Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Does our culture fear letting men working with young children; learning babysitting

Washington DC columnist Petula Dvorak wrote a missive Monday that might fit the little Minneapolis-produced indie movie “I Hate Babysitting” fourteen years ago. Specifically, her piece is “Why my male babysitter freaks some people out.”, link (Washington Posthere.

Yes, babysitting sites allow you to specific the gender of the hire (it is perceived as bona fide, I guess), and the whole sordid Penn State mess has consequences and can contribute to fear.

It can also drive men away from considering teaching, especially in lower grades where they are needed as role models.  When I was a substitute teacher, I avoided any “special education” assignment than ran the risk of “intimate duties”, which could happen.  It was not worth “the risk”.

And that of course has downstream consequences for all of us. 

There was an episode on “Modern Family” a few weeks ago where the kindly Dylan winds up helping babysit an infant, who takes to him.  But afterwards he asks (Haley), “Why are we left with taking care of all these kids?”

Certainly Mitch and Cam try to be role models.  “When you see someone in trouble, you help them.”

WE get suspicious of men today, yes.  The media is trying desperately to undo the damage.
When I was growing up (in the early 50s), there was a family a mile away with two boys, about 8 and 10 years older than me, who both became Methodist pastors.  And they both babysat me, and learned to deal with my undersized ping pong table (which conferred home field advantage).  

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