New Media Men Teach Mainstream Media About Fatherhood

June 20, 2010 In honor of Father’s Day, we’re interested in deconstructing roles portrayed through mainstream media in the hopes that sensationalized headlines will ‘catch up’ to the reality of new media/new reinventions of manhood to see how they compare and contrast to life’s own “reality shows” in today’s homes.

Examples? Dismissive missives like the Atlantic’s ‘Are Fathers Necessary’ answered by Roland Warren’s response as head of the National Fatherhood Initiative, who countered in print on CNN, “Are Dads Necessary? Ask Kids!” We want to hear YOUR take on media’s representation of YOUR world of fatherhood— knowing full well the values will be as varied and vast as the digital support groups depicting what it means to be a father today…

From fatherhood forums with tips for live-away dads, stepfamilies, military dads, gay dads, blended families, to raising kids with special needs and developmental disabilities, and empowering disabled dads it’s mind-boggling to see that we’ve expanded the global conversation of masculinity yet there’s a media myopia of portrayal of dads.

New media men like Chris Singer of Stay At Home Dad in Lansing (aka Tessa’s Dad, pictured above) are taking the helm to help turn this tanker around and represent the POSITIVE portrayal of men in media that keeps getting buried in the mainstream press or flashed as an ‘awww’ moment soundbite and summarily dismissed.

So what better way to celebrate Father’s Day than with a guest post from Chris, where he shines the spotlight on MANY dads worthy of celebration in the hopes that media will Windex the lens and stop blurring the stories beyond recognition!?

Chris is part of the Fatherhood Friday group of blogging fathers and mothers over at “Dad Blogs” the largest community of dads on the net…and I’m honored to have his voice with us today.

He’s tipped me off to great resources like the weekly Festival of Fathers posts, a poignant roundup of thoughts on the hoopla of Father’s Day gleaned from communities of real men, unafraid of authenticity that engage and inspire with forthright candor, and of course, some hilarious jabs and jibing about the media’s handling of male portrayals in general…

So without further ado, here’s Chris with GOOD news about men and the media!!

Tribute to the Dads by Chris Singer

(Originally appeared on SAHD here)

Contrary to what certain magazine editors and publishers may think, it is not the end of men and fatherhood as we know it. (For a great response to this, read Happy Father’s Day! You’re Being Replaced by Rosie O’Donnell). I just don’t get this dad bashing, especially right around Father’s Day.

If you consider how the mainstream media spends most of the year lamenting the need for more father involvement, how do they make the leap to publishing articles saying fathers aren’t needed?

Just look at what we’ve seen from fatherhood so far in 2010:

* There was Super Bowl MVP and first-time dad, Drew Brees, gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated holding his son, Baylen. Brees said it was destiny – coming and putting roots in New Orleans after Katrina and four years later, taking them to a Super Bowl victory. Yet, I’m going to remember him for something other than his play on the field. The footage after the game of Drew with his son, Baylen, was beautiful. I thought as I watched that Drew could have lost the game and still would have been on the field afterward holding and kissing his son.

* You also have the recent release of a very positive and thought-provoking documentary about the evolution of fatherhood (Evolution of Dad). Filmmaker, Dana Glazer (link to our Band of SAHD interview) did a great job with keeping a good flow to the film while providing lots of information through expert commentary, personal stories and giving viewers much food for thought to continue the conversation. To learn more about this film, please read my review.

* 2010 is the Year of the Dad Blog. In recognition of this, I have been posting a Dad Blog Review every week of the year. Below are the 20 blogs I’ve reviewed so far.

Need confirmation that fatherhood and men are alive and well? Read any of the blogs I’ve reviewed below.

Sorry magazine editors. We’re not going anywhere. Happy Father’s Day!

