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Blackfoot Valley Dispatch
Lincoln , Montana
June 18, 2009     Blackfoot Valley Dispatch
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June 18, 2009

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4 -- BLACKFOOT VALLEY DISPATCH Lincoln, MT June 18, 2009 Ah, Fa- Z"]kther's bay is upon o us. 1 can't think of a better time for dads and men to remember how to be dads and men. Flip on the tube any time during the day and you'll see fathers portrayed as hapless buffoons -- saved from them- selves by their wives and all- knowing children. The real life of the modem dad isn't much prettier. To be sure, the state of the American male is in shambles -- though I'm not sure how we got here. I remember the '60s. The womens' movement was be- ginning to gain traction, but in our neighborhood the morns tended to cook and watch the children, whereas the men earned the money and tended to the yard, then shot the bull over a few Pabst Blue Rib- bons. I remember the '70s, too. The evening news featured equal-rights protests at which women burned their bras. Still, in our neighborhood, most of the morns stayed home and the dads worked and drank Pabst Blue Ribbon. An End to Bafoonish Fathers During the '80s, the econ- omy exploded. Everyone was so busy working and getting ahead that few noticed -- or took time to celebrate -- the tremendous strides women were making. I got my first job out of college in 1984 and began working with many female professionals -- they ex- celled in a range of jobs they wouldn't have been offered 20 years prior. The '90s came and went quickly. Women kept blos- soming and growing and do- ing well. And in 2009, women are doing very well. They're doing better than men at all levels of education. They're gaining rapidly on men as small-business entrepreneurs. In the large metros, they're out-earning us by thousands of dollars. As females excel, males are faltering. We're dropping out of school at a far greater rate than women. We're seeing our income stall or decline -- even men with college degrees are falling behind. Somewhere along the way, women weren't content with mere equality. They decided they wanted to remake us in their own image. Boy, have we responded. Sensitive new-age men now spend hours fretting over their looks and style -- we spend thousands getting our hair primped, our skin mois- turized, our eyebrows waxed. Modern dads are unsure of themselves, too. Fathers can be found misting up at baby showers and clapping enthu- siastically the first time junior uses the commode. And with every concession men have made we have lost status -- we have lost respect, Well, nuts to that. Look, men, we need to whip ourselves back into shape -- we need to remember how men and fathers should be. When our wives dress our sons up in knickers and saddle shoes, we must respond the way older fathers would have responded: "No son of mine is going to wear any damn knickers!" We must retake control over the naming process of our children. We must give our boys names such as Tom, Mike, Jim and Joe -- not let our wives name them Gilad, Jeremy and Michelle. We need to stop seeking the approval of our sons and daughters. We are the adults and they are the children. Our role is to focus on the unpleas- ant job of fathering -- to do the often unpopular work that will prepare them for a com- petitive world. We must regain our back- bone. We must earn respect by being good husbands and fa- thers -- and we must demand that we be respected. There's nothing wrong with being more attentive to our children than the fathers of old were. There's nothing wrong with changing the diapers and having long conversations and showing emotion. But somewhere along the way we've tossed the baby out with the bathwater -- we've let ourselves become wimps and buffoons -- and that isn't good for our wives, our kids or ourselves. It's up to us now. We must restore some needed balance and equilibrium to the Ameri- can family. If we do, fathers, after a long, productive day of father- ing, will be able to enjoy an occasional Pabst Blue Ribbon on the back porch. If we don't, it is just a mat- ter of time before modem dads are forced to wear knickers and saddle shoes, too. Tom Purcell is a nationally syndi- cated humor columnist. Contact him at or visit him on his internet website at, or by phone at 571-216-6265. Beckq Garland, Realtor Sales Associate "/02 Main Skeet, Lincoln, MT 59639 bqarland@linctel.not flee my listings @ www.aetionrealtylle.oom Lots of great properties for sale Stop by and inquire! (CelO 406-43"1.-0325 (OFC) 406-362-4727