May 3, 2014

Why my tag for mothers is "motherhood" and my tag for fathers is "fathers."

Having just said that it "means something" that The New York Times put its article about Jason Patric's fight for the rights of sperm donors in its "Fashion & Style" section, I'm sensitive to the meaning of what I've long recognized as a strange lack of parallelism in this blog's tags. I've never bothered to look up the answer before, since I know it must have to do with the first post that seemed to need a tag on the subject, but now I'm interested in the specifics.

The post that led to the creation of the "motherhood" tag was "Brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman" (May 24, 2008). Obviously, the word "motherhood" was in the quote I used as the post title, so that preempted more subtle thinking on the topic, but what got enshrined in the tags was the abstract concept "motherhood," not the collection of human individuals who are mothers.

But now I'm puzzled, because the first post with the "fathers" tag also had the pre-existing tag "motherhood": "We bad moms are happy to confess our sins because we're confident..." (May 15, 2009).

This means that my long-standing lack of curiosity over the lack of parallelism was based on an incorrect assumption. Feel free to psychoanalyze me on the subject. Options: 1. Althouse elevates mothers to an ideal realm but leaves fathers in the mundane and concrete real world (and this means all kinds of things about what she thinks about gender politics and gender difference). 2. Althouse prefers simplicity, so she picked "motherhood" because it was right there in the quote and "fathers" because it's simpler than "fatherhood" (and never changing "motherhood" to "mothers" was itself a matter of keeping it simple).

14 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Really. Shouldn't the tag for "Fathers" be "Bicycles"?

Jules Aimé said...

How about: Althouse is unconsciously misogynist and treats fathers as an end in themselves, as something men aspire to be, while she sees motherhood as a mere function that women fulfill?

(Not really, I suspect this is a case where Emerson's remark about foolish consistency applies.)

traditionalguy said...

Perhaps since Fatherhood is a translation of Patriarchy, which has an authority connotation over the others in the House,it has been put down the memory hole.

Oso Negro said...

For what it is worth, my assessment would be that were we to have a valid measure of the quality of the capacity for critical self-reflection, you would score a solid three standard deviations above the mean. That said, it is evident that you not without irrational attachments to particular socio-intellectual constructs, as is every reader and poster on this blog. Yes, you exhibit the occasional tendency to short shrift men, their sexuality, and their emotional needs. But for a child of the '60s, who has taught law for thirty years, and lives in Madison, Wisconsin, you are doing fine. Carry on.

Mr. D said...

It's the sort of thing you don't notice until someone brings it to your attention. Doesn't mean anything more than that. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Pettifogger said...

Sometimes things done at different times aren't parallel because you are in a different frame of mind. And even when writing a single piece, I sometimes have to edit to assure things are parallel. Some things can be psychoanalyzed to death even when they don't mean much.

Mark said...

Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

Sam L. said...

Some/many of us do not care.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Motherhood simply gets mentioned a lot more. No one ever talks about fatherhood, apple pie, and the flag.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

3. Althouse relegated mothers to a hood while personalizing fathers.

n.n said...

Motherhood is a reference to a vocation. Father is a reference to an individual in a specific open capacity. Motherhood is an explicit reference to a woman in a mother's vocation (i.e. pregnancy and raising children). Father is a reference to a man who may be in a father's vocation (i.e. raising children) or merely a donor.

richard mcenroe said...

3. Althouse is not being honest withherself about 2.

Gahrie said...

A subconcious microaggression.

Psota said...

I'm disappointed that you didn't use the "I'm skeptical" tag, even though you write "I'm skeptical" in the Patric post