Here is a first. The first pro-feminist father to tackle (and adapt) my 10 questions of feminist motherhood fatherhood. Jeremy Adam Smith also blogs at Daddy Dialectic. His response is fascinating. Go here to read it. (Jeremy is the same writer I plugged in a previous post about his writing on combining masculinity with feminism). In his response to the ten questions Jeremy attempts to unpack his male privelege, and (just as feminist mothers were in responding to the ten questions) he is unflinchingly honest about himself. From the impact of attachment parenting on a father’s relationship with his child (this one resonates strongly in our house), to a pro-feminist father’s true feelings about his son wearing dresses to birthday parties, to falling short of the equality you were aspiring to, Jeremy’s response starts rather than finishes the conversation on pro-feminist fatherhood.
Then I became a dad. And I was shocked by the degree to which my now-habitual commitment to feminist values was put to the test. In fact, habits went out the window; everything took conscious effort, as if I’d had an intellectual and emotional stroke and needed to learn how to walk and talk all over again.
Jeremy and I are inviting other fathers to respond to his adaptation of the 10 questions of feminist motherhood (see below). Please let me know if you do so I can link to you here, or you’re very welcome to email me your response and I can post it here as a guest post.
1. How would you describe your feminism in one sentence? When did you become profeminist? Was it before or after you became a father?
2. What has surprised you most about fatherhood?
3. How have your profeminist values changed over time? What is the impact of fatherhood on your profeminism?
4. What makes your fathering profeminist? How does your approach differ from an anti-feminist father’s? How does feminism impact upon your parenting?
5. When have you felt compromised as a profeminist father? Do you ever feel you’ve failed as a profeminist father?
6. When has identifying as a profeminist father been difficult? Why?
7. Parenthood involves sacrifice, and mothers must typically make more sacrifices than fathers. How do you reconcile that with being profeminist?
8. If you have a partner, how does your partner feel about your profeminist fatherhood? What is the impact of your commitment to feminism on your partner and your relationship?
9. If you and your partner practice attachment parenting–such as bed sharing or positive discipline–what challenges, if any, does this pose for your commitment to feminism, and how have you tried to resolve them?
10. Do you feel feminism has failed fathers and, if so, how? Personally, what do you think feminism has given fathers?