Turn on the TV and you’d think the typical American dad is a lazy, sex-obsessed, golf playing bumbling buffoon who can barely hold down a job.
For example, I was flipping through channels the other day when a bleach commercial came on. The dad began cleaning a massive fish right there in the kitchen, scraping the scales off, and making a huge nasty bacteria infested fish mess on the counter. Luckily the mom came home just in the nick of time to disinfect the kitchen with her Clorox bleach. (I can only assume had she been 5 minutes later her childlike husband would have been eating the uncooked fish with his barbaric raw hands only to then feed it to their children baby bird style.)
That commercial rubbed me the wrong way, but honestly I didn’t really give it another thought.
That is, until I started to notice it.
Every show. Every movie. They all seemed to have a common theme and character.
The dumb dad.
It doesn’t matter if it’s on a pre-teen Disney show filled with tween angst, or a hilarious laugh out loud movie geared toward moms. The majority of the time the dads are portrayed as inept morons who struggle to get through their daily adult life. They don’t clean the house, and they don’t parent. The men goof around while the mom is there holding the family together saving the day, not without many dramatic eye-rolls and passive-aggressive slams directed at her husband’s dumb antics, of course.
Not only is the dumb dad thing so far from my own personal reality, I believe it sets us back to a 1950’s mentality reinforcing that only moms know how to properly take care of the kids and home. I mean after all, dads just slap raw meet on the counter and call it dinner, right?
Now, my husband and I do actually have somewhat traditional roles. I stay at home
and he works, BUT what makes our situation (and I would argue to say most modern families) different than the 1950’s mentality is that we’re a team
Unlike what’s portrayed on so many media platforms is that I’m not doing all things parenting while he brings home the bacon. When he gets home from work he doesn’t sit on the couch drinking beer while I slave away in the kitchen helping with homework. Are my husband and I’s parenting styles different? Of course. But that doesn’t mean that I am doing it right and he’s doing it wrong. We BOTH are parents, and we BOTH share parenting equally.
Portraying fathers as idiotic men does nothing but set the country back in so many ways.
Now I get that these types of shows and commercials are probably not meant to intentionally bring parents down. However, I expect more from entertainment than sub par writing that’s trying to get laughs off of inaccurate and offensive stereotypes. Not only is it never okay to stereotype any person in those ways, it’s also a gross misrepresentation of who the modern dad is.
Modern dads have fought for changing tables in men’s bathrooms. (And won!)
Modern dads take their kids on dates.
Modern dads know the importance of being involved in their children’s lives.
Modern dads change diapers.
Modern dads do not “babysit” their children, they are active participants in their kid’s childhood.
And lastly, modern dads know how to wipe down the counter after raw fish has been festering on it. (gasp)
Ultimately, I want the dumb dad thing to die out. I want my sons to grow up to be involved dads who see the importance of parenting their children. Likewise, I want my daughter to grow up and marry a husband who is her help mate and partner. I do not wish for my children to flip on the TV and think that the un-involved childlike dad is the norm in other families. Of course my children see the modern dad reflected in their own father, however I simply wish that this was shown in the media as well.
I want my children to grow up seeing examples of fathers being amazing fathers.