Courtney Weida is an associate professor of art education, and a new mother. She is a practicing artist. Her recent research addresses gender, motherhood, and artists’ books.
Matthew Farr is a new father of a two-year-old, named Imogen. He works part time as an assistant building manager for a non-profit organization located in New York City. His passions include fatherhood, alternative media, and social work.
This visual essay explores processes of defining and practicing feminist fatherhood, documented by the authors. Chronicling the first two years of caring for our daughter, this work presents historical research alongside personal memoir, via the text and image-based, graphic novel-inspired format. The graphic novels of Alison Bechdel (especially Are You My Mother?, 2012) are primary inspirations. Key themes include fatherhood challenges involved with breastfeeding advocacy/support, social pressures and stereotypes affecting “stay-at-home dads”, and work-life balance without outside childcare, but with equal (feminist) participation from father and mother. This essay explores the possibilities of redefining fathers through parenting practices, highlighting baby-wearing, reading, and drawing. We also found (and aimed to represent graphically) ways in which integrating fatherhood into other life work both challenges and illuminates self and child identities.