There really is an alternative parenting scene, and alternative writing about parenthood, and I'm proud to be linked up with that. As Marrit Ingman, one of my fave alterna-writers reminds us, contra New York Magazine, the idea of alternative parenting wasn't and isn't all about having lots of money to afford all the toys. With her, I too wonder: when did 'hip' become synonymous with 'affluent'? When did hip become something I could no longer afford? When did hip stop being about rebellion?
Well, it's no news that Marrit Ingman is a favorite here at the playground, so run, don't walk, to her latest post "Reinventing the Neal," where she takes on Neal Pollack, aka AlternaDad, and claims
a) that he may have plagiarized some of her writing, and
b) that he clearly felt no need at all to read any of the many, many alterna-moms who plotted the way before him. Women and mothers are just so invisible.
c) He's wrongly making "cool parenting" into a competitive and judgment-driven sport. As Marrit writes, with her characteristic humanity and grace:
"Therein lies the problem for me. I simply don't tolerate pitting parents against each other. Not mothers against mothers, not fathers against fathers. When I meet other parents, I don't run down a list of how we're different and I am better. Alternative parenting isn't about being the coolest kid in the room. It's about coalition-building and rejecting the ready-made, not about bragging and slagging."
So go and read.