Leading article: New men, real men

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The Independent Online
NEW MEN, it seems, are having a hard time. Rather than be persecuted for their lack of blokeishness, they've been living double lives and they're finding the stress too much to bear. When they have to take time off work to look after their children they invent excuses about power breakfasts or the Territorial Army or, heaven help us, having to run a marathon. That way their mates still think of them as real men.

Well, the NSPCC has decided to do something about this with a "Men as Fathers" conference to study and heighten awareness of this phenomenon. Laudable though this is, it will take more than a conference organised by a charity to change society's assumptions. All of us have to think about the value we place on a father's involvement with his children. So next time a male colleague arrives a little late and offers the excuse that he's been out on an assault course, just tell him - fatherhood is undervalued and new men are cool.

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