[Are you intermediate or upper intermediate? Scroll down below for a new worksheet!]
Father’s Day is celebrated today in the UK, US and Canada. While not everyone may have a father, it is still a day when the father’s role in society can be discussed.
The headlines coming out of Britain this morning concern Prime Minister David Cameron’s comments and criticism of fathers who leave their families:
“It’s high time runaway dads were stigmatised, and the full force of shame was heaped upon them. They should be looked at like drink drivers, people who are beyond the pale. They need the message rammed home to them, from every part of our culture, that what they’re doing is wrong – that leaving single mothers, who do a heroic job against all odds, to fend for themselves simply isn’t acceptable.”
The interesting thing is that while this was reported in the conservative newspaper The Daily Telepgraph, most of the reader comments suggested that he has no idea whatsoever what’s happening in society, and certainly no idea of how hard it is for those fathers.
Across the Atlantic the Globe and Mail of Canada has all things to do with fathers and fatherhood this weekend, tips of what to cook this Father’s Day, personal stories of fathers, and even fashion for dads.
Yet an article on ‘the Omega Male’ and ‘high powered female professionals’ titled How ‘slackers’ can make pretty good fathers got readers annoyed, mostly for the use of cliches and how men are classified so simply into categories by the media (Alpha, Omega, Beta etc). When you read the article you can’t help but feel the Globe and Mail feels stay at home dads are somehow less manly, and yet some good use can be made out of them:
“The much-maligned qualities that qualify men as “omega males” – an apparent absence of testosterone, a childlike affinity for fun, a surplus of disposable time – are exactly the qualities that can transform men into remarkable fathers.” Oh dear.
Television is always an interesting source as to how men are viewed in society. Remember when Homer Simpson first became famous? WellThe Globe and Mail also noted:
The latest indication that stay at home fathers have become the punchline to a grand societal joke arrived in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal under the headline “A New Generation of TV Wimps.” The article observed that an unusually large number of sitcoms making their debut this fall – six – “centre on lead male characters contemplating their masculinity in a changing world, especially in terms of the successful women who surround them.”
“This isn’t just a recession we’re in,” says one character. “It’s a man-cession. Women are taking over the work force.”
Ironic that in Britain today the Prime Minister is encouraging men to stay with their families while in Canada the ‘Omega Male’ is being stigmatised for staying at home while their girlfriend or wife goes out and brings in the money.
What do you think?
What makes a great father?
Does it matter who stays at home and who has the full-time job?
And who is your favourite TV dad?
Please feel free to leave a comment below!
Finally, here’s a worksheet on adjectives to use to talk about your father.
Level: Intermediate+ (B1)
Of course check the answers after you’ve done the first page ; )
If the link doesn’t work, you can find it here too:
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