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Fatherhood and the Metrosexual Dad

by Archie Wortham    --show me more like this

fatherhood fashions -- dreadlocks and tatoo
"fatherhood fashions" image © Scott Griessel - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.

"The popular image of men as insensitive macho slobs is a relic of the past," says a recent study from the United Kingdom. There is a new battle cry at my house. Besides being "black and proud," I'm also a ‘metrosexual.'

America loves labels. Finally, in the cornucopia of labeling I, and several of my friends can join the ranks of metrosexuality, along with David Beckham, the soccer star, who has been considered an archetypal metrosexual. My friends and I are now not ashamed to embrace our feminine side.

Metrosexual? What is it and who are they? That was my question, as I read the Thursday, 14 August edition of the San Antonio Express News. And as I read it, I saw myself. Based on a survey taken both in Europe and America, it was revealed that ‘metrosexuals' are gadget lovers, get pleasure for making and maintaining a nice home, and are big sports fans.

The metrosexual has made peace "with...their female side..." and a key priority is to "partner with one lover and raise happy and healthy children." These men enjoy theater as much as a ball game, collect recipes as well as tools, are emotionally present, and work hard to better their community. Know any?

Men have come a long way. Because of the agrarian society many of us grew up with, men were the principal providers, and were home most of the time. Families were large, principally to help in the fields. Then with the advent of the certain advances in technologies, men were later employed as skilled artisans, and in many cases became distant breadwinners. When this happened, and men were home less, women took over many of the roles that had been traditionally men. Schoolteachers, both in church and the public schools were roles that women began to fulfill.

As men roles at home diminished and were minimized, women also began to move more into the work force. As men took over less the job of raising their kids in the 1940s, there was an outcry for more of a dominant macho image, as men feared a feminization of their sons. The number of young men who flunked military physical led to an indulgent feeding toward a macho frenzy.

Later, when women began demanding they be seen as God had seen them, at a man's side, many men hid for fear of who they were supposed to be. They didn't know. They were no longer the sole breadwinner. Women didn't allow them to hold open doors. Some women provided as much if not more at home, as the castle for some became a dungeon for some men. There was a crisis, and in silence, dark rooms, bars, or the arms of mistresses, good men cried.

But that's changing. Now there is no longer an "interest...to still have sort of a same-time-next-year love affair," as Marian Salman, who conducted much of her research on men for Euro RSCG discovered. Men are beginning to again realize they are important. Men are beginning to become more active fathers and supportive husbands. Men are becoming more supportive of equality of women in the marketplace, as 66% of the men in the Future of Men study wanted to see an end to earning disparities.

Let's face it. We get a bad rap. But men, we are the only ones who can change this. Study after study shows we are important to our kids, our families, and our communities. Realize that. Step forward, and be with me, and shout, "I'm a metrosexual, and I'm proud." One day, your daughter-in-law will be equally proud of the son who learned how to be a man, become he became a father.

But, if we are going to see the changes, we have to make them. Learn from the past. Plan for the future, and most of all, talk with your wife on how to be more aware of your own importance. Indeed, next to our parents, there is no greater role in a child's life than that child's teachers.

That's awesome dad. That's awesome mom. It's more awesome if you acknowledge each other equally, and get okay with this new term.

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