What Fathers Do Best

by Steven E. Rhoads

FATHER'S DAY NO LONGER ARRIVES without the national media highlighting Mr. Moms. The year before last, for example, Lisa Belkin of the New York Times described the life of one Michael Zorek, whose only job was taking care of his 14-month-old son Jeremy. Zorek, whose wife brought home a good salary as a corporate lawyer, felt he had become "remarkably good" at shopping, at cooking, and at entertaining his energetic toddler. He was angry at a parents' magazine whose essay contest was open only to mothers. "I'm the one who does the shopping, and I'm the one who does the cooking," he reasoned. "Why is it only sexist when women are excluded?"

This year the homemaking fathers even got to horn in on Mother's Day. On May 8, the Washington Post's Sunday Outlook section featured William McGee, a single dad who "couldn't help feeling excluded" by all the ads for products that "moms and kids" would both love. He mentioned, for example, the classic peanut butter ad, "Choosy Moms Choose Jif." McGee wanted advertisers to know that he is "one of many caring dads" who are choosy, too.

Brace yourselves for an onslaught of such features this week, even though, in the real world, there are still 58 moms staying home with minor children for every dad who does so. This is not just an accidental social arrangement, to be overcome once the media have sufficiently raised our consciousness about the joys of stay-at-home fatherhood. Mothers are loaded with estrogen and oxytocin, which ...

© 2004 Steven E. Rhoads
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