-and-children     You may have noticed a recent surge in stories about autism. That’s because April is dedicated as Autism Awareness Month.

As a writer of men’s issues, the progress concerning the understanding and minimizing of autism would naturally be of concern to me considering that this disorder affects more males than females. But I also have a genuine concern for the children and parents of those affected by autism, because my wife and I had concerns about one of our twin boys.

Our son displayed an obsessive trait by the age of two that involved him feeling the need to have his environment in perfect order. If everything was not in “his” perfect order, he would throw a serious fit. His shoes and clothing could not have any stains or dirt on them, his shoe laces had to be tied exactly the same way and lay exactly the same way, the stuffed animals on his bed had to be in a certain order before he could go to sleep, and he could spend long periods of time organizing and reorganizing blocks.

With the help of some state run programs, my son was evaluated by many different professionals, which lasted over a period of about six months. In the end, it was determined that my son is not autistic, by has autistic tendencies. Those involved determined most of this behavior could be minimized through early intervention.

My son was enrolled in a special school funded by the state, and within one year, showed dramatic improvement. We still have the occasional tantrum (the shoelace thing is still a problem, but buying Crocs has solved that for now), but I’m aware that what we have gone through is nothing like what those parents who have children greatly affected by autism must go through. My heart goes out to those parents and their children.

 

Sexism in the media?

What really disturbs me about Autism Awareness Month is the blatant sexism involved in its reporting. As I mentioned before, autism affects mostly males, but when reading the stories about autism in the media, one is never aware that this is the case.

Go to any website that is dedicated to autism, and read the facts. Autism affects boys by a 3 to 4 ratio over girls. But this is rarely mentioned in the main stream media while reporting on autism.

For example, here are some recent articles on autism by some of the major news organizations:

  ABC News reports on autism and Jenny McCarthy’s new book (she is the parent of an autistic child). The four page report does not mention the boy/girl ratio.

  MSNBC files a report on research involving autism. No mention of the boy/girl ratio.

—  CBS reports on new research concerning autism. No mention of the boy/girl ratio.

—  The BBC files a report on autism rights. No mention of the boy/girl ratio.

—  Cable news networks CNN and Fox file reports on autism. No mention of the boy/girl ration.

—  Time Magazine reports on Jenny McCarthy’s new book. No mention of the boy/girl ratio. But I find an older article about autism from 2002. In this detailed, eight page report on the history and research concerning autism, never is it mentioned that boys are more greatly affected by autism than girls. How could this be?

Compare this autism reporting behavior with issues that are considered to affect more women than men. The media always makes the effort to highlight the greater disparity faced by women when compared to men.

—  For example, did anyone read a story about the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga without having many different stats presented of females suffering greater incidents of domestic violence than men within these reports?

—  Has anyone ever read about depression and the genders, and noticed how the report will always include stats stating that depression affects more women than men?

—  Has one ever read about the genders and heart disease, and noticed how reports usually mention research showing a disparity between the diagnoses and treatment for men suffering heart attacks, and the diagnoses and treatment of women, and how this disparity puts more women at risk?

The major media seem to find more value in highlighting the suffering of women than men. They seldom cover the facts about men’s suffering or injustices with equal fervor if it means having to put the needs of men before women.

For example:

—  When discussing suicides, the media feels uncomfortable reporting that men commit suicide three times more than women.

—  The media shuns the fact when reporting about deadbeat dads, that statistically, women do not pay child support in greater numbers than men, leaving some single fathers struggling to raise their children.

I feel the reporting on these issues should remain consistent, whether it involves reporting them as gender neutral or not. I would be comfortable either way, but right now it is not consistent, and appears extremely sexist and degrading.

—  When the media is covering a story about single moms, absent fathers, and men taking responsibility as fathers,  it rarely mentions the fact that women initiate the majority of divorces in the US, and the majority of those women demand sole custody of the children. Sadly, in contradiction to the pious cries of many who advocate the need to have more fathers involved with their children, the family court systems most often awards custody to mothers due to an inherent discriminatory belief that children need their mothers more than their fathers. (Note: Fathers who file for divorce ask for joint custody the majority of the time, understanding the importance and need for the mother in the lives of their children.)

—  When covering a story about a tradgic death in the work place, the media never mention that men make up 90% of work place deaths, or that men make up the over 90% of the most dangerous jobs in the workplace. Instead, the media is obsessed with highlighting how women make less than men, and how this is the greatest tragedy in the labor market.

