“Why Is There No Motherhood.gov?”

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Elizabeth Losh asks that question here, writing:

This month the comforting voice of Barack Obama is plugging a new government website in a series of public service announcements. Listeners are urged to visit Fatherhood.gov, which describes itself as a “National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.” I must say that looking at this website, I find myself irritated with more than the strange use of a noun as a modifier, as though fatherhood is something that could be stacked up efficiently and inventoried. (Even those who teach written composition love the clearinghouse trope, so I should probably just give up on that fight.)

Instead I’ll start with the fact that there is no Motherhood.gov and the weird assumption that the government should be invested with patriarchal authority. Of course, it isn’t the only asymmetrical government website. There is a WomensHealth.gov but no corresponding MensHealth.gov. There is a GirlsHealth.gov as well, which is similarly unmated. …

–Ann Bartow

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