Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Community News Network

March 21, 2013

Jail dance lets fathers, daughters take a few steps together

(Continued)

RICHMOND, Va. —

"The whole idea feels very 1950s," says Peggy Drexel, author of "Our Fathers, Ourselves: Daughters, Fathers and the Changing American Family." "I mean, do you invite your sperm-donor dad? Today's America has the daughters of donors, lesbians, two gay dads. . . ."

In October, school officials in Cranston, R.I., banned the dances — along with mother-son baseball games — after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint citing discrimination against single mothers, as well as gender stereotyping. "It's 'Ozzie and Harriet' stuff — it shouldn't be happening in this century," says Steven Brown of the Rhode Island ACLU. "Not every girl wants to grow up to be Cinderella; some might actually more enjoy playing baseball. But these types of stereotyped events promote an opposite impression."

One indication that times are changing: The Girl Scouts of America have given some of the events new names, such as "SAM" — significant adult male — dances or "Someone Special and Me" dances. There are also new events replacing the dances, such as the "Daddy-Daughter Boot Camp" for Girl Scouts on Fort Belvoir.

"What's really new here is that people whose family forms were shoved under the rug, including those in jail, are increasingly saying we have a right to the same respect that everyone gets," says Stephanie Coontz, author of "The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms With America's Changing Families."

The dance at the Richmond jail is less improbable than it sounds: Historically, the father-daughter dances have been used to help American families reunite. They became widespread in the United States after World War II as a way to reintegrate men into family life. It's too early to know whether this dance will have a lasting impact, but Richmond City Sheriff C.T. Woody says it's a start.

Text Only
Community News Network
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results