 This discrimination is something I see often, and it is very disturbing that the media – the self proclaimed martyrs of social justice – ignore their own prejudice while reporting and calling out other members of society on theirs.

 As I mentioned before, the media seems intimidated to allow male suffering and injustices to take center stage if it involves having to place the hardships of women backstage momentarily.  However, the media seem very comfortable highlighting women’s greater suffering and injustices when in a position to do so, and do it quite often. It appears as if a dysfunctional form of machismo, patriarchal behavior, or just plain old-fashioned sexism is rampant in the major news organizations.

 

 

As Autism Awareness is upon us, for now, take the time to point out the fact that there is a diparity between the sexes. Maybe in time the word will spread to the major news organizations. And maybe they will finally do their job – reporting the facts.

 

Update: After posting this story, I found CNN is running a story today in honor of World Autism Awareness Day. The story discusses in detail the different aspects of the disorder and the possible causes. But again, after all the facts and observations are discussed, not one of them mentions the gender disparity. Progress is slow in the war against autism

 

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March 30, 2009

Steve Harvey’s Book Just Doesn’t Add Up

men-and-women-symbolsI recently ran across an article posted within CNN’s website that originally appeared at Oprah.com. It seems multi-media entertainer Steve Harvey has written a book about relationships, but more importantly, a book that “empowers women” in relationships. And Oprah, who exclaims “she loves everything it has to say!” was eager to have Harvey on her show to talk about and promote his relationship secrets in his new book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.”

An example of Harvey’s omnipotent gender and relationship savvy can be found in comments like this:

When a man approaches a woman, he already knows what we wants from her, but he doesn’t know what it will cost. “How much time do you want from me? What are your standards? What are your requirements? Because we’ll rise to the occasion no matter how high you set the bar if we want to. The problem is, women have stopped setting the bar high.

Yeah, right Steve.

I’ve grown weary of observing many forms of media that have cultivated a belief that female romantic hardships is always the result of irresponsible men.

For example, he claims if women are to be blamed, it is only for not demanding more from their men. He is afraid to blame women on the same level as men, allowing the mythical purity of the female gender’s reputation – inherently good people who just make bad decisions – remain intact. His advice for women is delivered with compassion and understanding.
However, for the male population, Harvey’s assessment is different. Men are perceived to be inherently cunning, manipulative, and always assessing the relationship as a game of risk vs. reward, extending themselves only if there is something in it for them. Consequently, it is men and their behavior which ultimately is responsible for being the source of relationship troubles, and Harvey advises women to be cautious observers of men and their actions, or they will get stuck with one of the many “bad ones” out there.

Harvey proclaims:

Without ironclad standards, you’ll always end up back in the dating pool. “You’ve got to quit lowering your standards,” he says. “Set your requirements up front so when a guy hooks you, he has to know this is business.”
And don’t let the man set the pace of the relationship — Harvey says it’s always the woman who has total control. “With all that power, why do you suddenly relinquish this power just because you want a guy to accept you? That’s stupid,” he says. “Say: ‘Look, if you want to be with me, this is what you got to do. This is what it takes to get to me.'”

Sorry, but I find his advice pathetic. First, it is extremely sexist. The historical foundation of the women’s movement was to establish equality with men on every level, not dominate them. Women having total power and control in a relationship is just as dangerous as the man having total control and power in a relationship. Human beings, when given complete control over other human beings, will always abuse that power. Given that Harvey is African-American, you’d think he’d understand what a dangerous mentality he is advocating.

Also, he’s contradicting himself. He’s advising women not to relinquish any power to men, which translates to, do not capitulate to the needs of men. Women should demand what they want with no exceptions.
So I’m confused. Is Harvey  just asking the men and women to change roles? Or Is he saying women shouldn’t lower their standards (demands) to meet the needs of men, but the men should lower their standards (demands) to meet the needs of women? Or is he admitting that men are inherently better at choosing mates than women, hence the title, Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man? Or is he advocating  a “two wrongs make a right” mentality?

I’m not sure, but even if I try to accept Harvey’s advice as having some credibility, I can’t get past a nagging problem. In the name of equality, doesn’t it beg the question that men are entitled to set a female partner standard also? If women must raise their standards to catch a good man, consequently, shouldn’t it also be true that men have to raise their standards to find a good woman? Or again, are men inherently better at choosing female partners and do not need to be educated and empowered with this ability?

