Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dads on NPR

Talk of the Nation on NPR today had a segment on the changing demographics and roles of men and women in the workplace which touched on stay-at-home dads. My wife told me about it on her way home from work, saying that TOTN was going to feature stay-at-home dads. I didn't get to listen to much of it when it was on since I was taking care of kids at the time. I'm just finishing it up right now, listening to it on line.

Here's a link to the audio of it if you're interested: End of the Macho Man?

The title of the segment is a bit offensive--or is it meant to be tongue-in-cheek? Our society still has a lot of biases about what men and women are supposed to do. I was recently introduced to a stay-at-home dad who is from Africa. Doing that is taboo in the culture he came out of. I know in my neighborhood I am the odd one out--some of my neighbors also come form cultures where being an at-home dad isn't macho or acceptable. We're at a point in history where we're wrestling with what it means to be a man or woman as well as fighting against long-established gender barriers. To me what matters is that we're doing what we want to be doing and doing it for the sake of those we love.


  1. It's meant to get people's attentions so they'll tune in. Not everything has to be assumed it's offensive.

  2. You're right, Eric. It was an attention getter, and there was little offensive content in the segment.

  3. You know me - I'm not particularly bothered by social expectations of acceptable gender roles. I love to knit and sew, after all. I actually take perverse pleasure in knitting in settings that heighten the tension of a man doing something that is widely viewed as a woman's activity. One of those settings is in m cubicle qt work. Doing something so auspiciously out of the social norm actually occasions good conversation that hopefully helps people expand their horizons.