When There's Nothing Between the Lines

I've made my living with words for the past 11 years. I make it a point to write clearly. Most of my work is in the technical writing field, so precision is important, but I also try to write clearly in my personal life as well.

I like to think I'm a fairly skilled communicator. This isn't always the case, of course, but by and large, companies have been paying me to convey their messages to the public for many years now, so I think I'm pretty good at what I do.

Which is why it's very frustrating to me that several commenters on my last post seemingly did not even bother to read what I had written before commenting. Of course, these were individuals who hadn't ever commented on this blog, and who had probably never even visited IW before.

But comment they did, because apparently what they read in my last two posts was that I was somehow advocating against father's rights.

Silly me. I thought I had written about how awesome it was that my husband got the kids out of my hair for three hours one Saturday by taking them to a coffee shop and how it would be nice to receive the accolades he does for doing the same. I also thought I had written about how men fail to see the double standard, and questioned why it was that more dads weren't angry at being marginalized (because really, when people praise fathers for being fathers, they're in essence saying that society doesn't expect much of them).

But no. Apparently I was not being compassionate to dads fighting for equal parenting rights. One commenter even inferred that there are a lot of women (me?) trying to keep their children away from their fathers.


Here's my bottom line on this topic:

I want more paternal involvement, not less, because more of that = more time for me to regain my sanity without three children crawling up my leg and sucking out my brain cells and my will to live one meltdown at a time.

I think it's sad that more dads (married, not married, and divorced) aren't fighting the stereotype of the uninvolved, clueless father by pursuing equal parenthood.

And I think that one of the reasons the double standard women are up against every day is so demoralizing is because it pits men and women, fathers and mothers, against each other. When men receive heaps of praise for doing the very same things women do day in and day out without any recognition, it creates resentment and animosity. When women are the only ones criticized for so-called parenting missteps, while their husbands are being back-slapped for taking James and Jenny to their dentist appointments, chances are not everyone is going to be in a feel-good state of mind. This may not be the mommy wars, but the gender wars can be just as harmful.

I won't apologize for what I wrote to those who skimmed my last posts and misconstrued their meanings. I will only say that this is a very important topic for me, and I truly appreciate all the thought-provoking comments those of you who actually read my last two posts have left here.

3 Responses to “When There's Nothing Between the Lines”

  1. # Blogger Andrew

    Okay, next topic: Could we get a post about the cats at some point? Some pics would be nice. How are they adjusting to the new house?  

  2. # Anonymous Ness at Drovers Run

    Hear hear!!  

  3. # Blogger Sunny

    That's the thing about communication -- we can only control what we say/write, we unfortunately can't ensure that someone will read it as the message intends. Especially when you write something on a highly charged topic like this, I think some people hear what they want/expect to hear.

    I think you did a great job and made excellent points. Keep up the good work!!  

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