Maybe what he should be arguing for is for more men to take responsibility for involvement in their children’s education and in the low paid, low value world of primary education. Instead he says primary schools (for which read women as most primary teachers are female) have to do more. His suggestions – encourage men to come to schools in groups so they have someone else to talk to. Because obviously men can’t talk on a level with women, I mean what a stupid suggestion that they should have to demean themselves so.
Fantastic example of self-reinforcing patriarchy there Mr Balls. Lets confine women to lower paid, gender segregated industries and then blame them for feeling like it’s a bit different to walk into their world. Yep it is, welcome to our world.
But then Children’s Minister Kevin Brennan made it a whole lot word. Mr Balls had suggested that there should be a helpline for parents with questions about education which also might promote fathers involvement. Mr Brennan averred that men wouldn’t use it.
“If we honestly asked ourselves a question, if you had a problem would you ring a helpline? And for a lot of men, it’s something that we wouldn’t do.”
One has to wonder why not… perhaps because men are taught by patriarchy to be uninvolved and uncommunicative. Perhaps because the majority of flexible contract call centre staff are women and therefore we’re back to the talking to and asking advice of women issue again. Or maybe just because it’s easier to not be involved – after all patriarchally “fathering” is about insemination and “mothering” is about raising children.