Father's Day: Let's Celebrate Some Good Guys

Thursday, June 16, 2011

With all the sensationalist sex scandals engulfing high-profile men in recent weeks, Rob Okun says Father's Day offers a chance to celebrate the men who aren't getting so much notice, but are quietly upholding their end of things.

(WOMENSENEWS)--To follow the news the last few weeks is to get the impression of a virulent outbreak of MBBS--Men Behaving Badly Syndrome.

But behind the lurid stories of privileged men acting with an audacious sense of entitlement is another story--men who do the right thing. Father's Day is a good time to engage in a more nuanced discussion of manhood.

We don't hear much about the good guys thanks to the media's maxim: dog bites man no story, man bites dog, big story.

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What broadcast outlet, newspaper or Internet blog would highlight a father who stays home to raise his children when there's a sex scandal to cover?

Fatherhood, like manhood, is in transition as more men reject conventional ideas of both roles. That's the bigger story.

For more than three decades, a slow but steadily growing movement of men--fathers featured prominently among them--has been charting a new course for manhood. Rather than being threatened by women's social gains, these men recognized that women taking action to redefine their role in society presented an opportunity for men to do the same.

Sure, initially most men were confused and angry when we realized women were serious about no longer accepting a playing field tilted in men's favor. Slowly, though, some men got it: women rejecting their confining gender box meant men also could bust out of ours.

Many found in fatherhood a chance to rediscover our capacity to nurture, an ability drummed out of us early, beginning when we were first told "big boys don't cry."

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