While reading this article Rehal’s article about paternity leave it immediately reminded me of when my mom was a substitute teacher for a father whom just had a child. My mom was subbing in a classroom for approximately 6 weeks, longer then most men are able to do- all my school would give the father. I found this completely unfair considering other new mother’s were given longer periods of time (while it ranged from what was paid and unpaid). There is just a huge discrepancy in how men are expected to be after their child is born and how mothers should act. Women are scrutinized if they go back to work too soon, while men are scrutinized for taking too much time off. Something I found very interesting at the beginning of the article was that some men actually strengthen their work ties after becoming fathers. This actually makes sense to me in a disturbing way. Men, by societal norms are expected to financially care for their family; after a family has as child that is another mouth to feed and financially be responsible for, there is makes sense they may feel a pressure to make more money or work more.
Another aspect of this article I found interesting was that there is honestly no reason for women to be considered the caretakers and for men to be seen as the breadwinners. The articles talks about men who are reluctant/forced to be the children’s primary caretaker, do so at the same capacity and success as women. These parents are really in a bind about what they can do. They can take leave to raise their child in the early months of their life, but in doing so they are not getting paid fully (around 55%). For most people this income decrease is not an option and they feel obligated financially to return to work sooner.
One of the most striking excerpts from the reading was Mark’s quote on page 119. In this passage Mark explains he would not have take two weeks off from work, even if everyone else did it. He felt that he was unneeded and could be needed more at work. This is just another example/representation of how fathers feel sometimes- or maybe even more of a representation of how mothers are expected to act. Mark felt that he was not needed at home, leaving me to make the assumption that his daughters mother was taking care of the child and seemingly did not give the father a chance to help. They may have felt that, since she as the mother she would have that “motherly instinct” or maybe she did not trust her husband enough with the
Townsend’s article had many similar points to Rehal’s article. When first beginning this article, something that I found interesting was the idea that mother’s income is denoted for luxuries or to get them out of the house, and that there work is lesser than the mans work. Even thought the mother may not work as many hours that does not mean her work is lesser or that she is not working even harder when she is at home taking care of the children. I also found it interesting that many men agreed it was “natural” for the mother to watch the children and for them to leave the house to work. As Rehal’s article states no gender is better or more qualified to care for children.
In terms of a representation of fatherhood in the media, I choose Carrie Underwood’s song “All-American Girl”. The beginning of this song discusses a father’s initial want for a son that could go fishing with him and play football. She goes on to talk about how the father becomes so pleased to have his daughter- much like our classroom discussion about fathers calling their daughters princesses.