Monday, August 10, 2009

The Hill Times ~ Response to a one sided Feminist Rant

I am advised the letter will run in the Aug. 17 edition of The Hill Times.

Editor, Hill Times
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Editor:


Re: Harper government more connected to 'organized anti-feminism' than previous Conservative or Liberal parties, August 10/09


I read with certain dismay the column by Cynthia M√ľnster and the comments attributed to Professor Sylvia Bashevkin. The latter offered no attribution for her statements and they appear to be accepted by the columnist as though they were factual. That is often the case with feminism.

She attributes Real Women of Canada as pro-Harper and anti-feminist because they have a different perspective from the usual left leaning feminists. Real Women are non-ideological women who believe they are equal and do not need an ideology like feminism to provide a crutch.

She says …”that women are disadvantaged when it comes to politics in general. Currently there are 69 female MPs in the House of Commons,” Does she not understand women use choices to seek career paths and does she not understand these same women do not like the political battle fields. Women have the same opportunity as men at the grass roots level and those who really have a desire rise to the top. Those who are appointed by their parties as affirmative action candidates ought not to have been in the process at all and they usually lose.

Here are some quick facts: Women are the majority of employees in the Federal and Ontario Public service. In the Feds it was 54.9% in 2008 and growing. It is approaching 60% in the Ontario Public Service but no one will give me the exact number including my MPP and I defy anyone to find it on the Ontario government web site.

In the USA these are the degrees granted in 2009 and this trend has been prevalent since the early 80’s. One can easily assume it is the same in Canada. This has been compiled by Professor Mark Perry at the U of Michigan: Associate’s degrees: 167 for women for every 100 for men, Bachelor’s degrees: 142 for women for every 100 for men, Master’s degrees: 159 for women for every 100 for men, Professional degrees: 104 for women for every 100 for men, Doctoral degrees: 107 for women for every 100 for men, and Degrees at all levels: 148 for women for every 100 for men.

These are but a few of the “equality” stats and many touted by feminists such as the mysterious wage gap are mythology.

I think it is high time the feminists stopped the whining and you did an article on the Status of Men in Canada who have no special branch of government to support them.

Dude, put down the breast pump Blogs, support groups and books that feature men teaching ‘daddying style' to other men are cropping up

8/10/2009 12:02:00 PM
I am proud to stay I was a stay-at-home dad for 10 years and have changed at least a thousand diapers if not more. I have learned some of the more technical aspects of cleaning the babies body after soiling for both boys and girls. One does not appreciate all the nuances of these things until actually doing it.

I can say with certainty for any man out there, and I considered myself a "manly" man, this will be the most rewarding activity you will ever encounter. You will adapt to the routine - and if you let it - flourish in your new role as main caregiver. When I did it there was no dad support groups and when volunteering at school classes, mostly moms would be in attendance and they don't quite know what to make of you. Just stand back and admire your child and gradually make conversation until they get used to you. There were plenty of dads though who took time from work to act as volunteer drivers to and from activity's.

I would posit that our testosterone levels tend to drop, as they do when your partner is pregnant and giving birth. The latter has been verified in studies. We need not worry about being completely feminized though because if we have a hockey or soccer game or any other challenge they get called back into action pretty darn fast. I also, through experience can say we as a gender can nurture with the best.

My son-in-law is one of the most nurturing fathers I've met and he works full time at a very demanding job.

If you get the opportunity you won't regret it.

We need to keep on advocating about our abilities, as any dad who has faced family law will tell you. Over 90% of sole custody orders go to mom and we end up as visitors and wallets even if you have been the stay-at-home parent.

Times they are a changing but not in many areas that count. We need laws that have a presumption of shared and equal parenting for fit parents such as bill C-422 currently on the order paper in the federal parliament.MJM





Adriana Barton

Vancouver From Monday's Globe and Mail

When a hands-on dad gets hold of a breast pump, it can be a scary thing.

