I enjoyed listening to this bit on NPR’s Talk of the Nation during lunch today. It’s about the evolution of the the “dolt-ish” sitcom dad, and it mostly focuses on the increasing number of stay-at-home dad. All-in-all, it’s pretty entertaining, and I agree with most of it. I just wish they would have spent more time talking about the portrayal of men/dads as good, strong role models – something that is sorely lacking in today’s media.
What are we teaching our society? When kids watch cartoon dads like, say, Homer Simpson, what are we telling them about what it means to be a father? Why aren’t there more Dr. Huxtables on TV these days?
I am all for empowering women. I cringed when I heard the Leave it to Beaver soundbyte on the radio. Women have every right to pursue their dreams like their male counterparts. It’s great that women’s rights are being championed by the media and pop culture — but why must we do it at the expense of good male role models?
Real men aren’t cavemen. They exhibit self-control. They’re firm, but not overbearing. They’re gentle, yet strong. Brave, not reckless (ala Mufasa from The Lion King). Real men have courage. They’re not afraid to stand up for something, even when it is unpopular. They’re humble. Honest. Faithful. Loving.
I’m blessed to have a father who – imperfect as he is – has demonstrated each of these qualities to me at various points in my life. I’m extremely thankful for that, as it’s certainly been a tremendous factor in shaping who I am today. But not everyone can relate to my experience…
That’s why it’s so critical that we have strong male role models, and we can’t just rely on pop-culture to come to it’s senses. We need real men to step up to the plate. Sure, we can’t be perfect. Nobody is. But we can try.
I’m game. Who’s with me?
God bless, and good night!