Being a parent is one of the most important jobs a person can have, whether you're a mother, a father, a legal guardian, or any one of the huge variety of parental roles that exist in the world today. Yet our society tends to assume that parenting duties are mostly for women, as is evident in a Make It Work video about things people say to dads. Some of this stuff is beyond eyebrow-raising, and it shows how firmly entrenched gender roles are in our culture — and how much we need to change how we think about parenting.
Although predominate cultural stereotypes seem to indicate that dads are generally aloof and uninvolved in the day-to-day process of raising children — as well as bumbling disasters whenever they try to be otherwise — the truth is that being an involved, competent parent is not a gendered skill set. Men can be and frequently are good parents, just as women can be and frequently are good parents; furthermore, when men handle parenting duties and spend time with their kids, it's not some strange anomaly — and it's certainly not babysitting. It's something that's normal and healthy for dads to do.
And yet the stereotypes continue.
To combat them, though, Make It Work, an organization that focuses on issues that impact working families, such as family leave, the pay gap, and affordable childcare, has made a new video that highlights clearly the fact that our society needs to change the way we think of fathers and fatherhood. It's funny, yes, but it also makes a really important point. Here, take a watch:
The bottom line is that a lot of the things people say to dads who take an active role in parenting are pretty ridiculous. I mean, just take a look at these dads' reactions to some of the things people have said to them:
"You Want To Take Off Because Your Kid Is Sick? You Must Be On 'Mommy Duty.'"
That's an "...I'm sorry, what?" face if I ever saw one.
"Paternity Leave? A Couple Weeks At Home Chilling?"
"I'll Bet Mom Did Her Hair."
"Aren't You Supposed To Be At Work? Why Are You Here With Your Kid?"
...There are no words.
Clearly, we all have a lot of work to do. Except, you know, for the millions of dads who are already doing a great job. Keep it up, you guys!
Images: Make It Work/Facebook (4)