After reading the Hamington piece on fatherhood, I felt both enlightened and perplexed on the issue of fathers and caring, specifically through touch. Hamington opens his piece with the description of how he interacts with his daughter while she is washing his hair. What if he had been describing the way he interacts with a son and not a daughter? Would his description have been different? I then thought critically of how young boys are socialized. As Hamington writes, “A caring father is transformed by the experience, and male moral development is in dire need of more opportunities to care and to be cared for” (276). I thought of the example, that often when a young boy falls, he is told to get up. Contrastingly, when a young girl falls, someone usually comes to her aid. Overall, I think boys aren’t socialized to be touched which then can translate to their approach of fathering. Unfortunately, I felt this piece put the pressure on the males to be more caring, instead of more people caring for the males through interaction. I felt there was a lot that was not mentioned in the development of the hands-off dad.
The Ihde piece was extremely refreshing due to the fact that we don’t often read pieces by males. I liked his explanation of the gaze to from a males perspective. Since I am taking a class on media and gender, I have been analyzing the idea of the gaze. Ihde writes, “The gender “system” includes male and female gazers with the gazes never being singularly one gender.” This was an idea I was glad that he acknowledged, because I find it to be increasingly true. I often think that the gaze that is imposed upon males is often neglected, yet I believe it is present. This idea is furthered in Brand’s discussion on height and what it represents to masculinity. Clearly, there are expectations for men as well as women in regards to the gaze, but are men experiencing a female gaze, or are they too an object of the male gaze?