Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The greater crossroads of work, fatherhood and emasculation

Emasculation.

At first glance and enunciation, it sounds a man empowered.

After a week of working much harder for a lot less and topping it off with a day of daddy daycare with the toddler and infant girls, I am filled with emasculation!

But that's not it. Not even close.

It's actually more like this -- to deprive of strength or vigor; to weaken.

I know. Many of you out there are thinking, "Kevin, what are you talking about? Taking care of your children isn't supposed to be emasculating. You know better than that."

I do. I also know that there are many fathers out there at a greater crossroads of emasculation. These are men who have lost their jobs, who have struggled to find work and provide for their families, who have no idea how to adapt to an ever-changing global workplace -- now with more women working in the U.S. than men.

Some have embraced the new full-time and part-time stay-at-home daddy roles and I commend them for that. Mama sees it as a blessing that I've been able to work from home and help so much since Bryce was born.

But for too many others, it's been a very difficult road of plausible deniability, particularly when the resources aren't there for them to deal with the emotional reality while various kinds of abuses begin.

I can relate to those who have tried and still try to get a business working, as well as simply finding regular work. I am fortunate in the fact that I've developed my emotional intelligence and have learned to cope with change, chosen or inflicted.

It still ain't easy, though. And going back to that greater crossroads is the fact that too many men, who are fathers, are failing to respond appropriately to these changes.

On September 15, 2010 – one 24-hour period – domestic violence victim advocates served more than 70,000 adults and children and answered more than 20,000 emergency hotline calls. During the same 24 hours, more than 9,000 requests for services went unmet, largely due to lack of funding.

This from a new survey conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) that reveals telling information about domestic violence services in the U.S.

Now, not all of these calls were about abusive fathers, but the facts are that a very high percentage of domestic violence incidents are perpetrated by men.

Though the economy does not cause domestic violence, factors associated with economic uncertainties can increase the severity and frequency of abuse. At the same time, options for survivors to escape can be more limited. More than 80 percent of local domestic violence programs reported an increased demand for their services while nearly the same number reported decreases in funding.

Those who know me know I'm all about gender-role fluidity, workplace equality, emotional self-awareness and management. That also means friends and family of those less so need to intervene prior to the dangerous greater crossroads that have fewer and fewer resources and safe havens.

If you've never felt the broken pride that leads to feeling less of a man and provider, then you have no idea what I'm talking about. It's not funny in the slightest -- it's frustrating, frightening, maddening and depressing. Socioeconomic change is always difficult, and for many men, it's an excruciating back-breaker.

Fathers and gentlemen, know this -- I've always got your back.


2 comments:

  1. Kevin:
    Another great message of personal responsibility, but most of all, the emotional intelligence to get there.

    You rock and I love you all very much, Dude. I hope to see you soon, Homeslice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Maggie! I hope to see you soon as well.

    ReplyDelete