Fathers are still considered the most important "doers" in our culture, and in most families they are that. Girls see them as thefamily authorities on careers, and so fathers' encouragement and counsel is important to them. When fathers don't take their daughters' achievements and plans seriously, girls sometimes have trouble taking themselves seriously.
Women's childhood relationships with their fathers are important to them all their lives. Regardless of age or status, women who seem clearest about their goals and most satisfied with their lives and personal and family relationships usually remember that their fathers enjoyed them and were actively interested in their development.
Contrary to all we hear about women and their empty-nest problem, it may be fathers more often than mothers who are pained by thechildren's imminent or actual departure--fathers who want to hold back the clock, to keep the children in the home for just a little longer. Repeatedly women compare their own relief to their husband's distress
Defining and celebrating the New Father are by far the most popular ideas in our contemporary discourse on fatherhood. Father as close and nurturing, not distant and authoritarian. Fatherhood as more than bread winning. Fatherhood as new-and-improved masculinity. Fathers unafraid of feelings. Fathers without sexism. Fatherhood as fifty-fifty parenthood, undistorted by arbitrary gender divisions or stifling social roles.
New fathers, political prisoners, traumatised presidential aides, resolute schoolboys, MEPs addressing unfriendly chambers - we all find that Shakespeare has magically anticipated our precise circumstances. How he was possible, I still don't understand; but there isn't a day I'm not grateful that he speaks to me in my own language.