Monday, June 16, 2008

Only our Katie

Ol' Spotty hasn't had much to say about Katherine Kersten lately.

Yeah, why is that, Spot?

Well, grasshopper, in some relationships, there comes a time when one partner turns to the other and says, "You're not much fun anymore." Spot arrived at that point with Katie some time ago.

You mean you aren't going to talk about Katie? There are people who depend on it, Spot!

Yes, Spot knows, grasshopper. And he doesn't intend to quit entirely. But there are others who also address the musings of the Word Salad Shooter (tm).

Like who?

Like Jeff Fecke, who had some serious fun with Katie's column about Fathers' Day. Jeff dissects Katie's ideas of idealized fatherhood, her stereotyping, and yes, her misogyny. You see, Jeff is a divorced dad who doesn't get to spend every day with his daughter, but is passionately involved in her life and her nuture nevertheless.

The thing that bothered Spot the most about the column is how Katie returns again and again to the theme of authoritarianism in fathers. Only our Katie could actually make Spot feel a little queasy about being a dad.

There is a well-known writer and professor at Berkeley, George Lakoff, who would find Katie's column an excellent example of the conservative mind at work. Lakoff is the author of, inter alia, a book titled Moral Politics:

[Conservatism] is based on a Strict Father model, while liberalism is centered around a Nurturant Parent model. These two models of the family give rise to different moral systems and different discourse forms, that is, different choices of words and different modes of reasoning.

Read Katie and then read Jeff, and you will see what Lakoff means.

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