I was involved in a discussion with a lady on the Fatherhood Institutes Facebook page recently, we were discussing an article written on the New Statesman website, allegedly about the proposed paternity leave that Labour would offer if they were to win the next election. I say allegedly as we had differing views of what the lady was saying. But it got me thinking, is it time to talk as men?
I felt the article was nothing more than an attack on fathers with lines about dads only becoming involved when they divorce and their involvement ending when things become more tactile (nappy changing etc.), personally I found this an affront to dads everywhere.
My opponent seemed to think it was about men having to make sacrifices in order to be more involved (I still can't figure out where this came from).
The nub of our discussion isn't really that important, what is is that as things went on she highlighted that men need to talk to each other about equality in parenting face to face, no more hiding behind blogs, no more ranting to like minded people, instead it is time to talk to those non involved dads, the average man in the pub, and more.
Is she right though? Is it now time to talk?
Time to Talk
It must be said I am inclined to agree.
We need to be having the type of conversation that we are happy to have on our blogs and in forums and Facebook groups in the big wide world face to face with people. More than that though do we need to talk to people who are not already on our wave length, we need to stop preaching to the converted and start preaching to the masses.
Perhaps now is the time for us, as involved parents to start having those discussions with our friends neighbours and generally our peers. Now is the time for us to start forcing the issue with TV stations, newspapers, large media in general. Now is the time to start pushing corporations into take our demands for paternity leave and family time more seriously.
We could keep as we are and keep complaining that nothing changes, but without forcing change we are really doing nothing.
I hereby vow I will confront dad stereotypes when I see them from now on, on TV, in the press and in real life. Who's with me?