From digital-age parenting expert Jordan Shapiro, a thoughtful and long-overdue exploration of fatherhood and masculinity in the 21st century.
There are hundreds of books on parenting, and with good reason—becoming a parent is scary, difficult, and life-changing. But when it comes to books about parenting identity, rather than the nuts and bolts of raising children, nearly all are about what it's like to be a mother.
Drawing on research in sociology, economics, philosophy, gender studies, and the author's own experiences, Father Figure sets out to fill that gap. It's an exploration of the psychology of fatherhood from an archetypal perspective as well as a cultural history that challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of so-called traditional parenting roles. What paradoxes and contradictions are inherent in our common understanding of dads? Might it be time to rethink some aspects of fatherhood?
Gender norms are changing, and old economic models are facing disruption. As a result, parenthood and family life are undergoing an existential transformation. And yet, the narratives and images of dads available to us are wholly inadequate for this transition. Victorian and Industrial Age tropes about fathers not only dominate the media, but also contour most people's lived experience. Father Figure offers a badly needed update to our collective understanding of fatherhood—and masculinity in general. It teaches dads how to embrace the joys of fathering while guiding them toward an image of manliness for the modern world.
PRAISE FOR FATHER FIGURE:
“This book redefines what it means to be a good father. It’s for anyone who dreams of a world where dads are both strong and kind—a world where children of any gender can look up to the men in their lives.”
- Adam Grant
#1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again
and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
"Father Figure is exactly the book that our family needed, and we imagine yours does too. Shapiro questions what the traditional ‘dad’ offers a modern household. He reminds us, feminism liberates everyone, not just women. And this book offers supportive and profound suggestions for fathers. You can be a vital member of your family’s journey without being a patriarchal tyrant."
- Ben Lee and Ione Skye
Musician, Actress, Partners, Parents
"Father Figure is the rare book brave enough to approach feminism from the point of view of the people least likely to identify as feminists - straight dudes - and makes a compelling case for why we should not only be allies, but also feminists ourselves."
- Michael Ian Black
Comedian, Actor, Author
"Holy smokes! This book is a revelation and a revolution. This is required reading for every person who is or will be a caregiver in their lifetime -- which is all of us. Father Figure is a brilliant mix of memoir, manifesto and action. Shapiro offers us hope for a future where fatherhood is radically reimagined and this is the road map to get us there."
- Eve Rodsky
Author, Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live)
“It’s about time someone addressed the role fathers play in raising feminist children, and Shapiro has nailed it. I am happy to add Father Figure to my bookshelf of essential parenting reads."
- Jessica Lahey
Author, The Gift of Failure and The Addiction Inoculation
"This pandemic has revealed a crisis in American caregiving. I hope Shapiro's fearless book kickstarts a woke dad revolution, because Goddess knows we need one."
- Anya Kamenetz
NPR correspondent and author, The Art of Screen Time
"A lucid and moving articulation of how patriarchy harms men. I'm going to buy it for every dad I know. We have needed a book like this so badly."
- Melissa Febos
Bestselling Author, Girlhood, Abandon Me, Whip Smart
"This is the kind of foreplay that us modern women really are looking for."
- Brandy Ferner.
Author, Podcaster (Adult Conversation), Mom
"I'm excited about this, I want to be a feminist dad."
- Maz Jobrani
Comedian, Pandemic Warrior (Peacock), Immigrant (Netflix)
"Shapiro's Father Figure doesn't offer easy "one-weird-trick" solutions to disestablishing the patriarchy. Instead, Shapiro calls on men to do the hard work of being feminist and gives them the tools to do it. As a woman, I'm happy to see men shoulder that burden. As a parent, I hold that embracing feminism creates a better world for my sons because committing to equality also means committing to care and respect for masculinity in all of its forms."
- Emily Willingham
Award winning author, journalist, scientist
"This book does a terrific job of explaining reality. And what Dads all over should want. Jordan really lays it out in an endearing manner. This is a must read for any new father, parent, or anyone who wants a reset on their relationship with the father too. 5 stars!"
- Kara Goldin
Founder and CEO, Hint Water
"This book heralds a revolution. Young men, fathers, grandfathers, and pretty much anyone who cares about masculinity, families, and a healthy future for us all should buy this book.
I loved Father Figure and have recommended it everywhere!"
- Sonora Jha
Author, How to Raise a Feminist Son
"Urgent and intellectually rigorous."
- Publishers Weekly
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