Happy Fathers' Day from the Washington Post!

D.C.'s newspaper of record treated our male parents to a double whammy of dishing in its Outlook section yesterday. First there was writer Richard Morgan's "You Can't Believe What a Bad Dad I Had." It seems that Morgan pere divided his time between careening drunk on icy roads with the kids in the car and beating little Richard to a pulp at Walt Disney World for wearing his swim trunks to bed. That is, when he wasn't procreating a second, secret family by one of his innumerable mistresses. Morgan's trash job  was so thorough that a Washington Post editor actually felt compelled to contact the old man and get his side of the story–something that almost never happens for an opinion essay for Outlook:

(Contacted by The Washington Post, the author’s father denied hitting his son at Disney World or driving under the influence.)

So you might be wondering what it takes to be a good dad in Washington Post-land. Here's what it takes: Doing all the housework so Mom can pursue her career.

That was the gist of the Post's lead Father's Day "Outook piece," titled "Don't Worry, Working Moms: Just Leave Dad in Charge at Home" by Anne-Marie Slaughter.

High-power-career wives (Slaughter is president and CEO of something called New America) have been trying to get their husbands to do more laundry-folding and lunchbox-packing since God knows when–but the husbands never seem to perform up to snuff. (And of course the stuff that husbands actually do around the house–shoveling the snow and repairing small appliances–never actually counts as "housework"). Slaughter claims to have finally put her finger on the problem. Quit treating your husband like a part-time homemaker and start treating him like a full-time homemaker. Don't "micromanage" the chores he does. Just tell him he's "in charge" of all the chores. There!

For men to take charge, however, women have to be willing to step aside, despite all the cultural expectations that we’ll run the home front no matter what. Andy and I have, after some debate, come to an understanding that if he’s the lead parent, he gets to call the shots about schedules, how things are organized (I can never find anything in our kitchen), the punishments to mete out when the kids break the rules and myriad other parenting decisions. I don’t like it. But he says that if I want to change it, I can stop traveling as much as I do and focus less on running things in my office. Otherwise, he’s not about to be micromanaged.

"Andy" is Slaughter's husband, a "distinguished professor of international affairs." I like the "some debate" part–I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the Slaughter household for that!

But my favorite sentence in Slaughter's Outlook essay is this one:

[W]e are fortunate enough to be able to pay for a full-time (and indispensable) housekeeper.

Uh-huh. That's one way to get a distinguished professor to get that load of laundry done. Being a CEO is hard.