Brad Powell, a father of three in Austin, Tex., was so keen to experience all aspects of parenting that he attached the suction cups of an electric breast pump to his own chest and turned on the juice.

The result – both hilarious and cringe-inducing – was documented by his buddies in an online video that has drawn 40,000 views on YouTube.

The suction cups “hurt to death,” Mr. Powell says with a chuckle, but the stunt was for a good cause. He and three friends are the founders of DadLabs.com, an online video company that helps modern fathers learn the ropes of parenting through “guy-coloured lenses.” Combining hard facts with goofball humour, they produce four free videos each week on topics such as delivery room tips for dads, the circumcision debate and how to throw a ninja-themed birthday party.

Their strategy of juxtaposing diapers with beer mugs is working, Mr. Powell says, because men can relate to guy banter filmed in a garage. DadLabs logs 800,000 views on its syndicated network each month, and the five-year-old company recently renewed a six-figure sponsorship deal with BabyBjorn.

For some fathers, “it's easier to learn how to change a diaper from another man than from a woman,” says Aaron Rochlen, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin who studies men's issues. “Because then they can go drink a beer and talk about sports and reconnect in other ways with their masculinity.”

DadLabs's success is just one indication of the healthy market for parenting resources created by men for men.

The team behind DadLabs.com, an online video resource for fathers: Brad Powell, left, Clay Nichols, Troy Lanier, right, and Owen Egerton, front. Mr. Powell’s adventure with a breast pump is a YouTube draw.

The team behind DadLabs.com, an online video resource for fathers: Brad Powell, left, Clay Nichols, Troy Lanier, right, and Owen Egerton, front. Mr. Powell’s adventure with a breast pump is a YouTube draw.

“There has been an explosion of blogs and support groups and books of late that have tapped into that daddying style and how to learn from other men,” Dr. Rochlen says.

Must-reads include Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood and The Daddy Shift: How Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms, and Shared Parenting Are Transforming the American Family , both out this year.

But today's highly involved fathers aren't just sprawling on the couch with a pile of books.

They're taking the kids to the dad-run playgroups springing up in cities throughout North America. They're swapping advice on baby gear or dealing with toilet-training regression on forums such as Dadstayshome.com, which has 170,000 postings to date.

And working fathers are banding together, too. They're joining activities such as Man in the Moon, a story program led by men and offered at nine branches of the Vancouver Public Library.

In the Toronto area, they're showing up at dads' groups such as the twice-weekly series at LAMP's Early Years Centre, or learning about the subtleties of a child's temperament at the annual Dads Count Conference held in June.

Activities such as these enable men to forge a new identity as modern fathers without feeling emasculated, Dr. Rochlen says. “Men are stretching themselves in positive ways to tap into levels of nurturing and caretaking that they haven't necessarily seen in their own fathers.”

Traditionally, the only topics fathers discussed were their pride as parents or skill as disciplinarians, according to Tomas Moniz, editor of Rad Dad, a San Francisco-based zine that won a 2009 independent press award from Utne magazine.

Today, more and more fathers are engaged in their kids' lives from day 1, Mr. Moniz says. He started Rad Dad four years ago to help fathers explore a vision of parenting that is distinct from mothering. “Having fathers write birth stories is really a profound experience,” he says.

In most of the new father-generated parenting resources, the underlying assumption is that men should be equal partners in the raising of kids.

This was unheard of half a century ago, according to Jeremy Adam Smith, author of The Daddy Shift . If a father changed a diaper, for example, “he was looked upon as less than a man.” By contrast, in many social circles today, a father who refused to change a diaper would be ostracized, he says. “That, in a nutshell, is the daddy shift.”

U.S. studies show that the amount of time men have spent with their children has tripled since the 1960s and doubled in the past 15 years, Mr. Smith says.

