While my heart rests with the NBA, I respect and applaud the MLB for having a paternal leave policy like a normal, progressive employer. I further applaud Colby Lewis for making good use of it. Not up for kudos, though, is Dallas Observer sportswriter Richie Whitt who makes a point of demeaning Lewis for his parenting decisions. Andrea Grimes at Hay Ladies! takes him to task in a way that I could only dream of doing.
But we need to go a step further and call out Whitt for using his shock-jock personality to perpetuate a system of toxic masculinity wherein men are only real dudes if they don’t do too much of that being-a-human-being shit, like trying to physically and emotionally support their families, witness once-in-a-lifetime moments and demonstrate that there’s more to life than a paycheck. Toxic masculinity, gender policing and shaming doesn’t just hurt women. Doesn’t just hurt men. Hurts everyone. Hurts families. Hurts people, all people, who deserve to not be pigeonholed and socially pressured into any one kind of behavior based on the junk in their drawers.