Hayley Kellner: Gender can’t define anyone, even moms

May 8, 2014 

Regarding “Yes, mothers are special to us all” (Opinions, May 3): Jim Arkfeld’s piece on parenthood left me profoundly confused. If I am correct that the piece was not satirical, I will point out that many of Arkfeld’s ideas can be counteracted by observing how men and women (fathers and mothers) are expected to act by society. The reason fathers apparently cannot be active, involved, caring parents is because of gender assigned and coded traits presented by society, e.g. that women are the caretakers and nurturers and men are the breadwinners and protectors. This is a wrongly perpetuated idea, not a reality.

In addition, I question Arkfeld’s entitled attitude about not being able to be a mother. Of all things to complain about, he chooses the fact that he is unable to participate in the process of gestation and childbirth.

More people should realize that we are not bound by these stereotypes as to what a man, woman, father or mother should be, and success and worth as a parent or person are not dictated or measured by gender.

HAYLEY KELLNER

Modesto

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