Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:
- To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
- To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.
Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.
This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.
Our twenty-second “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad is Doug Gertner from the USA.
The Dad Bio
I’m Doug Gertner, a.k.a. The Grateful Dad. I’m Marc Gertner’s son, partner to Maggie Miller, father of a teenage son, Jordy Gertner, and a speaker, blogger, educator, broadcaster, author, and activist who has been active in the National Organization for Men against Sexism, and taught men’s studies and involved fatherhood classes nationally. We make our home in Denver, Colorado, and as The Grateful Dad my ‘long, strange trip’ takes me far and wide teaching, training, and speaking about the dynamics of masculinity, and the joys and challenges for fathers and families.
1. What is the best thing about being a dad?
Joy. In a word, that’s what has always made fatherhood great. From the news that we were pregnant, through labor, delivery, and those many sleepless nights with a newborn, I’ve always celebrated the gift of being a dad.
My first teacher was my own father, and when it came time to take on this role myself, I had some definite ideas about how to do it differently. My pro-feminist activism has informed our shared care parenting from the start, and to this day I experience the joy of a close relationship with both my partner and our son. The sleeplessness has returned now that my son is a teen – as we wait up when he’s out late for work or with friends. Yet, even if we’re all a bit sleep-deprived, we all connect every day, and the joy of this regular connection is the best thing about being a dad.
2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?
My own dad taught me early and often about what fatherhood looks like. His long hours and dedication to his work helped me to value work-life; his absence, physically and emotionally, made me resolve to make parenting a priority and be available to my son. I left a traditional job to work from home, and adjust my schedule to fit around his, so that I am integral to my son’s life. He is accustomed to seeing me at his school as I’ve been active since the time of day-care. And he knows I’ll always drop what I’m doing to talk to him, which happens almost daily.
My father was a product of his times – the 50s – and I joined the pro-feminist men’s movement as a response to how he treated women, including my two sisters, his three wives, and his various secretaries. I’ve also modelled my pro-feminist stance for my son, who continues the family tradition of working for gender justice, particularly transsexual rights.
3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?
Talk to your sons and daughters. No topic is off limits in our family, and violence is among the most ‘real’ topics we discuss on a regular basis. My son sees me speak up and speak out, and he’s made me so proud by doing the same.