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Don’t fear the girl power

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood
ALL |

Oh baby. I was at the airport the other day and noticed some interesting reading on two magazine cover stories. If I were a man, I might be afraid. Very afraid. Or not care at all.

That would depend on my fears.

One cover story was titled, “What, marry me? In today’s economy, men are falling apart. What that means for sex and marriage.” The other cover story, in Newsweek, was on “You got your sperm where? How to get pregnant fast, cheap – and in public,” with an image of a naked baby kind of floating there in the air.



The magazines were positioned appropriately – or inappropriately, depending on how you look at it – next to each other. Intentional? I don’t know. But the covers and their similar topics caught my eye, so much so I even took a photo with my iPhone to send to a male friend.

He wasn’t that surprised.



“I thought women already replaced men,” he joked. “Men are obsolete.”

These cover stories reminded me of a story I read online recently about how today’s men are not owning up to their responsibilities as heads of the households these days, to paraphrase. They are playing more video games and being less of the breadwinners. I really don’t know what the fuss is all about.

I’ve been winning my own bread for years.

In my upbringing, I was lucky enough to be raised in a household where I knew I could be anything I wanted, even if I was a girl. I knew by my math grades I wasn’t turning out a rocket scientist. But I was always into writing and was encouraged to develop the craft into what is now a career.

It didn’t matter my gender. If I wanted to be the first female sports writer on the Purdue Exponent sports desk, I could do it. And I did. If I wanted to get married and have babies I could do that, too.

The intention was initially there.

I was raised to take responsibility for myself. That’s why I have never expected for anyone but myself to take care of me. Not that it’s been that easy.

I can make it real tough on myself.

I was raised in the ’70s and ’80s when sisters really started doing it for themselves, as Aretha Franklin sang. Test tube babies were being born and Mr. Moms were staying home with the kids so the females could be the breadwinners. Back then, it was a new thing for men to be the domestic faction of the household.

And women having babies, without the necessity of a father to partner up with, turned some heads. Women were doing it then.

So why is it news to anyone 20 years later?

Obviously there’s still an expectation in society that the perfect family dynamic is dad brings home the bacon and mom cooks it with a baby on her hip and another one in the high chair.

In reality, families need both dad and mom to bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan, as the saying goes, so the bills are paid. Another reality is there are not always both moms and dads present to do the child rearing. Sometimes that’s by the choice of a mom who doesn’t want to wait around for the perfect dad. So she has a baby on her own. Is that so newsworthy?

Apparently.

I would think men adopting children without having the mother around would turn more heads.

Unfortunately for all the men out there who would rather play video games and party with their buddies than work 50 hours a week and raise a family, there is an expectation of you. The expectation is for men to be, well, men, and take care of their families.

I had nothing to do with this.

For every man who doesn’t want all that responsibility, there’s a woman out there who is saying she’s not scared to do it herself. The women are making their dreams happen with or without them. This could be scary for some men who want to be the breadwinners.

Others could care less.

Such is our society, and I don’t see it going back to the olden days anytime soon. Money is tight and women need to go out and make it stretch as much as, and sometimes more than, the men do.

Women also know what they want in their lives. Many of us were raised that way. That could be higher education, successful careers, fast cars or fast sperm. We’re either going to do it alone or with a partner. The thought really isn’t that scary. Or is it?

So ladies, who’s coming with me?

– April E. Clark is doing it for herself at a solar energy conference in Dallas. And yes, everything is bigger there. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@yahoo.com.


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