The driving forces behind modern fathering are women's participation in the work force and the end of lifelong employment for men, he says. A third of women make more money than their husbands, he adds, and based on social studies, “there's a pretty robust correlation between women's economic power and male care-giving or father involvement.”

And that's not a bad thing, according to the dudes at DadLabs.

Learning to soothe a colicky baby or distract a raging toddler can be difficult, Mr. Powell says, but men should step up and do half the work.

“You have these wonderful things that just happen spontaneously with your children,” he says, and when dads embrace equal parenting, “it really does make for a happier home and a happier relationship with your partner and kids.”


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/family-and-relationships/dude-put-down-the-breast-pump/article1245254/


For those who don't think men can breast feed check this out. http://www.switch.tv/videos/39/

And click on this search: http://www.google.ca/search?q=men+breast+feeding&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

My: comments on this revelation on the Globe and Mail site:

@Anilegna: My 11 year old daughter refers to my mammary area as my "male boobs". Well I have to tell you they started feeling just a tad ticklish when I was watching that video. It is professionally done and the Director well respected. I still had my doubts, however, and did a search and it would appear it is possible for men to Breast Feed.

My goodness what a revelation that is. I fed my children with pumped mom's milk for a bit and periodically formula when she was too busy and even that was rewarding to see them in your arms sucking away with the eyes closed but appearing to be moving under the lids, the gurgling sounds, then the over the shoulder burp, and then more often than not pleasant sleep. Its quite a feeling of accomplishment to be nurturing a helpless child in that way.

Had I known this 11 years ago what a difference it might have made. My "manliness" still hasn't got used to the idea though and those nipples all men have still are feeling funny. They do have a purpose after all. Who would have thought! :)

Join the Discussion:

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8/10/2009 10:01:46 AM
Any activity that encourages men to share the responsibility of child raising is a good thing.
All too often men are inadvertently excluded from the process.


8/10/2009 10:25:29 AM
I think this wave of men talking to and instructing other men on parenting is fantastic. It demystifies the idea and helps men feel more empowered to do things that used to be just relegated to "women's work."

The other piece of it is where many mommies need to learn how to back off a bit and accept that dad's can handle baby duties just as well as they do, even if they choose to do it in a different way. I think the imbalance of the work being on a mom's shoulders can easily be caused by the mom disapproving of the dad's way and then taking that responsibility away from them.

The only way to truly learn is by doing! As long as the baby isn't being damaged or consistently malnourished, one or two misarranged diapers or unsuccessful feedings will be more beneficial for the dad as a learning moment than damaging to the baby.


8/10/2009 11:05:49 AM
I love this. Big props to these dads. We know clearly from much research and popular books like Men are Form Mars Women Are From Venus that men's and women's brains and personalities function in very different ways. We know too that boys often learn differently than girls in school settings, so these men have simply taken some of that knowledge and expanded on it through social media and blogging and DadLabs. We know too that involved Dads can be a big predictor of a child's future success. Parenting is the hardest job a person will ever have, whether parenting as a Dad or a Mom. Women have been blogging, tweeting, facebooking and working motherhood issues through in chat rooms for several years now. Men are now getting in on this unique opportunity and putting their own spin on it. Kudos to DadLabs. Anything that helps to build a strong parenting toolbox is beneficial to everyone.

Paula Schuck
of thriftymommastips


8/10/2009 11:09:21 AM
It's a good first step and does help to build overall acceptance but the two holdouts that will need to be overcome are: women (who I find either feel guilty when they see Dad taking over the bulk of child rearing or are generally at a loss for words) and family law (which still appears trapped in 1950's, though they are at least paying lip service to men as potentially being interested in their kids).


8/10/2009 11:58:47 AM
"Dude, put down the breast pump"

Too funny G & M! Your 'Hip' slang is way off base.
Not too many 'Dads' are dudes! Certainly NOT This Daddy!

