Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

If Fatherhood Falls in a Forest…

This is the sound it makes.

by
Hannah Sternberg

Bio

February 3, 2014 - 9:30 am
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

TheParisReviewFatherhood has been undergoing a dramatic redefinition in recent years, amply covered by journalists, scientists, and sitcoms. That’s why the Tweet I saw today (“Do fathers make good writers? Do writers make good fathers?“) was clickbait I eagerly lapped up.

The article I wound up reading, “The Pram in the Hall,” revealed more about its author, Shane Jones, than it did about writing or parenthood. Jones is admittedly image-obsessed, and that’s evident when he spends most of this article talking not about the unique challenges parenthood poses to writing, but about the challenges it poses to his carefully cultivated personal and professional image.

He writes, “In our culture, fatherhood means baggy khakis and cars with side-impact airbags—it’s something of a joke.”

I don’t see how that’s something of a joke — I just see a comfortable man in a safe car. And people in the book world aren’t known for their glamorous good looks and fashion sense, either, so I’m not sure how any of that is a threat to his career. Have you been to a publishing trade show lately? Clint and Stacey would have a heart attack.

Top Rated Comments   
There is no such thing as a "parent". There are mothers. There are fathers. There is motherhood. There is fatherhood. There is no such thing as "parenthood". There is mothering. There is fathering. There is no such thing as "parenting". Men and women are different. Get it?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
It depends on the topic a writer is usually focused on...I've not read this guy before, whats his specialty?

I wouldn’t expect much "change" in the work of an author of historic-biographies, business analysis, or software/tech junkie articles just because they now have kids.

If Writing is your PROFESSION, like most other careers you’ll have the Work/ Home, Compartmentalization thing going on….so….what the problem?

My passions are The American Civil War, and Antique Italian Motorcycles...cant figure where any references to my beautiful, beloved son would appear in any of my musings on those subjects.

Am I a changed man after becoming a father?
Absolutely.

What has that got to do with the development of the Spencer Carbine, or tuning of desmodromic valve trains?….and, who among my readers would CARE?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't start publishing until 2010, when my son was in his 20s.

Yet, his birth and having the opportunity to raise him on my own when his mother left is the finest thing I have ever done in my life.

Such a dramatic change in someones life, is bound to change him and his art.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
if a tree falls in the forest , and there is no one to hear it , is he still wrong
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers
Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family by Stephen Baskerville (At least go to Amazon and read the Preface and Introduction to these two books.)

Purple Heart's Final Beat - A Soldier Suicide Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_StCzStBy0
Plunder: How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation by Steven Greenhut
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Artists are almost by definition adolescent narcissists. He doesn't understand fatherhood because he's not grown up enough to grasp the notion.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't reproduce.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't post.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no such thing as a "parent". There are mothers. There are fathers. There is motherhood. There is fatherhood. There is no such thing as "parenthood". There is mothering. There is fathering. There is no such thing as "parenting". Men and women are different. Get it?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Point taken, sort of. When a mother is being a mother, and a father is being a father, what do you call it when they do it together?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
In my house we call it a "bicameral benevolent parental dictatorship". Kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like it!
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
As my mother often said: "Kids need Moms & Dads who are spending time being Mom & Dad, not one or the other."
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would add a corollary. Kids need Moms and Dads who are being the adults, and not the buddies of the kids.

Too many parents are afraid to do the hard work of parenting, and are more interested in having the approval of their kids.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thank God for those differences!
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe that both motherhood and fatherhood are under assault. One of the ways the attack is perpetuated is by pitting advocates for the importance of motherhood against advocates for the importance of fatherhood. It is especially apparent when talking about the challenges of single parenting.

As for writing, I went to a writer's conference and a book agent walked up to our table and asked us what we were each writing about. I responded that I was writing about fatherhood, and before I even finished the sentence he moved on to the next person. She was writing on healthy lifestyles. He was interested. I guess it is because of the glut of books on fatherhood and the lack of books on health and fitness.

I like your boyfriend's comment about distrusting musicians who don't change after becoming parents. Certainly I find that trend to be noticeable among stand-up comedians, whose material tends to change after their first child is born.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Certainly I find that trend to be noticeable among stand-up comedians, whose material tends to change after their first child is born."

Interesting. So, are they less foul-mouthed and empty-headed? Or less so?

7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Their material changes. They talk about their wives being pregnant, about the newness of a child, how their life has changed, about their new role as a parent.

I avoid the foul-mouthed and mean-spirited comedians, so all I can really offer is conjecture, but my sense is that No, they do not change that much. Or the change is much slower. George Carlin softened quite a bit over the years, though I don't know if it was from fatherhood, grandfatherhood, or age. It put a smile on my face when my son went through his "Thomas the Tank Engine" stage to discover that George Carlin was narrating the shows and doing the train voices.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>Coincidence?
I think not.

Sorry, I had to, I didn't have it in me to resist.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All