fidesquaerens (marta_bee) wrote,

on stay-at-home dads and such

Rachel Held Evans, a well-known Christian author and blogger, hosts a "ask a...." interview series on her blog. This week she interviewed a stay-at-home dad.

My own comment over at the post:

I love this interview so much, like all the others. A lot of what you described about the church's reaction reminded me of the way some churches treat "out" homosexual Christians. I'm not talking about the outright condemnation, which of course truly stinks, but also the sense of not quite knowing how to react to people whose life can't be analyzed in terms of the June Cleaver myth of masculinity/femininity. It also reminded me of my own experience as a thirty-something perpetually single woman who is happy as such.

This made me wonder how many other "silent victims" there are out there, to our need to cram square pegs through round holes. God bless you, sir, and thank you for your courage.

Also: Kai is so CUTE! and full of life. He is obviously a loved and nurtured child. You're doing something right, that much is plain to see.

Really, I can't recommend it highly enough. It's human and full of life, and also a telling glimpse at the way the Christian church this man found himself in, that they could not support him as perhaps they should have. Not just the church, either. People seem to have a hard time dealing with people whose lives can't be translated into the normal kinds of experience patterns.

It made me sad, not only for his sake, but for my own experiences as a thirty-year-old woman who's not angsting over the fact she hasn't found her man yet. I really have no problem with this and am happy with my friendships. But I have been to cocktail parties and Bible studies and the like, where people simply don't know what to make of me because I don't fit the normal mold. It was even more true before when I wasn't in grad school and was working temp jobs. The fact that I had no long-term career prospects at the point was sad but not the end of the world. The fact that I was a woman and not moving toward marriage was more noteworthy and more dangerous. (Was I secretly gay? Was I just a paradigm-buster that I didn't care about the thing women were supposed to care about? Didn't I know I'd never be happy without a family and wouldn't get one later on?) Yeah, there's sexism in those expectations and the resulting awkwardness - but the sexism cuts both ways.

But this interview also made me happy because it reminded me there are people out there who are just so human, ordering their life based on what works for them rather than what some abstract theory says is best - and it's just so uplifting and full of life. It reminded me that I didn't have to fit that mold either. And it made me think of my own SAHD cousin and my male friends in grad school who are their young children's primary caregivers because grad school means flexible hours. How good they are with their kids, and how well it works for them.

Do read it. Most of these interviews are worth reading, but this one really hit home for me. Wonderful read.
Tags: gender, rl
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