I have a piece in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, about how feminism changed fatherhood for the better.
Thanks to feminism, my relationship with my father is entirely different to the one he had with his late father. When I was a little girl, it was dad who did my hair for Saturday morning ballet class. Until I was 15, when I finally mastered the art myself, he was the ballet bun master-in-chief in our house. Thanks to feminism, my father and I can talk about our feelings, something men of his generation could rarely do with their dads. Might things have been different had I been a boy? Possibly.
The American sociologist Michael Kimmel, the author of Guyland and a leading thinker in masculinity studies, says that even when they have sons, fathers who had children during or after the women’s movement are determined to do things differently than their dads did. And they’re succeeding: he argues, American dads today are more likely to hug their kids and to tell them that they love them than in previous decades – regardless of the child’s gender.
You can read the whole thing here. And happy early Father’s Day, America!