Maybe My Problem is the Desire to Send Letters

They printed my angry letter in Psychology Today! I almost forgive them for printing such an asinine article. I like being published.

I got pissed at the article “The Emperor’s New Woes” which is asinine even from the title. It’s by Sean Elder, one of the boys behind Bastard on the Couch, the male answer to Bitch in the House. Feel free to read the text yourself, but basically it says that men have been “blindsided” by their wives suddenly wanting them to have, like, feelings, and be, like, friends with them. Even though their wives are icky-picky girls. And it’s so unfair because they expect them to have feelings, but to hold down jobs at the same time! It’s just terrible, because, hey, they (men) were willing to let their wives have jobs, and even be proud of them, but if they (women) expect them (men) to have feelings just like icky-picky girls, they have to be out of their minds. It’s just terrible that “Today, simply not cheating on your wife or beating your kids doesn’t make you a good husband or father.” Yes, that’s a direct quote. Go on, look. Furthermore, while men might be willing to make that extra step towards sharing their icky-picky feelings, they’ll only do it if their wives will put out more. No, really. No, really. Go read the article. I’m not making this up.

So I wrote them a letter, saying that if men were still feeling blindsided, they’d been asleep since 1975, and isn’t it irresponsible of PT to print articles suggesting emotional intimacy is icky-picky to boys, and isn’t feminism supposed to be about everyone? They editted a little, but they printed it! Yay!

And then they printed an article about how day care is bad for children. Argh. But what’s even more “argh” about it is that the only sure statistic printed is that children in day care more than 45 hours a week exhibit more bad behaviors and emotional problems. Leaving out the true measure of bad behavior, let’s examine, shall we? The work week is supposed to be 40 hours a week. Figure a half hour to and from the work place to pick up the kid and that’s exactly 45 hours a week. So the kids who are exhibiting problematic behaviors are the kids with overworked parents. So maybe the problem isn’t day care at all. Maybe the problem is overworked parents, corporations that don’t allow for family lives, and cultures that keep everyone feeling guilty about every minute they don’t spend being “productive.” Maybe. They also claim that this study is also looking at quality of care and quality of parenting when the children are at home, but it doesn’t say they’re controlling for these variables, just looking at them, and the results of the looking aren’t mentioned. And these articles always read as cautionary tales to parents (read: mothers) not to put their kids in extended day care, which is sexist but expected, but what about parents who actually have to work, or their kids will have malnutrition problems on top of their emotional problems? Just argh.

Now, I went to day care starting when I was six months old. I was probably in day care 45-50 hours a week. I was always the first dropped off and the last picked up, which I thought made me special. My parents were still excellent parents who made lots of quality time for me. I was an abnormally well-behaved child, and now I’ve got no more emotional trauma than the average 23-year-old.

Except for this pesky desire to keep sending letters to PT.


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