The more I thought about Harvey’s advise,  the more I found it confusing, contradictory, and sexist towards both men and women.

Realisticly, in relationships, if neither one is willing to accept give and take, this behavior evolves into a “pissing contest”, which only ensures frustration and confrontation for both men and women. Also, most authors of those who have researched and written books on dating find that setting standards too high for a potential mate when dating is something both men and women are guilty of.

Now the real kicker

In the article, Harvey goes on to give more advice that is hard on the common sense factor. Not everything he says about men is negative, but it is not all positive either.

However, I feel ANY advice he gives is should be suspect.  Why? Harvey is not the epitomy of a relationship expert. Anyone considering buying Harvey’s “how to book” should know he is on his third marriage already.
And the consumer should also know that according to the Smoking Gun, Harvey’s former wife, Mary, filed a lawsuit against him in 2007. In that complaint, she accused Harvey of:

“adultery, his abandonment of some of his children, his poor and neglectful parenting of the parties’ child, and physical and mental abuse.”

And she claims she was, “severely shortchanged when it came to alimony, division of community property, and child support.”

Now being an advocate for men’s issues – with false accusations by women in divorce a disturbing topic for me – I am not going to say Harvey is guilty of the claims made by his former wife. He claims the allegations by his former wife are false, which I will assume he discards as accusations by a bitter, angry woman.
But I will say I find it extremely uncomfortable that a man who has these allegations against him, along with the fact that he is into his third marriage, would write a book to empower women in relationships. Obviously the guy struggles with women and relationships, so how does he have the audacity to write a book on the subject matter?

So let’s pause: Harvey has been married three times and divorced twice. One of his former wives has filed allegations of adultery, abandonment of his children, neglectful parenting, and physical and mental abuse, all of which he denies. So he decides he has this infinite romantic wisdom, and decides to write a book to empower women about relationships?

Is he for real?

I mean over the years, the guy couldn’t empower himself to stay out of conflict with women, so how the hell is he going to educate women on how to avoid unneccessary conflicts with men”?

Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Harvey to write a book for men, explaining what he did wrong in these relationships, and offer advice to other men on how to avoid some of the mistakes he made? After three marriages, and what he claims are false accusations, wouldn’t his advise on how men can avoid these issues have more relevence than an empowerment book for women? 
Wouldn’t that have been the masculine thing to do instead of writing a book that disparages men and their behavior, and assiduously applies comfort and false bravado to women?

If I may play the role of a psychologist for a moment, and offer my opinion, I would postulate that Harvey wrote this book out of some unresolved guilt he has been harboring for some time now about his behavior and/or actions towards women in his past. In other words, I think Harvey subconsciously wrote this book as an effort to help him deal with his dark side, a side we all carry with us. In order to assuage the guilt he carries for his past behavior, he transfered that behavior on to all men, and wrote the book to help empower women from falling victim to men like himself.

Fortunately, most men are not like Harvey.

So ladies, in these tough economic times, save yourselves a few bucks.

 

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July 11, 2008

CNN Sloppy When Reporting On Genders

While I was away on a long vacation with my family, I made a semi-intentional effort to cut myself off from all forms of news media. This meant no newspapers, limited internet access, limited magazines, etc..
Since I spend most of my free time perusing media circles for my blog, I figured this vacation would be like taking a sabbatical from the tenacious reading and writing cycle of my daily life. After all, isn’t “getting away from it all” the main fundamental element of a vacation?

Well I have to say it was quite a challenge. I’m a creature of habit, so to say I became a little “edgy” is misleading. Just ask my wife.

So as I find myself getting caught up on news stories, I can report I’ve come across numerous articles that harbor negatives biases towards men while I was away.
I’m going to try covering a few of these over the next couple of posts. Here is the first.

At CNN the headline read: Women do better as friends of the boss, expert says

Gender stories naturally attract my attention because I usually find the anti-male biases present in society also firmly entrenched in the modern media. One particular bias takes the form of an overt or insidious implication that women/femininity is better than men/masculinity.
In most cases, the “evidence” is suspect, or has been completely distorted from the truth in order to sensationalize the story.
CNN did just that.

