Feminism and Parenting
There are conservative men who want to have families but choose to be tyrannical and violent to their children and wives, and there are liberal men who are not violent or tyrannical but want nothing to do with nuclear family.
Family-minded women do not benefit from either stance. They benefit from men who are willing to be responsible parents and who are also willing to be good to their wives and children.
Is there such a creature? As a matter of fact there is. My friend Arindam, who is from India, has been a responsible engineer and has been warm, attentive and loving to his children and his wife. He is as much against domestic violence as are the feminists; and he has also been a committed and responsible husband and father.
People who are willing to act that way, I regard as the best of all worlds. They raise their children responsibly, and they treat their wives right while at it.
Many liberal-minded men are against nuclear family because they identify it with violence, tyranny and misogyny. They however do not have to act that way as husbands and fathers themselves. Many of these men will make excellent fathers and husbands because they are against violence to women and children. It is possible to have a nuclear family that does not involve oppressive and brutal practices, and these men can and should take the lead in creating such arrangements.
And one direction that feminism should take, if it is to actually benefit most women, is to teach men how to be good husbands and fathers.
Most women will want to have children; most women will want to be with men. While the anti-family directions benefit those women who do not want to have families, they do nothing for the majority of women. The majority of women will want to have families, and feminism needs to account for that and to direct its energies toward teaching men how to be good husbands and fathers so that family life is a positive experience for the women.
And that will vastly benefit the women's well-being.
Men should not be taught to be brutes and tyrants, nor should they be taught to be flakes. Men should be taught to be gentlemen. Men should be taught to be good to their wives and children and to be responsible parents at the same time. The more this is done, the greater will be improvement in women's condition.
One great feature of democracies is that anyone can become a leader if he comes up with a right idea. The men who are liberal-minded and are against violence toward women should not cower behind but rather should lead the way. They have the superior idea: That men should treat their wives and their children better. They stand to gain much - and the world stands to gain much - through them applying and implementing this better idea.
Liberal-minded men should stop identify family with patriarchy and oppression and should instead start families where they are not practicing patriarchy and oppression. They should lead by example and show other men how family life can be done better. They should apply their ideals and make them relevant to reality of people's lives.
And that will go a long way toward improving the world for women; in fact it will go a long way toward improving the world for everyone.