Being a parent isn’t easy.
Being a parent, male or female is one of the hardest roles anyone could ever have. We are expected to hold the health, sanity and fate of another human being in our hands. Particularly when that person is at their weakest, loudest, stinkiest, unintelligible, most vulnerable time in their life and not screw them up or unleash a monster on the rest of society. No pressure. No child comes with a manual (Dr. Spock is as close as we’ve gotten). The ancient African saying “It takes a village to raise a child” gives us a clue that it’s no easy task and that everyone, men and women need to be a part of raising a child. This was generally a globally accepted concept until the industrial revolution and modernization arrived.
With the start of World War I and the sudden increase in manufacturing and production, men began leaving the home for longer and longer amounts of time. Spending less time with their families and becoming less involved in the day to day raising and rearing of their children. The impact of this male disconnect on families and societies has been spreading ever since. Not only did men become physically distant from their wives and children but the stress of external pressures made them emotionally distant too. As women were relegated to baby making domestic property expected to stay inside the home, men became working, material possession providing machines outside the home.
Fast forward to today. We are witnessing a new paradigm shift towards egalitarian parenting. A shift where women are leaders in the global economy and men can be emotionally expressive care-givers. Many men today are realizing with the changing world that they can no longer afford to remain the emotionless, detached stereotypical dad of the 50’s and 60’s. Not only is the child losing out but he loses as well. Studies have shown that children thrive when both parents are present and attentive and that men benefit through improved mental and physical health.
Women have had decades of science and socialization supporting their efforts to be better parents. Countless books, studies and research papers have focused on and supported women in their parenting. Unfortunately men haven’t been provided with the same support. In fact the expectation is that men will in fact be bumbling, clumsy parents. More likely to put the baby in a life threatening predicament than to properly change her diaper. It’s time for that to change.
The Fathers’ Circle focuses on the need for healthy egalitarian parenting practices that do away with outdated gender specific roles and opens up all parents, both men and women to the full range of chores and joys associated with raising children for the benefit of the family. We believe that men and women should be equally prepared to not only create a child but to raise that child into a flourishing humane individual.
We achieve this by three different means:
- Peer to peer discussion circles
- Topic focused lectures, presentations and workshops
- Social events and activities for the whole family
The Fathers’ Circle uses art at the center of all our efforts to reach the emotional core of what it means to be a father or father figure. Through the use of choreography, film making, writing and acting we lead our men to a new, deeper understanding of what our women and children need from us.
The Fathers’ Circle began as part of the art as social justice exhibit known as Philadelphia Assembled #PhilAssembled in the Fall of 2016 under the “atmosphere” of Movement. The collaborators, Billy Yalowitz, Les Rivera and Eric Marsh Sr form the core circle of TFC. We envision the Philadelphia Assembled project as the stone dropped into the water of our world, sending out concentric circles of influence on fathers and families everywhere.
Contact us to learn how you can be a part of the movement.