I read the CNN story and found no evidence that women are better friends of the boss. There was absolutely no mention of any differences in the genders. The article only mentions a specific gender once:

In his book, Dobransky examines how friendship affects a woman’s career and family life, as well as the science behind making and keeping close friends and avoiding toxic relationships.

I thought, “That’s it?” The article doesn’t mention any differences between men and women.
So began to research the book from which the article was drawn The Power of Female Friendship, and it’s author Paul Dobransky M.D.

I wasn’t actually going to purchase the book, so I relied on press releases and book reviews. Here is a description of this book from Amazon.com:

Psychiatrist Paul Dobransky, author of The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love, once again looks to the brain, this time to examine the full range of female friendships. A recent study has shown that women have fewer friends than they used to. In the years after college and before children (and even after that), many women find that they have fewer friends, and new ones are harder to make. Taking his three-parts-of-the-brain theory, Dr. Dobransky breaks down the primal codes of friendship that many women aren’t even aware of and gives scientifically grounded advice for understanding how to be a better friend and how to cultivate new friendships. Women of all ages who are searching for deeper relationships or are trying to break free of a toxic friendship will find help and hope in this enlightening and prescriptive exploration of how the brain makes friends.

Again, nothing else I read about Dr. Paul’s book made any reference towards women and their relationships with their bosses, or how women out perform men at these relationships. Everything I read was more indicative to explaining the importance of relationships to a woman, and how these relationships effect every aspect of a woman’s life.

So why did CNN use the title Women do better as friends of the boss, expert says?

To be fair, I didn’t read the book, so maybe Dr. Paul does mention this distinction between the genders somewhere in the book, but if so, why didn’t CNN use that quote? Wouldn’t that have made more sense? If CNN is going to use such a powerful and controversial headline, which is sure to add fuel to the gender wars, shouldn’t CNN have backed it up with some plausible evidence?

I have always felt CNN carries an anti-male bias in it’s reporting, this blatant bias is another I’ve found recently at CNN. Last month I wrote how CNN ran a special segment on working mothers – and the hardships they face – during the days leading up to Fathers Day. I found it insensitive that CNN could not find the time or space to write a special segment about working fathers around Fathers Day.
So why does CNN find so much contempt for men and fathers?

But wait, there’s more

As I said earlier, sometimes the evidence is suspect in these gender news stories. When I researched Dr. Paul, I found these credentials:

Dr. Paul Darbransky is a board certified psychiatrist, a former associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, a national speaker, and business consultant. He has appeared on broadcast and cable numerous times, and in a wide variety of print publications, including USA Today, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and First for Women. He is also the sex and dating columnist for Maximum Fitness Magazine.

What began to raise my suspicion was how a professional psychiatrist/researcher can find the time to produce substantial, quality research, and also appear so consistently in various forms of media. So I went to Dr. Paul’s website to look around.
It didn’t take long to have my suspicions confirmed.

Let me show you what I mean. From his website:

You’re About To Learn Secrets That Most Women Will Never Discover About Men, Dating, And Relationships That Last For Life…”

# How to permanently ban cheating from your relationship… and how, when and why he has been thinking about it up to now.

# The five “deal-killers” to avoid that most women accidentally communicate to men.

# What to do if your man has a “wandering eye” or if YOU have one.

# How to learn to speak the language only men speak with each other, in easy, simple steps.

# The four hidden nonverbal clues you can give men that silently but clearly announce you are interested.

# The three hidden actions men will do in return, if they absolutely will follow through on their promise to connect with you. (And they are not even AWARE they are doing them.)

# Why there are only four types of men, and why only ONE type will benefit you for life.

# The three secrets to communicate to a man that will not only open the floodgates of him revealing his true self, they will cause him to follow you to the end of the earth.

# The truth about men who aren’t “emotionally available” or “don’t listen” to you… how to know if you’ve accidentally invested in one and what to do if you’re committed to him.

# The three mistakes women make which annoy men and kill any chance of your relationship moving forward or lasting.

# The three inside tips married women can show you about “knowing, that you know, that you know” the ONLY guy who’s right for you.

# And you’ll also get a FREE trial to Dr. Paul’s “guide you by the hand” Newsletter For Women…

You might be surprised to find how only a few women are aware of the precise ways the male mind works, and that being without this information is the SOLE source of dating, relationship, and personal problems for women.You cannot afford NOT to know this…

Now, if your like me, you probably think Dr. Paul’s work is more about sensationalism/marketing rather than legitimate research. Well Dr. Paul assures you this is not true. His research/information comes from a very reliable source. He states:

And how do I know this? Because I AM a guy. And a pretty good catch too.

