Although I am reasonably useful in the kitchen, am a regular on the school run and have been known to shed a tear at the news, I do not consider myself to be a modern man.
I don’t tick enough boxes to qualify. I have never owned a man bag, don’t moisturise and have never sat through Mamma Mia.
I am not quite 40 but I have been described as a ‘young fart’ due to the fact I sport a regulation haircut, shave every day, hold doors open for everybody, regardless of gender, and prefer beer you can’t see through.
But almost overnight I have gone through something of a rebirth because I am beginning to take a real interest in issues that have previously been as alien a concept to me as making friends is to professional mudslinger Katie Hopkins.
Whisper it quietly but I have developed a real interest in sexual equality, although I most certainly have not performed a volte-face and become that most unlikely of species – a male feminist.
The question ‘Daddy, who says girls can’t wear bow ties?’ is one that has made me think more than any other I have faced over the past year or so. It was something of a gateway question, one that has made me ponder the issues that cloud the road to adulthood for girls everywhere.
Not once have I sought to deter my live-wire five-year-old from her love of Power Rangers, Star Wars and football – especially when the latter entitles us to a free ‘pass out’ to the match on a regular basis.
Yes, I would prefer not to have the bun fight which accompanies every attempt to put a frock on her prior to a family occasion but, like most children, mine knows precisely what she wants. So what if she prefers trainers to ballet shoes or the aforementioned bow tie (complete with pink blouse) to the traditional Sunday Best? I couldn’t give a monkey’s.
One thing that does bother me however is whether my little girl will get the same breaks as I have throughout my life. Will she encounter a glass ceiling in her career like so many do, even today?
While these are all questions which are certainly not unique to me and my family, I am pretty sure that dads of the 1980s, when I was at school, would have had similar concerns about their young daughters.
Huge steps have been made in the past 30 years to narrow the gender gap and now it is an issue which isn’t just discussed by dungaree-wearing militants but fat blokes like me who like a pint and pork scratchings but are not too stuck in the past to fight for their daughters’ futures.