Are there inherent conflicts between being a good dad and a feminist dad?
Yes, but only if you fall into the trap of following the old school “good dad” archetype of fathers as protector, breadwinner and enforcer that most of us have grown up with on television and in the media, says the author of Father Figure: How To Be a Feminist Dad.
“This is sort of a book for men who really want to do the work” to change gender roles and equality in the world, Jordan Shapiro tells us on the latest Modern Dads Podcast.
Shapiro talks with host and City Dads co-founder Matt Schneider about a collective need to reassess what being a good father means and the author’s call for dads to consider whether our actions are in line with our desire for a more equal and just world for our children.
According to his website, Father Figure: How to be a Feminist Dad “offers a norm-shattering perspective on fatherhood, family, and gender essentialism. … [It explores] dad-psychology [and] challenges our familiar assumptions about the origins of so-called traditional parenting roles. … It teaches dads how to embrace the joys of fathering while guiding toward an image of manliness for the modern world.”
Jordan Shapiro is former columnist for Forbes magazine, where he wrote about global education, learning through digital play, and kids and culture. The Philadelphia native teaches in the Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University and created Thomas Edison State University’s flagship online course, “Critical Thinking with Video Games,” a course for adult learners that connects classic texts of the Western academic tradition to the storylines and components of popular video games. He is a senior fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, and a Nonresident Fellow in the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution.
His previous book, The New Childhood: Raising Kids To Thrive in a Connected World, published in 2018, focused on the modern worries facing parents about their children’s screen time. “Shapiro argues that parents and educators should let go of their own fears about technology and embrace and endorse it, letting children develop their skills via these tools. He believes that in this new paradigm, adults must let go of their memories of their own childhoods and let their children create memories using the technology at hand. The author’s arguments are persuasive and bolstered by research,” wrote The Kirkus Review.
Shapiro is also an expert adviser to the World Economic Forum, and a participant in China’s Taihe Civilization Forum. He’s also a member of the academy that judges the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize. And he serves on the advisory board of the exclusive global think tank, Symi Symposium.