Now I know it seems Dr. Paul has quite the ego, but he assures one that he’s not that self-centered:

In other words, what I teach you cannot possibly be good enough or even useful if it is based only on “my experience as a great guy,” or former “player,” or least of all, as merely a “marketer” of products and services.

No Dr. Paul, I never even entertained the thought that you could possibly be marketing a product. I truly believe that your intentions is one of prodigious altruism, working arduously to help women and men develop solid relationships that deliver a perpetual state of bliss. I refuse to believe you are doing this to make a quick buck.

But wait! There’s more!

Dr. Paul doesn’t help only women, he helps men too. He offers a course called The Secrets of Mature Masculine Power, costing only $97. With this course men will learn how to develop that special karma which attracts women and success.

When I read this, I did a big WAIT A MINUTE!
The term “mature masculine” is a term I’m familiar with. It’s a theory  that has been used extensively in the men’s movement for almost twenty years now. It comes from a book called King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette.
This book is a must read for anybody who is serious about exploring men’s issues. It explains the crisis that modern men and masculinity face, acknowledging the flaws of the patriarchy, yet critical of feminism and it’s efforts feminize men. It’s theories are based on the theories of the archetypal self as developed by C.G. Jung, the founder of analytical psychology. It brakes down masculinity into four different components (archetypes) of a man’s life; king, warrior, magician, and lover. It explores how each of these components have an inherent nurturing side (benevolent), and an inherent shadow side (malevolent). By understanding the differences, a man can lead a more mature (conscious) way of life, that not only transforms himself, but through his personal mission, has the ability to influence others into doing the same. The theories also apply to women; however, the King is changed to Queen.

With my curiosity now in overdrive, I did a little more exploring. Sure enough, I found Dr. Paul’s King, Warrior, Magician, Lover e-course for $47 based on C.G. Jung’s archetypal self model.

Want to save a few bucks? By the Moore and Gillette’s book from Amazon.com for 10$ and $3 shipping and you can go straight to the source and cut out the middle man – Dr. Paul. The book will have everything you need to know about the four archetypes of masculinity.

I didn’t write this article to pick on Dr. Paul. I’m sure Dr. Paul is a fine psychiatrist, and ultimately wants to help men and women change uncomfortable aspects of their lives. He’s entitled to produce and sell a product he believes will help people. And if people enjoy his self help courses, God bless them.
What I really wanted to highlight is how major media outlets can be irresponsible when reporting on gender issues. At first glance, the CNN story appeared completely credible. It recounts the findings of a book written by a legitimate psychiatrist concerning women and relationships, and the ideas presented seem quite plausible. But upon closer inspection, the reader finds no information or quotes that validate the headline which implies women are most likely to have a closer relationship with their bosses than men. Then, after further investigation, one finds the source of the “findings” is a psychiatrist who’s makes a living not doing academic, peer reviewed research, but makes his living promoting his own version of a well known, well established psychological theory.

The common theme in this story is sensationalism.

Dr. Paul has a right to promote his books and services the way he wants. As for CNN? Their behavior appears more like the intentional exploiting of societies current gender wars to attract readers. This type of sensationalism is something I would expected from the The National Enquirer, rather than the behavior of a respectable news network.

As I said earlier, numerous gender based stories that report new “findings” showing women are superior to men usually fall apart under closer scrutiny. I don’t believe them and never will. Most legitimate research will conclude men and women share more similarities in life than differences. Unfortunately, the modern media loves stories that humiliate and emasculate men, providing numerous articles that perpetuate the belief that women are naturally superior to men.

If CNN really believes women make better friends than men with their bosses, and those decisions made by their superiors concerning their quality of employment are based more on the strength of this friendship rather than actual expected performance, then why do women face the proverbial “glass ceiling” in corporate America?

Seems to me if this theory was true, women would have surpassed men in corporate America a long time ago – but they haven’t.

Get it together CNN.

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June 7, 2008

At CNN, Moms More Important As Fathers Day Approaches

Recently I wrote an article explaining how if history repeats itself, the approaching Fathers Day weekend should be imbedded with negative stories and events about fatherhood, displaying a completely opposite trend when compared to mothers. As Mothers Day weekend approaches, we graciously overlook all of “mom’s” failures and indiscretions she has committed, and instead, honor her for all her wonderful attributes and sacrifices. For fathers, we ALWAYS find room to let them know how they have failed us, and how they can do better in the future. (Mothers Day Has Passed. Prepare for the Assualt on Fathers Day!)

