The other day Babble blogger Cody “They Call Me Cody” Mullins wrote a pretty terrible Mother’s Day fluff-piece entitled “Top 10 Things Mothers do Better than Fathers.”
I say it was terrible, because, frankly, it was. In his estimation, mothers beat dads at: hugging, treating injuries, changing diapers (he must not have heard Huggies can help with that!), making healthy food, keeping the kids clean, snuggling (arguably different than hugging, I guess?), cooking (which is different than making healthy food, apparently), going out with the kids (?), expressing emotion, and making kids feel better (which is way different than how they treat injuries with their magic mommy-powers!).
Obviously I was not a fan. I guess if he’d called it “10 Ways my Wife is a Better Parent Than I Am” I would have less problem with it — at the very least maybe it would serve as a list of ways he recognizes that he can try to step up his parenting game a little. But no, it was all about how Moms are better than Dads at these things. Which might even be true in some areas, but I think most people know that cooking, cleaning, not forgetting the diaper bag, and administering first-aid are not abilities determined by whether your chromosomes are XX or XY. They are abilities you get by having a willingness to learn and the opportunity to try.
Anyhow, the worst thing about the post, as it turns out, wasn’t actually the article itself, but the comments about it on Babble’s Facebook page. They linked to it with the words: “Finish this sentence. The one thing that mothers do better than fathers is ___________. (Then see what this dad said!)”
I can’t even describe to you how disheartening the responses turned out to be…
“Did you see the new ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ trailer with the ‘Dudes Group’ in it? What do you think? You must be pretty outraged, huh?”
I’ve been asked variations of the above question a lot recently. Clearly because of my recent accidental activism about the Huggies commercials, and general willingness to opine on the bigger issues of how dads are portrayed in the media, this makes sense.
But it’s been happening so often, and my answer taken people so clearly by surprise, that I thought it was time I write about it here.
The short answer? No.
I’m not outraged at all. At first I was simply “withholding judgement” for the time being, but the more I’ve watched the trailer, and thought about how feel about it, the more encouraged I am at how the film seems to be portraying active, involved dads…