Daddy’s Lil Squirt – A proud parent, husband, lite blogger, twitter enthusiast & dreamer (Read my review)

Jack Be Nimble – A father writes about family, technology and more. (Read my review)

Juggling Eric – A father of five juggling work, family and life. (Read my review)

Luke, I Am Your Father – A diary of a new dad in Seattle. (Read my review)

MochaDad – The musings of a harried Dad in his quest to raise three kids. (Read my review)

Why Is Daddy Crying – Blotting tears since 2002. (Read my review)

Dada RocksWho’s the bigger baby? (Read my review)

PapaRocks6Father of 6 in PDX. Check out the Real Authentic Men posts. (Read my review)

Natural Papa – Natural parenting from the perspective of a treehugging dirt worshiper. (Read my review)

SAHD PDX – Fellow SAHD from the dad blogging paradise of Portland. (Read my review)

Cute Monster -A SAHD blogger in NY. Cute Monster is a resource for dads. (Read my review)

Mr. Storage’s Closet – A long-time blogger now adding posts about his life as a new father/SAHD in Canada. (Read my review)

Ed at Home Dad – A stay-at-home dad’s journey through fatherhood. (Read my review)

Daddy Geek Boy – He’s a dad. He’s a geek. He’s a perpetual adolescent who scribbles his thoughts here for your amusement. (Read my review)

World of Weasels – A special review in honor of Mother’s Day. (Read my review)

Goodbye, Pert Breasts: The Diary of a Newborn Dad – The first review of a dad blog from across the pond! (Read my review)

Smonk You: A Story About Being a Dad – Nice blog by a doting dad. Lots of neat artistic features throughout! (Read my review)

Bringing Up Charlie – A really well-written blog from a SAHD in England. (Read my review)

Dad is in the House – A blog about the business of staying home. (Read my review)

Almighty Dad – An excellent blog by a stay at home and homeschool dad Read my review

Special Note from Chris Singer Happy Father’s Day everyone and welcome to my 21st Dad Blog Review! If you’re not aware of it by now, 2010 is indeed the YEAR OF THE DAD BLOG! However, as a reminder, my intention for doing the reviews is to simply promote positive fatherhood. I’m not going to rank the blogs I review or try and find the “best” dad blog. For me, it’s a matter of promoting the great diversity of dad blogs and to share the joys of fatherhood present in these blogs. If this is your first visit, thanks for coming by. I hope you will check out some of the other dad blogs I’ve reviewed. If you are a dad blogger and would like your blog reviewed, simply contact me and I will add you to the schedule. —Chris Singer, SAHD in Lansing

Amazing line up, hmn?

That should put mainstream media to rest for a bit on what dads are REALLY doing…Here are a few more to use critical thinking skills in assessing media’s portrayal of dads (there’s good, bad and ugly, here, so heads up).

Check out TV Dads’ Singles’ Hall of Fame, an amusing romp of single fatherhood over the decades, Family Man’s piece, “More Than Just Dunderhead Dads” and Media Awareness Network’s article on TV Dads positioned as immature and irresponsible…

Are Father’s necessary? Unequivocally. Thanks, guys.

We need more “new media men” like Tom Matlack (The Good Men Project) Gavin Heaton (The Perfect Gift for a Man a collaborative probono book collection to benefit the Inspire Foundation Australia, etc.) Ron Mattocks, author of  Clark Kent’s Lunchbox, Sugar Milk and ‘stay at home dad’ (SAHD) of FIVE who penned this piece on The Father’s Day Conspiracy and of course the gents on Chris’ list, including himself, to begin to jibe the sail and shift the conversation toward more diversity and multi-media viewpoints to get the heck out of the silo.

Happy Father’s Day, gents…

Related Father’s Day Posts on Shaping Youth

Shaping Youth’s Fatherhood Resource Roundup

Reinventing Manhood: The Perfect Gift for a Man

Shaping Youth Asks: Who’s Your Favorite Fictional Male Role Model & Why?

Meaningful Media for Father’s Day: My Daddy Taught Me To…

Piggies & Paws for Papa’s Day: Keepsakes For Life

Shaping Youth: Media’s Portrayal of Father Figures on TV

Free iPhone Apps For Dad He’ll Appreciate More Than Soap On A Rope

Father’s Day for $5, When Kids Want to Use Their Own Money!