Well, I have now found another discreet form of parental discrimination as Fathers Day quickly approaches. It appears CNN is running a special segment within their website which contains numerous articles about motherhood and the hardships working mothers face today. The segment is called “Busy Moms – Staying Afloat” and features such articles as “How CNN moms balance work and family”, “8 things no one tells you about being a mom”, ” ‘Soccer moms’ juggle motherhood and sports”, and “What working moms miss and wish for”.
Maybe I’m letting my adversarial side get the best of me, but why is CNN running a special segment about the joys and stresses of motherhood a week before Fathers Day? In a society that continually preaches the importance of fathers, and stresses the need to find ways to keep children and fathers connected, why spend so much effort on mothers as Fathers Day approaches? And what’s worse, the stories themselves are filled with selfish victimhood – treating some family events and issues as if only working mothers experience them, ignoring the similar impact on working fathers in similar situations.
In all, I find it discriminating and misleading.

For instance, in the article “What working moms miss and wish for” it states:

CareerBuilder.com’s annual Mother’s Day survey finds that working mothers are eager to trade the office for family time if only it were financially feasible.

FYI: Same with men. One of many studies showing men trend towards the same feeling is a study of men ages 20-35 by the Radcliffe Public Policy Center at Harvard University which showed:

82% put family time at the top of their list, keeping pace with 85 percent of women in those age groups. Breaking ranks with their fathers and grandfathers on the important issue of work-family integration, 71 percent of men 21-39 said they would give up some of their pay for more time with their families.

Another part of the CNN article states:

Finding the time to do their job and still be involved parents is a daily struggle for today’s working mothers. Late nights in the office can mean missing a family dinner, a teacher conference or baby’s first words.

And how many fathers over numerous generations have experienced this painful reality as the sole bread winners in the family? But now that mothers are beginning to face this reality, it’s suddenly a terrible tragedy. Should I assume we place more value on a mother’s loss than a father’s?

Seventeen percent of surveyed mothers have missed three or more significant events in their children’s life in the last year. In fact, 34 percent of mothers admit to spending less than three hours each day with their children.

Same again. But this time, let’s consider numerous studies that have shown fathers spend less time with their children than mothers. Every time one of those studies is released, negative criticism is assiduously applied to fathers. It is assumed the data represents that fathers are trying to abdicate from their parental responsibilities. Years ago I remember women advocating men spend “quality” time with their children, and becoming frustrated and angry with them if they didn’t. This was in response to studies at that time which showed how little time men spent with their children. Society and the media echoed this “stand up and be a real man” movement.
But now that women are found to be in a similar situation, compassion and understanding are given in copious amounts.
What a considerable difference in approach and acknowledgement of the same findings. A mother spending less time with her children due to the demands of her career is neither less a mother or a woman. But a man who spends less time with his children is met with skepticism as it relates to being a good father, and is perceived as less of a man because of it.

One common way mothers attempt to balance their workload and their families is to bring work home with them, which can help advance their careers but also damage their personal relationships.

Am I missing something here? If you want to meet the archetypes of bringing work home from the office to balance work and family, it is fathers. They invented, cultivated, and refined the “bringing work home” strategy, staying up late at night in order to spend quality time with the family after work.

Although your family is the most important thing in your life, you might forget to show it. Devote your weekends and any free weekday evenings to family activities. Even if you can’t plan a mid-week activity, make a quick phone call to your children to see how their school day went.

Again, the best consultant for this type of behavior is dad. He has been at it much longer than mom. I’m sure he’d be willing to give out a few pointers.

I’m not sure what CNN was thinking by running this special before Fathers Day. And as I pointed out, these struggles between work and family are more familiar to dads than they are to moms. So why not run a similar special about fathers, and the corresponding joys and stresses of fatherhood? I feel this would have been more appropriate and productive for families at this time.
But as I have written before, fathers are treated as second class parents who expected to quietly perform first class responsibilities with little or no argument. So to find CNN running a segment on the trial and tribulations of motherhood right before Fathers Day validates those feelings of discrimination that I have.

I’ll have more to say on this subject in my next post.

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