men who change diapers change the world
Thanks to reader Joe Akers, Rep Davis has more comments to mull over to read opposing her bill which excludes dads from her parenting bill.
He sent in this letter below to the St Louis Post-Dispatch which was published last night
It seems that Ms. Davis has sponsored a bill that will provide a yearly tax credit for stay at home mothers. While I applaud her recognition that parents who stay at home deserve compensation, she has left out what I feel is a key component of this bill. It has come to my attention that she specifically wants to exclude stay at home fathers because we are “not good nurturers” and we are unequipped to give birth or breastfeed. Those are her sole arguments for the exclusion. I feel this deserves to be brought to the attention of the St. Louis area, as I have received lots of encouragement from friends and family to not only e-mail members of State Government but to make the local press aware of this as well. While I don’t know many personally, I believe there are many stay at home fathers in this area, and I think they need to be made aware of this legislation. Such discriminatory legislation needs to be brought to the attention of the community as well.
The comments are already being posted from their readers. Here are a few...
Ladies and Gentlemen…
The face of what’s left of the Republican Party. aka Nutty right-wing flat earthers who are not real bright. see also, Sarah Palin
10:39 pm February 26th, 2009
As to the wisdom of this bill - consider its author…
Well, at least she is not (apparently) limiting it to “Christian” stay-at-home Moms…
— Thomas F. Maher
2:10 am February 27th, 2009
So this is the biggest issues facing our state and the St.Charles County area? I have met Rep. Davis, very nice person but kind of out there. You can’t complain too much, the people keep voting for her.
8:39 am February 27th, 2009
You people complain too much. Stay-at-home dads, while not considered as prevalent, can ALWAYS be written into the legislation.
I would challenge those of you complaining to show me some pieces of legislation that are perfect from the moment they’re filed. (other than right-to-work, hehehe)
In all honesty, I think it’s a stupid, far-reaching bill, and it probably has an unaffordable fiscal note, to boot.
— Jim (the republican) more.....
Thanks agin for the letters! They are making an impact. I will keep you posted..
Last night I received a video from reporter Sarah Hollenback that shows her interview with Rep Davis.
But first off, my thanks to the dozens of e-mails the readers sent to Cynthia Davis and reporter Sarah Hollenback of KOMU TV in response to her story about a new bill offering $600 a year to moms but not at-home dads. No doubt the story has hit a nerve. Please send any future emails to Rep Cynthia Davis so we can put more pressure on her to change the language of this bill to include at-home dads. If anyone knows other officials that need to be contacted about this please let me know
Now about the video below..
Ms Davis has replied to one of the dads who asked her to "Please let people know you could not possibly mean to exclude fathers as nurturing parents."
Here is Ms Davis's response
I will have a talk or a letter to the editor. This I noticed that the comment about nurturers was not in quotation marks. I can assure you that I would never say such a thing especially since I am married to one of the most marvelous men in the country. He is the one who is picking up the slack at home with our children while I am at the Capitol.
I also appreciate the civil discourse which is far more helpful than some of te disparaging remarks others are making based off an editorial. Thank you for being a great dad to your children. Please let me know if you need anything else.
Representative Cynthia Davis
Last night the reporter Ms Hollenbeck sent me the entire interview on video last night and it is now posted on the TV's site. Below is a short except from the six minute interview with her answer to the question of why at-home dads are excluded from the bill. I will let you judge for yourself. Stay tuned...
On my hot seat today is Rep. Cynthia Davis, (R-O'Fallon), and not just because she bought herself a truck for personal use with state money a bunch of years back, or what I think are questionable parenting techniques.
According to KMOU of Columbia, Missouri, Davis is trying to push a bill through the house to pay at-home moms $600 each year they care for children under the age of 16. A nice gesture, but dads need not apply. Davis informed the NBC affiliate reporter Sarah Hollenbeck "only women can be nurturers" and has intentionally left dads out of the bill.
Let's send send a bunch of emails to NBC reporter Sarah at mailto:email@example.com,%firstname.lastname@example.org. The more emails the better.... I don't think it will take too much pressure and a followup article from more dads to get her to re-think her misguided position.
There's an auto cc.to me email@example.com if you click her email above. I'll keep you posted.
The Baltimore Dads have actually found a way to make the SAHD acronym sound well... optimistic. They are offering a documentary on stay at home dads to premiere on January 25th, 2009. Trailer & PR below.
[ref: press release]
Syndicated columnist Dave Ramsey may be a good financial advisor, but when it comes to family advice you may want to stay away.
Here's the Q&A I came across today that should piss off 3 month old babies everywhere.
Q, I bring home $2,800 a month, and my husband stays home with our two daughters – one 3, the other 3 months. He’s healthy and able, but he won’t work because he thinks he can’t make enough money to cover the cost of daycare. Our rent is $1,000 a month, and our other bills add up to about $2,000 a month. What do you think about this, and when is it OK to avoid daycare expenses by not working?
A. I’m an old-school guy, a crusty old dinosaur about some things. I grew up in a generation where a guy who did this kind of thing was called a wuss, or worse; not because he’s staying home with the kids, but because he’s staying at home while you guys can’t pay the bills!
