To be a FATHER in the “yesteryears” was easy because he heard only “yes” to every command he gave. Easy but not healthy. It actually kept our culture somewhat stagnant by keeping a father walled off. On the contrary, I consider the modern father to be a lot luckier.
Education is no more gender-specific.
“Father may know the best” but not on all subjects and matters. Women of today, plunge, and successfully so, into almost every sphere of study. Medicine, Law, Technology, Aerospace Engineering, whatever profession you can name, has seen an increase in female involvement.
A few years back, I questioned my medical students about an anecdotal enigma of a young man who was hit on the head by an automobile and was admitted to the ICU.
The Neurosurgeon looked at the patient and exclaimed in agony, “ This is my son!”
The young man, however, said, “This is not my Father.”
“How is that?” I asked the class.
What the older generation of the medical students could not answer was at once answered by the current generation. The Neurosurgeon was his MOTHER.
Hopefully, we should hear more dialogues like, “ Son, I do not know the answer to your science question. Go ask your mom.” With joint help from both parents, children will learn a lot more about not being gender specific.,
Feeding the family can ALSO be a father’s privilege since both parents are usually working.
This applies to other household responsibilities like changing the diapers, bathing children, nursing them when they are sick, etc. Why should hungry, sick, or hurting children always have to run to the mother? My daughter, when a child, always wanted me to shampoo her hair. I am very happy to have done that because that privilege was taken away from me when she grew up.
At the time of our marriage, my wife was busy with her Ph.D. studies. I went to India by myself to buy the wedding clothes and the matching accessories for the occasion. Throughout my journey, I was busy praying that my choice of purchase met her approval!
The gendered myth relating to right and left brain dominance needs to be readjusted.
Boys and girls, alike, gravitate to STEM in their educational upbringing. We need to dispel the earlier notion that boys should lean on science and girls are good only for arts. These young people are our future parents who will need to learn and teach both in their real life. It should be remembered that Corpus Callosum, the wide web connecting the two brains, is going to be the focus of our future, controlling and coordinating the functions of both cerebral hemispheres.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) will need STEAM (A for Arts) to nurture the coordinated growth of our future generations.
What could be the main reason why children rush to their Mother when in need?
A modern father has to effectively incorporate both sides of his brain, so that children do not differentiate between the two parents. Our concept of Lord Shiva as an Ardhanaarishwara (Half man and half woman) was conceived at a magnificent moment of this perception. The word female incorporates the male in its body anyway.
When the roles of father and mother get reasonably reversible, fathers will feel fortunate to experience their children in an unprecedented way. At that point in time, there may not be separate celebrations of Father’s and Mother’s Days but a combined Parent’s Day, much to the chagrin of the Business community.
Till then, have a meaningful Father’s Day!
Bhagirath Majmudar, M.D. is an Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Gynecology-Obstetrics at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, he is a poet, playwright, Sanskrit scholar, philosopher, and a priest who has conducted about 400 Weddings, mainly Interfaith.