+ Paid Leave, Project Matriarchs, and Dads Who Care
Seeing the cover makes this book feel so real! Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for this beautiful design, and to Trident Media for the great graphic. My favorite part of this cover is the crossed-out list, because it includes both physical and emotional tasks. This was really important to me, and it speaks to what this book is all about. Finding parity at home is not just about dividing chores; it is about understanding the gender norms that shape our values and our actions – and then changing them.
For my biggest supporters, the book is already available for pre-order here!
American lawmakers are having a very exciting conversation about National Paid Leave right now, which includes revised paid family and medical leave policies. Melinda French Gates published an article in Time last week. She gives a good overview of the proposed policy and makes a persuasive argument as to why this legislation is so critical. Here are two more resources I depend on for regular updates:
2. For the paid leave issue specifically, I follow Twitter updates from Vicki Shabo, a Senior Fellow at New America.
If passed, this legislation would be life changing for dual-earning households. We know that caregiving responsibilities have historically fallen to women, preventing women from reaching their professional potential – and preventing men from reaching their caregiving potential. To re-write these norms we need structural changes as much as we need social change.
Project Matriarchs is a compelling organization that I am happy to support. Founded by friends and college students Lola McAllister and Pilar McDonalds, Project Matriarchs is working hard to include Gen-Z voices in today’s care infrastructure conversation. Check out their Pledge to Care advocacy campaign. I signed!
(Generation Z = Those born between 1995 – 2010. Gen-Z makes up about 20% of America’s population.)
Equal Partners is about all partnerships – people who have kids, and those who do not. But sometimes I specifically write about equity in the context of parenting.
This is one of the reasons I value my relationship with Fathering Together. I wrote about this organization last year when I highlighted various dad groups that are working to build communities of dads, countering those old stereotypes about men not needing community or connection. I love the way Fathering Together shares stories about dads with dads, and I am proud to be an advisor to their Gender Equity Community.
This past summer I wrote a Dads Who Care series of articles for Fathering Together. I am now republishing the series on Medium, starting with an overview explaining how the series came about, and then introducing the dads one by one. These are men who are married, divorced, single, and partnered; fathers, step-fathers, father-figures, and guardians. If you read a dad story that resonates, or reminds you of a friend, feel free to send it on. I think it is important that we all try to normalize the everyday, engaged dad. “Not just the guy that brings home a paycheck, or the guy that plays with his kid for 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. But the guy that shows up to work with a baby food stain on his shirt and bags under his eyes; the guy who is teaching himself how to braid hair so he can do the morning routine; the guy who turned down a promotion so he can be more present for his teenagers.”
Apologies for my summer Substack hiatus. I hope everyone is hanging in there and staying healthy.