Stay-at-Home Dads are Not Men

Posted on November 3, 2011


According to the Pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, able-bodied men who are not working–including stay-at-home dads–are not “men”.

This is not some new controversy a pastor is stirring-up to generate interest and book sales.  The story is a year old.   I found the video while surfing the Net in my free time.  I have free time because I am a stay-at-home dad.

Mark Driscoll [Be sure and pre-order his 2012 book on marriage] says I’m not quite a man if I am forcing my wife to work (don’t let her apparent joy at working as a full-time pastor fool you, she must certainly feel she is not quite a woman).  I am not quite a man by chopping branches in my own yard (at least I tried to dress like one wearing rugged flannel, well-worn leather gloves and muddy boots).  I am not a man if I am home when my son leaves for school and returns at 3.  I am not quite a man if I choose not to work for a period of time because, according to Mark Driscoll, I am not providing for my family.

My seminary professor, Rosemary Radford Ruether, offers an alternative vision in her 1983 book Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology:

What is the society we seek?  We seek a society that affirms the values of democratic participation, of he value of all persons as the basis for their civil equality and their equal access to the educational and work opportunities of the society.  But more, we seek a democratic socialist society that dismantles sexist and class hierarchies, that restores ownership and management of work to the base communities of workers themselves, who then create networks of economic and political relationships.  Still more, we seek a society built on organic community, in which the processes of child-raising, of education, of work, of culture have been integrated to allow both men and women to share child nurturing and homemaking and also creative activity and decision making in the larger society.  Still more, we seek an ecological society in which human and non-human ecological systems have been integrated into harmonious and mutually supportive, rather than antagonistic relations (p. 232-233).

Now that that is settled I am going to the front door to sit on the steps and wait a few minutes for my son to return home from school.  He needs someone waiting there to say “Glad you are home.”  This is something I am glad to provide for him.

Posted in: Memoir