Tuesday 26 September 2017

Despite Feminism, Childcare Is Still A Woman’s Job

Wherever we look today, we see stories about dads taking on the childcare in the home, and we have feminism to thank for much of this.

We see them more likely to drive the kids to school in the morning, attend school programs, help with fundraisers, and go to PTA meetings.

However, men taking on the childcare, still tend to be part of the exception and not the norm, and the world applauds dads far more easily than they do moms who do exactly the same job. Sound familiar?

Actor and Hollywood dad, Dax Shepherd frequently tweets about his life as a “hands on” father.

He and his wife, Kristen Bell, can be seen sharing parenting duties on Samsung commercials, touting green living and the perils of “adulting” with children in tow.

Dax tweets often about his unapologetic adventures in family life.

 

And while it’s great—no it’s FANTASTIC—that Dax is so involved in his children’s care and upbringing, it’s not heroic.

It’s just what should be.

Given his exuberance about diving right into travel with his two young kids, he’d probably agree.

He’d know, too, that his wife probably wouldn’t consider herself so fearless after having embarked on a car trip with her kids. She likely taxis them all over town all week long without so much as a nod.

In fact, Kristen Bell frequently gets real about motherhood on her own Twitter feed and in interviews.

She told Redbook magazine,

“In the age of social media, when you can edit your life in beautiful pictures, it’s important to remind moms that all of us are wearing yogurt and all of our hands smell like urine.”

Mothers working in a variety of industries—religious work, social work, education, the travel industry, medicine, etc—have all had the same complaints: When dad is forced to take the kids to work for some reason, everyone thinks baby is cute.

When dad has to pick up a sick child from daycare, work is generally understanding and sees it as a “one time thing,” because mom (for some CRAZY reason) can’t get there to it herself.

And when children make noise in public, when they act up or throw a fit, no one challenges a father to keep baby/kid quiet, whereas mothers get everything from murderous stares to humiliating verbal corrections.

People give dads leeway when they’re children crawl the walls; it’s assumed that they don’t know what they’re doing but they’re trying.

Moms don’t get this kind of grace.

And while stay-at-home dads are still much more common than they were even a decade ago, one only needs to look at how well they are praised for doing what women have done for centuries without even a choice to do otherwise.

Dads who show up at soccer games and assist their children with homework are given pats on the backs and accolades that a mother who does this with multiple children, while also working full-time, will rarely—if ever—receive.

Despite the many attributes of feminism, childcare is considered a woman’s job, one for which she isn’t supposed to seek accolades like dads do. It’s important for women to take a stand, and demand that the parenting work be equal.

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