When I asked my 12-year-old daughter what she learned at her week-long sleep-away camp last summer, she replied: “Dad, some people pee in lakes.”I loved her nonchalant delivery of such an intriguing detail. I also loved the gender-neutrality of her use of “some people,” which created a bubble of mystery I chose not to burst.As a veteran stay-at-home father, one of my favorite aspects of camping is precisely its gender-neutrality, or at least gender role flexibility. As my extended family plans for another camping experience, I look forward to my daughters, nieces and nephews once again … [Read more...]
Had I just used the profit motive for a less-than-fully ethical purpose? If I had a son, would I have gone to such lengths to justify the charity part of his sale?
+ + +“Can we have a lemonade stand?”As parent, you have probably heard this summery question at one time or another.As a stay-at-home dad, I often helped my two daughters with their many stands during their younger years. To teach them about charity, however, I would insist that 50 percent of the profits go to our local food bank. They enjoyed making a little money, and I enjoyed their … [Read more...]
She may say she doesn’t care if kids make fun of her unshaven legs, but I say no one wants to have other kids sign her yearbook: “Have a great summer, Sasquatch.”
+ + +My 14-year-old daughter and I have the following argument every Sunday night about teen hygiene:Me: Did you do everything you need to do?Her: What do you mean?Me: You know what I mean. The list of things we talked about.Her: (grumble mutter grumble mutter)Me: It’s not a big deal. Just basic grooming stuff. We've talked about this.Her: You know, it’s really weird that … [Read more...]
Many smart people talked about how to recognize and remedy the barriers confronting our daughters at a recent day-long Washington, D.C., conference on gender stereotypes in media and toys. These people, brought together by the White House Council on Women and Girls, furnished ideas about how to equip girls with the knowledge and tools they’ll need from childhood and into adulthood.But first, they talked about boys.This was no accident. Traditional gender stereotypes perpetuated in movies, on TV and in the design and marketing of toys and games do not only affect girls. They also affect … [Read more...]
Let’s begin with a classic riddle: A father and his son go on a hunting trip. Suddenly, their car crashes, the father dies, and the son needs surgery. Medics rush the boy to the hospital, but upon seeing the patient in the emergency room, the trauma surgeon says: “I can’t operate on this boy. He’s my son.” How is that possible?The answer, as most of us would recognize instantly today, is that the surgeon is the boy’s mother. But for years people would wildly speculate as to how the “surgeon” was male — e.g. the father must not have really died, the non-dead father and the surgeon were the … [Read more...]