I saw an article over at Rage Against The Minivan that caught my eye. First, I want to say I love the website and it can in no way be called anything but Pro-Dad. So, when I saw she was writing about what she called Dad Privilege, I was interested right away.
I encourage you to take a moment and click the link above to read her take. It is interesting. But, I have to say, it lacks some understanding about what it is like to be a Father in this day and age.
It has been an ongoing issue that almost every Pappy on TV (especially in commercials) is a bumbling idiot that doesn’t have the common sense to take care of a child. I see my fellow Dads being shown as so stupid they oftentimes cannot change a baby’s diaper without some help from a woman.
So, yes, when people see a Dad alone with their child they are often complementary. You see, as a Dad, I win as long as my kids make it through a day under my supervision alive. What she sees as Dad Privilege is actually simply people being impressed you aren’t an ignorant jackass or completely absent from your little one’s life all together.
Only recently have I noticed that a new trend has been coming into play. I see more and more men walking around with Dad-positive messaging on their shirts. I see commercials full of men who can not only change a diaper but they can do so without complaining about it. I see more and more of my male friends with their kids plastered all over their Instagram feeds. Men, in my opinion, are suddenly being ENCOURAGED to be good Dads.
Yes, it is absolutely insane that in 2015 we are seeing taking care of your progeny being a cool thing for the first time. But rather than say, “Stop giving men easy compliments for doing what they should do anyway,” we should just be thrilled that the tide of fatherhood is changing.
I often go out of my way to start conversations with Dads who are out and about with their kids, and I usually start those talks by complementing their parenting. You should see these big burly dudes almost tear up because no one has ever told them they are doing a good job. Resources for Dads are amazingly scarce, so these guys feel like they are doing it alone, because they aren’t moms and it doesn’t always come as naturally!
So I cannot get behind the idea of Dad Privilege and I say, while I am at it, complement the heck out of every dad you see! Let them know you recognize the fact that they are not babysitting, and that they are parenting and you think that is freaking awesome!
But, hey, complement the heck out of the mommies you see too. Because this whole parenting thing ain’t easy.