Conservative Fathers Dish Out ‘Dadly Virtues’

Matt Vespa, 

Fatherhood is something that is not really valued in America–or at least that’s the impression you get with its rather unceremonious representation in the media. Fatherhood and masculinity don’t have the best of reception with today’s media elite since a lot of attention have been devoted to the rise of women in the socioeconomic sphere.

There’s no doubt that women are rising in the workforce. Forty percent are the breadwinners for their families, they’re outpacing men in education, and men have found themselves in a static position concerning a labor market that values high skill, high tech labor. In other words, the days of men finding a decent manufacturing job to work their way into America’s middle class are over.


 Also, dad isn’t the only one bringing home the bacon, the vast majority of American homes depend on two-incomes. That’s fine; no resentment here over American women killing it on the job.

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Yet, with the rise of the mommy blogs–and other forms of media stressing the wonders and difficulties of motherhood, sometimes intertwined with their work lives–what about the fathers?

Well, several fathers in conservative media have come forward to dish their Dadly Virtues. From Jonah Goldberg to Tucker Carlson, the book, which is released on May 18, is a “tongue-in-cheek encouragement and guidance through every stage of fatherhood, from pacifying babies to prepping for the senior prom.”

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg discusses why families should have pets; the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes writes about how giving your child a sibling could be the best thing for them; and the Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti details the perils of changing a diaper. There are many, many more tips on fatherhood from P.J O’Rourke, Matt LaBash, and Toby Young; all detailing why parenting and fatherhood are the best worst jobs in life.

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Now, is fatherhood in a state of disarray? It’s a mixed bag. It’s a bit disconcerting about the growing number of out of wedlock births in America–and that applies to all racial backgrounds. At the same time, more dads are staying home. Pew Research found that the number of stay-at-home dads have doubles since the 1989, though the figure is roughly around 2 million in total. Not only that, but there been a nine-fold increase in single father households (via WaPo):

The number of single-father households has surged nearly ninefold since 1960, from less than 300,000 to more than 2.6 million in 2011. The number of single-mother households, on the other hand, increased more than fourfold during that time period, up to 8.6 million in 2011 from 1.9 million in 1960.

The publication also noted a study citing that working fathers, who spend more time with the kids, are actually better at their jobs. While a significant majority of men feel that masculinity has “evolved,” it’s a rather moot point given that the media still portrays the father as the stereotypical bumbling fool.

Regardless, I’m sure new dads, working dads, or dads-to-be, will find something that will resonate with them in the Dadly Virtues.

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