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Father Figure: How to Be a Feminist Dad--Jordan Shapiro in conversation with Jo Piazza

Event date: 
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Charis welcomes Jordan Shapiro in conversation with Jo Piazza for a celebration of Father Figure: How to Be a Feminist Dad. A thoughtful and long-overdue exploration of fatherhood and masculinity in the 21st century that "redefines what it means to be a good father" (Adam Grant). This event is co-sponsored by Men Stopping Violence. Men Stopping Violence is a 37- year-old organization that focuses on ending gender-based violence by educating and organizing men in a call to action to be a part of the solution. Through their partnership with men, they are building knowledge on the issue, continuously building an understanding of the subject as it continues to evolve, leading critical societal conversations, and creating change agents from the participants in their program.This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

Drawing on research in sociology, economics, philosophy, gender studies, and the author's own experiences, Father Figure sets out to fill that gap. It's an exploration of the psychology of fatherhood from an archetypal perspective as well as a cultural history that challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of so-called traditional parenting roles. What paradoxes and contradictions are inherent in our common understanding of dads? Might it be time to rethink some aspects of fatherhood?

Gender norms are changing, and old economic models are facing disruption. As a result, parenthood and family life are undergoing an existential transformation. And yet, the narratives and images of dads available to us are wholly inadequate for this transition. Victorian and Industrial Age tropes about fathers not only dominate the media but also contour most people's lived experience. Father Figure offers a badly needed update to our collective understanding of fatherhood—and masculinity in general. It teaches dads how to embrace the joys of fathering while guiding them toward an image of manliness for the modern world.

Jordan Shapiro is father to two children and step-father to two more. He lives in Philadelphia with his partner Amanda Steinberg. He teaches in Temple University’s Intellectual Heritage Program. He’s senior fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, and nonresident fellow in the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. His book, The New Childhood (2018), received wide critical acclaim and has been published in 11 languages. His new book, Father Figure: How to be a Feminist Dad offers a norm-shattering perspective on fatherhood, family, and gender essentialism. This thoughtful exploration of dad-psychology—presented from an archetypal perspective—challenges our familiar assumptions about the origins of so-called traditional parenting roles.

Jo Piazza is a bestselling author, podcast creator and award-winning journalist. Jo is the author of ten critically acclaimed books, both fiction and non-fiction which have been translated into more than ten languages. A former editor, columnist and travel writer with Yahoo, Current TV and the New York Daily News, her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York magazine, Glamour, Elle, Time, Marie Claire, the Daily Beast, and Slate. She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University.  She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Nick Aster and two young children. Her new novel, We Are Not Like Them will be released on Oct. 5.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to immediately.

Event address: 
Father Figure: How to Be a Feminist Dad By Jordan Shapiro Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780316459969
Published: Little, Brown Spark - May 11th, 2021

A thoughtful and "utterly mind-blowing" exploration of fatherhood and masculinity in the 21st century (New York Times). 

There are hundreds of books on parenting, and with good reason—becoming a parent is scary, difficult, and life-changing.

Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes Jordan Shapiro in conversation with Jo Piazza for a celebration of Father Figure: How to Be a Feminist Dad. A thoughtful and long-overdue exploration of fatherhood and masculinity.