Father’s Day Letter to President Obama

Shaping Youth Via Fatherhood, Joe Kelly (The DAD man) on New Media, New Men

Shaping Youth’s Roundup of Fatherhood Resources (pls. add to them!)

About Fatherhood: Tips for Dads

Administration for Children and Families

At Home Dads (Shaping Youth feature on this trend coming soon)

Center for Family Policy & Practice

Center for Law and Social Policy (Child support & low income fathers)

Children’s Rights Council

Dad Daily: Social networking site

Dads & Daughters

Dads Rights

DadStaysHome: forum style support

DI Dads (donor insemination)

Families and Work Institute: (Fatherhood Project)

Family Man Online

Fathers.com

Fathers and Families

Fathers Forum Online (expectant & newbie dads)

Fatherhood Foundation

Fatherville

GayDads.Info

GreatDad.com

MaleCare.com (great prostate cancer support site for dads)

ManKind Project (progressive, “new warrior training adventure”)

MenStuff.org (misc. resource site)

Military OneSource (dad resources, childcare subsidies, mental health)

Minnesota Fathers & Families Network (incredibly family friendly state!)

Mr.Dad (author Armin Brott’s site, featuring his Positive Parenting radio show, his DaddyCast live podcasts, and book(s) like The Single Father, Father for Life, and age-tiered ‘how tos’ from what Time mag called a “superdad”) I found his Throwaway Dads book a bit feisty & adversarial; but he’s got quite a best-selling marketing machine

National Center on Fathers and Families (U.Penn edu site/policy-programs)

National Fatherhood Initiative (Fatherhood.org)

National Father’s Network (special needs)

Parents Without Partners

Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Responsible Single Fathers (singlefather.org forum here)

Rural Fathers

Single Fathers’ Lighthouse (support & links to single parent resources)

StepDads (StepFamily Center)

StepInstitute (as seen in Newsweek here)

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities

Testicular Cancer Resource Site (support derivative from acor.org online) and of course Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong.org site)

The Father Life (new ezine)

USO.org (AT&T Calling Cards for free USO/overseas calls for Father’s Day)

Zero to Three’s Fatherhood Tip Sheet

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Comments

  1. What an amazing list of resources. And thanks for the shout-out to The Good Men Project! The great thing about a list like this is that it’s not just people getting angry about the way men are portrayed in the media (which would be completely justified, imo), but it’s men who are taking positive actions — day in and day out — to help create social change. Kudos, all!
    Lisa Hickey recently posted..I forgot how hard launches areMy Profile

  2. Amy, thanks. It’s a great honor to be included with so many great dads. Thanks for all your working in presenting such a positive image of men who care about their families.
    Clark Kent’s Lunchbox recently posted..A Dad’s Resume As Read By His SonMy Profile

  3. Lisa, good point…there are way too many whine fests in terms of blogs with no proactive solutions…It’s great to bring the topic to the surface for analysis and critical thinking, but ultimately, we need to uncork the convo of ‘so what are we gonna DO about this?!’ (whether it’s gender, obesity, sexualization, etc) so I really appreciate your pointing this out that these men ARE making changes by the way they walk through the world and the way they’re expressing themselves via media to share that experience and enlighten others!

    Ron…you deserve to be included in the top order of these dads, mygosh with FIVE and a SAHD to boot, you could be your own sitcom if to enlighten and inspire. How about turning Sugar Milk into a ‘reality series’ with REAL and POSITIVE portrayal of men loving their families amidst the caring and chaos?! 😉 You’d rock it!

    Thanks again to all the ‘good men’ out there…as well as the mentors/males that aren’t ‘dads’ themselves but fill that gap in other people’s lives…
    Amy Jussel recently posted..Dad’s Day Media: A Boy Needs Rules! Walker Lamond Says SoMy Profile

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