Herewith, some notes on gender and parenthood, by way of organizing some thoughts and soliciting dialog in advance of a panel I’ll be speaking on. These notes also provide attendees a place to which to be able to trace various threads, should they like, or carry on the conversation we started.
This Friday I have the honor to be speaking at the Dad 2.0 Summit alongside four other really smart panelists and in dialog with the great folks assembled in the room. Our moderator is Parent Hacks founder/author Asha Dornfest; co-panelists are National At-Home Dad Network President Al Watts, therapist and Father’s Forum founder Bruce Linton, and Huffington Post senior columnist Lisa Belkin.
The question organizing our chat: Can parenting ever really be gender-neutral? Framed in the program thusly:
When it comes to parenting, mothers are held to an unreasonably high standard, while the bar for passable fatherhood is disproportionately low. As fathers strive for greater credibility as parents, the gap between those standards is diminishing. But will that gap every truly disappear? And is this the only way dads will ever be perceived as having a truly equal footing when it comes to raising kids?
Below, some notes on things I consider axiomatic and fundamental, but worth stating explicitly, since so many of us come from so many different standpoints. Also, some postulations about gender, parenting, and the relationship between pubic and private sphere power.