Friday, September 27, 2013
Someone hurt my feelings yesterday. That's a hell of a thing for a grown man to say. It's a hell of a thing grown man to realize, also.
Here's the thing, we talk about hurt feelings a lot with the boys around here. I may say something to Zachary about dipping into a conversation between his mother and I and he may take it the wrong way and get his feelings hurt. I saw Nick get his hurt one day at the pool when another boy snubbed him and said "who are you?" in what I thought was a rude manner. I always try to explain it, try to make them feel better and, it's hard.
I suppose I hurt Marci's feelings sometimes and my Mom's and any number of people, but, I'd sort of forgotten what it feels like to have one's own hurt.
I don't talk much about being a stay-at-home-dad, or SaHD, as it has come to be known - actually, I like to call myself a "homemaker" because that's what I am, but that's a story for another day. I don't talk about it not because I am ashamed or because I hate it, or because I think it is hard or soul-sucking. I don't talk about it because I don't want the boys to think I thought that, ever. I want them to think it's ordinary and common and natural, which it is.
However, some people don't think that. Some people think I am a joke, a punchline, a gag. Some people think I am less of a man for doing it, some think it's creepy, some think it is unacceptable and wrong. And this woman, Jenna Karvunidis, thinks I want to try to seduce her while I am at the park with my boys. You can read it if you want, but basically she says the parenting sexes should not commingle because men are inherently randy and can't be trusted, or something like that.
A couple of other guys took her on far better than I will here. The fine man who writes DadNCharge, who has always been nothing but kind and decent to me, his children and his fellow bloggers, tried very tactfully and pointedly to point out that her logic was flawed and he has many female compatriots and he never even considered anything stupid or sundry as she so overtly and crassly suggests. His post It's Just a Playdate, Not A Date is a beautiful and, I think, reasoned, loving even, response to her's.
Modern Father Online was a little less loving. In a rhetorical masterpiece titled Why Mums Shouldn’t Work and There Should Be NO SaHDs , he slams her thinking up against a wall, and not in the way she was imagining. It's really good, he's an incredibly clever fellow and his blog is wonderfully wacky and very, very smart. It should probably be on my "better bloggers" list.
So why, you might ask, are my feelings hurt? I'd like to say it's because I feel like she attacked me personally; I'd like to say it's because I feel like she thinks I'm an idiot or a sub-par man; I'd like to say she hurt my feelings because I'm a guy and I am not a philandering piece of crap, but, it's not really any of those things.
She hurt my feelings because she thinks so little of children that she is willing to say these things about men that could easily affect my own children. Imagine a mother reading her bunk and saying to herself, yeah, that guy is creepy, I am not going to let my son or daughter play with his kids. Now, that makes it personal, that makes it incendiary, that makes it sad. For no reason other than her own self-aggrandizement and love of her own pitiful and embarrassingly trite, pedestrian prose, she has condemned a whole group of men. Men I know, men I respect; men you should get to know, men you should respect.
This woman is no stranger to this sort of junk, she's been in this sort of embroiled, embittering argument before. I think she is insulting to women, to men, to children. I think she is insulting to marriage and decency. I think she is an embarrassment to whoever chooses to give her a voice. But, more than anything, she hurt my feelings because her actions hurt my kids.
I know this isn't the sort of thing you expect here at IHIWAT.
I'll get back to my regularly scheduled nonsense Monday, I promise. In the meantime, here is a pretty picture Zachary drew in Art Class today. This ugliness needs some beauty to balance it out:
Thanks for listening, I feel better.