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Renting Space In Cathy's World
Some pithy and hilarious stuff in a MensNewsDaily interview with my friend Cathy Seipp. Links are live in the piece, but not here (on deadline and on dialup on France Telecom...on a phone line circa 1612, it seems...have a little sympathy):

BC: In an article you wrote last month about a group of stay-at-home yuppie fathers in the area around where you live, whom you dub Silver Lake Dads, you make an interesting statement about men and parenting. You wrote: By now it's something of a clich that men often feel they deserve a medal for what women do as a matter of course. Yet, could we not make a similar statement about women and the workplace? Men have accepted their role as bread winners for thousands of years yet now the politics surrounding the modern work environment is dominated by concerns about sexual harassment, paid maternity leave, and arguments over whether birth control should be covered by insurance companies. What happened to the old notion that when one goes to work one simply works?

CS: Excellent observation, because it's one I thought of after I wrote the article, as a matter of fact, and plan to bring it up Sunday when I'm on this KMPC radio show called "His Side with Glenn Sacks" talking about that piece. I have nothing against involved dads; it's the earnest, self-congratulation that gets to me. And yes, women who make a big "I Am Woman" fuss about being a WORKING woman, in the WORKPLACE, with its glass ceilings, etc., are equally obnoxious.

I was brought up not to make a big fuss about these sorts of rules but just go ahead and break them. My mother, for instance, told me when I was young that when she was looking for an entry level job after graduating college, she noticed the most interesting, better paying jobs were always under "Men Wanted" instead of "Women Wanted," which is how jobs used to be advertised. So she just went ahead and applied for the "Men Wanted" jobs and usually got them. And most of the time the men who interviewed her were not outraged that she'd applied but quite nice; they just said it hadn't occurred to them that a woman might want the job. Which is how it is with most situations, I think; people aren't usually out to oppress you, they're just unimaginative.

BC: There was another intriguing matter you brought up in that same article which concerned the beards (what is it with these guys and facial hair?) which are so much a part of the SNAGsensitive, New Age, guy costume. I laughed out loud after reading it because I agree with you. The beard used to be a symbol of rustic masculinity as was the case with brave men like Ulysses S. Grant or Stonewall Jackson. Could a case be made that these SNAG fellows ritually grow beards as a way to compensate for their lack of masculinity? Perhaps they fear that if they did not possess beards people would be unsure of how to address them.

CS: I don't mind closely trimmed short beards. But those long, scraggly beards on men are like underarm hair on women. In both cases the tacit message is: "In case you were wondering what my pubic hair looks like, wonder no longer, because now you know."

BC: When thinking about the topic of stay-at-home dads, a bigger question must be asked and it is reflective of the black underbelly found in most radical social engineering projects. Is it possible for a woman to respect, and find attractive, a man who does not work or contribute materially to their familys well-being?

CS: No.

Posted by aalkon at July 26, 2004 8:54 AM


I really like this:

"People aren't usually out to oppress you, they're just unimaginative."

Posted by: Lena McWeena at July 26, 2004 8:11 AM

I loved that, too. And the beard/underarm hair remark.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 26, 2004 8:18 AM