Dear Abby: My husband, "Ron," and I are at odd over parenting our 7-year-old son, "Brett." My husband is very domestic. He cooks like a world-class chef and does more housework than any man I know of.What bothers me about this f***ing tripe is that the core relationship issue--the idiot mother's assumption of a "manliness" and how the lack of this undefinable thing will result in homosexuality (Dr. Dobson says so!)--goes totally unchallenged by Jeanne Phillips of the Universal Press Syndicate. It's like the letter was sent in by a lesbian trying to make a joke about "Dr." Dobson's screaming homophobia and Christian-fundamentalist insecurities, which are at once laughable and saddening. But oh poor world, the woman's reading of Dobson's book is probably accurate.
I have read Dr. James Dobson's books on family. He clearly states that a father should be the manly role model for the son, to prevent the son from being homosexual. I'm concerned that Brett will learn feminine ways from my husband and turn out to be gay. How can I convince Ron that he needs to teach Brett the more manly things in life? --Worried Mom in Florida
Dear Worried Mom: From my perspective, you don't need to change a thing.
With all due respect to Dr. Dobson, your husband is already a manly role model to your son. He is teaching the boy important survival skills that will be invaluable when he is older.
With luck, your son will turn out to be every bit the man--and father--that your husband is.
I'm assuming most of my readership already realizes this, but a lack of manliness doesn't result in men turning gay. If that was true, what would we make of all of the world's hyper-masculine "bear" gay men? These types make me look like a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Must mean I'm in danger of gayness! But wait, those gay bears are more masculine than me! I'm confused, Dr. Dobson. Lead me to the promised land, oh patriarchal authority.
Further unchallenged in the letter is her fool's dichotomy of a masculine public sphere and a feminine private, "domestic" sphere. Come to think of it, I should get my wife thinking along these lines. That way she'd quit telling me to cook food for her and clean up around the house, and praise me for going to work out instead of complaining about it. But regarding the letter-writer, is this all that the Right can muster, imbecilic women who think uncritically with the nuance of a three-foot wide broom to the face? A movement based on antiquated 1950s understanding, which cannot match with the current economic reality (i.e. the fact that it takes a shit ton of income for only the husband to work to maintain a high standard of living)--a movement based on keeping its members in the dark can only be already dead on arrival.
What if the kid in the letter actually does end up being gay? What Jeanne Phillips does is waste a moment to say, "Cooking doesn't make a man gay, it's within human nature; some people will be gay whether they want to be or not, and there's nothing wrong with it; a gay man can still be a good man--and even a father!"
The sad part is that what Jeanne Phillips wrote shows her understanding to the truth. To me, it's incumbent on those that know the truth, or a truth, to challenge ignorance when it's seen. Instead, Jeanne just mails this one in, burning off the response in the last 15 minutes of her work day, and she's off to go home and read Reader's Digest on the toilet, firm in her belief that her shit don't smell, and that it's okay to not take seriously a piece of writing that thousands of people will be reading.
It's a bad day in America when ignorance is so freely spouted; may the celebrations of xenophobia cease and truth be spoken to power. --adam