I’m all about family togetherness, and with spending as much time with your children as possible, and I don’t have a problem with guys being stay-at-home dads as long as the family is in agreement and can afford to do that kind of thing. But if you’re just scraping by, or can’t meet your financial obligations, which seems to be true with you guys, that’s a different story.
This guy needs to get off his butt, fulfill his responsibilities as a man and a husband, and find a way to start taking care of his family! — Dave
Come on Dave, you havent been checking your math. Daycare alone for two kids one being a 3 month old comes pretty close to a weeks salary. In fact at-home dad David Chapa of Downers Grove, ILL did all the dirty work on this topic and came up with these figures that I used in my book.
"Put together a simple spreadsheet. Daycare for two kids, nine hours a day at, what, $10 an hour? That’s $450 a week, times, say 50 weeks in a work year. That amounted to $22,500. OK, now you need a more dependable car for work. $350 a month, plus additional insurance, plus the extra gas (not even getting into wear and tear depreciation). That ends up to be about $5k a year. Dress business clothes? Another $1,000 a year. Lunch at work? Even if you only spend $3 a day extra, that’s $750 a year. According to my calculations, that’s about $29,000. Not to mention additional medical expenses, sick days, and all of the other "throw your kids in daycare" costs. But wait, there’s more! If you’re spending $29,000, just to go to work, you need to make another $11k, just to pay the federal, state, and local taxes to bring home $29,000. ($40,000 per year, taxed at .28% = $28,800 take home). So, it costs around $40,000 in pre-tax dollars, just to break even, when sending two kids into childcare, just so you can "go to work." As always, your mileage may vary. Then, add in the social expense of having your children raised by strangers.
I feel sorry for this mom, I just hope she or her husband knows how to add before taking this advice. I'll send this post to him and see if he could pass on some more reasonable advice.
As a disclaimer David Ramsey Says on his website. Our mission statement isn’t just lip service; it’s our mantra: The Lampo Group, Inc. is providing Biblically based, common sense education and empowerment which gives HOPE to everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed.
[ref: Man Up!]
I received an email from Jennifer Grenz, (pictured above with her twins) She's the original creator of the current Cloverdale group that banned Rick Kaselj due to the “security of our children” She had broken away from the Canadian group because she thought the idea of excluding men was “totally ridiculous“.
In short, I connected Jennifer with Rick and they are now planning on starting a new playgroup together for all moms and dads.
Below is the full explanation from Jennifer I received of how this decision to exclude dads was reached.
I just wanted to let you know that I am the original creator of that particular meetup and was horrified by the decision of the new organizer. My original vision for the group was that it be a PARENTS group. I stepped down as organizer several months ago as I have 16 month old twins and another on the way!
I wanted the group to include all parents because I have met and befriended a number of dads that stay home with their kids. I also wanted my husband to be able to meet some other guys in the neighbourhood.
I received an email about this so-called issue by the new organizer and urged her to reconsider as I though this was totally ridiculous. The organizer was concerned about security of children. Funny that the statistics involved in abuse and kid napping point more towards women than men. I shake my head and hope that you don't lump all the women in that group with the decision of the organizer. Supposedly a poll went out to the group regarding this issue however the poll was confusing as it had multiple questions and not one that pointedly asked whether dads should be allowed in the group with a yes or no answer. Not many members actually responded.
There will be a follow up story in the paper about this. I did an interview with the writer yesterday. I am planning to start a new group up that will be sure to include all parents which will hopefully attract all of you, forward thinking people.
I am so glad this issue was taken to the paper (Surry Now Online) and that it is getting the attention it deserves. Children are happier and more successful individuals when their fathers play an active role in their lives. Three cheers to all of you and I hope to meet some more local dads for an empathetic ear about teething and the terrible twos.
When Rick Kaselj of Canada joined the online group The Cloverdale Mommy & Me Meetup Group with his infant son, he felt he found a place to get support despite the name. In an email interview he told me he had "joined the group and welcomed. I had been a member for 2 to 3 months and was receiving 4 to 5 notices a day from the group." When it came time to show up at his first event he got an email from the moderator that more then half of the group voted to ban him from the group. In a quote to Surrey Now the email went on to state: "I hate to discriminate, but hope you can understand when it comes to the security of our children and especially since you have not been able to attend a meetup." In the meantime Rick is now part of the At-Home Dad Network to help him find another playgroup that will accept him. Also the Surrey Now has started an online poll on the front page with the question: Do you think a Cloverdale mothers group was out of line when it rejected a Surrey father just because he was a man? So far the votes have been overwhelming in favor of Dad 80% to 20%.
It appears that on October 15th when the story broke they added this addendum to their main page: This Group is specific to moms only as requested by a majority of it's members
All I can say is shame on you Cloverdale, maybe let him spend a day at one event.. geez..give this guy a chance! Banning a member to a playgroup due to his gender has no basis on the "security of your children" Come on ladies!! This is a little over the top don't you think?
If there is another playgroup leader in the Surrey BC area that is reading this, I hope you will be the first to step forward and welcome Rick as a member.
When I hear from Rick again or a playgroup that will take him on. I'll post an update...