Thursday, 8 April 2010


There’s something special about fathers. I don’t mean men who have children, but more specifically men who take care of their children. Those have extra attraction power over women. It’s not surprising men with children have that effect on me at this point of my life when I judge every man as a potential father. But I’ve been fascinated by this phenomenon long before I could imagine myself being a mother. A man with a buggy in a park. A man changing his child’s nappies in a public toilet. A man with kids in the supermarket. A man buying underwear for his ten-years-old daughter. All that makes my hart smelt (provided the man is totally in control).

Another association my mind makes when I see a man taking care of his child is – emancipation. I grew up with ‘traditional’ patterns and even though most men of my generation have a great (or even) share in the child care (at least here in the Netherlands they do) I still find it somehow surprising. The man spending time with his child (apart from playing in the weekend) has stepped out of the traditional role pattern, spends more time with his family, whereas the mother of his child probably has a professional career of her own. Emancipated men – good!

Some time ago I went to the doctor (yeah, I’m still coughing). I entered the waiting room and greeted the people who were already there. A woman in her early forties and a man with a baby in a maxi-cosi car seat. I sat next to the woman. We were both facing the man. You don’t often see fathers taking their kids to the doctor. He was calm. Every once in a while he looked or touched the baby. Totally in control. The man had a large beard and was wearing a light khamise suit and a kufi like hat. Stepping out of traditional patterns? Emancipation has many faces…


  1. I also feel very proud when my boyfriend is the only father that shows up at the creche to prepare Carnival costumes fot the children... there is still work to be done in the emancipation of men, but even here in the South things are going in the right direction!

  2. @Maria Your husband is Dutch, he doesn't count as an indicator of emancipation of men in the South. ;)


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