About 150 million 'Daddies' might get pretty cranky, even VIOLENT if you call them a 'Dude' or a 'Good Buddy'. That's the worst insult you can fling at a man. It ain't Politically Correct (manly speaking) or very safe either.






Latest Comments



8/10/2009 12:02:00 PM
I am proud to stay I was a stay-at-home dad for 10 years and have changed at least a thousand diapers if not more. I have learned some of the more technical aspects of cleaning the babies body after soiling for both boys and girls. One does not appreciate all the nuances of these things until actually doing it.

I can say with certainty for any man out there, and I considered myself a "manly" man, this will be the most rewarding activity you will ever encounter. You will adapt to the routine - and if you let it - flourish in your new role as main caregiver. When I did it there was no dad support groups and when volunteering at school classes, mostly moms would be in attendance and they don't quite know what to make of you. Just stand back and admire your child and gradually make conversation until they get used to you. There were plenty of dads though who took time from work to act as volunteer drivers to and from activity's.

I would posit that our testosterone levels tend to drop, as they do when your partner is pregnant and giving birth. The latter has been verified in studies. We need not worry about being completely feminized though because if we have a hockey or soccer game or any other challenge they get called back into action pretty darn fast. I also, through experience can say we as a gender can nurture with the best.

My son-in-law is one of the most nurturing fathers I've met and he works full time at a very demanding job.

If you get the opportunity you won't regret it.

We need to keep on advocating about our abilities, as any dad who has faced family law will tell you. Over 90% of sole custody orders go to mom and we end up as visitors and wallets even if you have been the stay-at-home parent.

Times they are a changing but not in many areas that count. We need laws that have a presumption of shared and equal parenting for fit parents such as bill C-422 currently on the order paper in the federal parliament.


8/10/2009 11:58:47 AM
"Dude, put down the breast pump"

Too funny G & M! Your 'Hip' slang is way off base.
Not too many 'Dads' are dudes! Certainly NOT This Daddy!

About 150 million 'Daddies' might get pretty cranky, even VIOLENT if you call them a 'Dude' or a 'Good Buddy'. That's the worst insult you can fling at a man. It ain't Politically Correct (manly speaking) or very safe either.





8/10/2009 11:09:21 AM
It's a good first step and does help to build overall acceptance but the two holdouts that will need to be overcome are: women (who I find either feel guilty when they see Dad taking over the bulk of child rearing or are generally at a loss for words) and family law (which still appears trapped in 1950's, though they are at least paying lip service to men as potentially being interested in their kids).


8/10/2009 11:05:49 AM
I love this. Big props to these dads. We know clearly from much research and popular books like Men are Form Mars Women Are From Venus that men's and women's brains and personalities function in very different ways. We know too that boys often learn differently than girls in school settings, so these men have simply taken some of that knowledge and expanded on it through social media and blogging and DadLabs. We know too that involved Dads can be a big predictor of a child's future success. Parenting is the hardest job a person will ever have, whether parenting as a Dad or a Mom. Women have been blogging, tweeting, facebooking and working motherhood issues through in chat rooms for several years now. Men are now getting in on this unique opportunity and putting their own spin on it. Kudos to DadLabs. Anything that helps to build a strong parenting toolbox is beneficial to everyone.

Paula Schuck
of thriftymommastips


8/10/2009 10:25:29 AM
I think this wave of men talking to and instructing other men on parenting is fantastic. It demystifies the idea and helps men feel more empowered to do things that used to be just relegated to "women's work."

The other piece of it is where many mommies need to learn how to back off a bit and accept that dad's can handle baby duties just as well as they do, even if they choose to do it in a different way. I think the imbalance of the work being on a mom's shoulders can easily be caused by the mom disapproving of the dad's way and then taking that responsibility away from them.

The only way to truly learn is by doing! As long as the baby isn't being damaged or consistently malnourished, one or two misarranged diapers or unsuccessful feedings will be more beneficial for the dad as a learning moment than damaging to the baby.