Silly Daddy – parenting is for women
Turn on your TV. Watch an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Family Guy (ugh). The Simpsons. Modern Family. According to Jim. Married With Children.
Open a book. Read Berenstain Bears. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Any books geared towards childhood memories.
Watch commercials for a while.
See any common theme? Because there is one. A significant one.
The dads and father figures for all of these are idiots. Bumbling, stupid morons that can’t even manage to spend quality time with their kids without their wife forcing them too, or for some kind of a “look how hot I am” pick up towards women.
If the dad exists at all.
I read Bella bedtime books and keep thinking, “Where is the father in these books? Why don’t Daddies tuck their kids into bed or take them to the zoo?”
What’s funny is – in our house, this happens. Sure, Sam works all day. But when he comes home, his first thought isn’t the football game or hanging out with his buddies. He gives Bella a bath and spends time with her before bed. On his days off, it revolves around her. He, like many fathers today, spends quality time with his child.
Nagging wife not needed.
So what’s up with this portrait of the stupid, usually fat, dad? Why does Raymond pretty much ignore his children 90% of ever episode? How is it funny that Phil from Modern Family embarrasses his children and wife all the time by being a total freak? Why does Family Guy, or American Dad, even exist?
How does this impact our marriages and children? When our kids sit around and listen to us laugh about how Raymond’s brother wants to spend more time with his kids than he does, when the dad on the Eggo commercial tries to steal his daughter’s Eggo because, gosh darnit, he’s too stupid to know how to make one himself, what do our children hear us saying?
“Wow, men are really pathetic.”
In all of these situations, the mom is the one who steps up to the plate to correct her husband, let her kids (and family and friends) know how silly he is, and take back control. But not in any kind of loving way. Oh no. In a shrill, horrid, nagging, frenzied kind of way that makes all of us hate her too.
However, can you imagine what the uproar would be if the commercial featured a stupid mother? When is the last time you saw an incompetent mom who was the butt of her family’s jokes on TV? What are women portrayed as?
How about Kate? Perfect example. Jon and Kate plus 8. We used to watch them all the time. I asked Sam repeatedly for something one time, and without thinking, finally said, “Hello?!” And yes, it sounded a lot like what Kate yelled across Toys ‘R Us to Jon.
He snapped. He was so mad that I did what Kate had done to Jon – pathetic, shallow, castrated Jon who couldn’t look at Kate and tell her, “Enough.” He didn’t want to be Jon, I certainly didn’t want to be Kate. We stopped watching the show together.
There is something very fragile about a man’s strength, something that society has almost taken away from them. By making our fathers and men in general out to be losers who only care about tits, sex, football and getting away from their kids, we have caused them to retreat into what we hate about them.
We are causing a self-fulfilling prophesy.
No one wants to marry Raymond. Phil. Jim. The Eggo Waffle guy. Most of us want someone strong, who will fight for us, punch some guy in the face when he hits on us, spend time with our children, open doors, kiss our grandmas on the cheek and yell at someone hurting an animal. Not some fat oaf that drinks beer and farts with his friends while he wife shrieks in the background and his children become invisible.
So why is there only this other character? Is this how we want all our men to be eventually? Why? So we can be in control of them? I hate the fact that my child won’t grow up with many role models of strong fathers on TV, commercials, or in books. That is wrong.
Where are the daddies who care about their kids? Why isn’t this important anymore?
How is being overweight, out of control, stupid, clumsy, pathetic, and controlled by your wife something any of us get a laugh from?