The male of the species is having a hard time of it in the media this week.
That’s the question one might wonder, given men’s recent short shrift in the the press. First, on Sunday, the New York Times Magazine ran a feature by Emily Bazelton on single-by-choice mothers who “forgo romantic and sexual relationships for extended stretches.” Shrugging off dating as an inevitable casualty of motherhood, the women instead rely on fellow solo moms for social and emotional (if not sexual) support. Not that the women seem to miss it much — one woman refers to the men of her pre-motherhood life as “deadbeats,” another considers the quest for a mate “like adding on a big mess to something that’s comparatively stable.” And, according to the author, all the women in the story expressed satisfaction with not having to share their parental authority with another person.
Perhaps they’re sensing the bad vibes coming from their partnered friends — witness the furor this week over Parenting.com’s atomic screed “Mad at Dad,” which Broadsheet writer Abigail Kramer previously discussed. In it, writer Martha Brockenbrough acknowledges she gets “furious” at her husband over his parenting style — and finds she’s far from alone. Reading through Brockenbrough’s litany of women’s complaints — their spouses’ devotion to their TiVos and video games, their inability to pull together a meal or get their kids in mittens — one would have to wonder if no dad is better than that lump on the couch.
I don’t for a second dismiss the choice of any working single mother to opt out of the dating scene. And I’ve got your back on the charge that a lot of dads phone it in. For what it’s worth, I’m no apologist for nuclear families. I was raised without a father and managed to grow up reasonably sane and secure.
But I don’t quite see how this notion of men as optional is good for any of us — men or women, boys or girls. My kids have a dad who is flawed, forgetful and who, for the record, worships them and enriches their lives in a thousand ways I’d never have come up with on my own. Men — friends, fathers and lovers — aren’t expendable. They’re part of the world in which we raise our kids. Some of them are duds, but guess what? So are some of us, ladies. And isn’t the notion of dismissing one gender as hopeless fuckups just a little … sexist?
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
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O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
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Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
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A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
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