I didn't think much of about my April 4 post when I wrote it; I was just musing. However, the post provoked a number of fascinatingly neurotic discussion threads in the progressive parenting blogosphere.
Rebeldad's April 5 link and commentary triggered some mild homosexual panic:
Many women also seem to have this facination to want their husband's or boyfriends to show their feminine side or turn them into "girly" dads. Sorry but I don't have a feminine side. I'm a frieken [sic] guy! I only have a masculine side...The other day Tina paid me a compliment and said how much she appreciated the way I parent as a DAD. And I told her how much I appreicate the way she parents as a MOM. And then we had sex!
As well as thoughtful disagreement:
I am not a mom, I do not mother. I am a father, and by his [i.e., my] definition, I do father... and more. The ideals he's mentioned are exactly the types of stereotypes that create the awkward looks we get on the playgrounds. It's not an insecurity issue, at least for me. I'm parenting, not mothering. Usually, I'll take the title with a grain of salt, unless its said in a negative tone. Then I tend to take the same defensive stance I would take were someone to call me a slacker for not "working".
But the most substantial dialogue happened over at Half Changed World, where Elizabeth (who objected to some parts of the original post) wrote:
But maybe Jeremy's right in some ways. I write here a fair amount about what I call "reverse traditional families"; families with working mothers and at-home fathers. One of the strains on women in these families is that we rarely give ourselves mothering credit for being breadwinners. We often beat ourselves up for the things that we don't do, without giving ourselves corresponding brownie points for the things we do. Maybe we should stop worrying about whether we're good enough mothers, and decide that we're damned good fathers.
In the various threads, including here on Daddy Dialectic, you can see that we as a culture (assuming you take the threads as representative) are very far from consensus about what mothering and fathering mean.