Hat Tip Instapundit. In her WaPo article Why don’t dads complain about parenthood like moms do? Samantha Rodman describes what she calls an alarming trend:
It seems like women are being publicly applauded for complaining about parenthood. And dads, well, aren’t. At all.
Rodman is delighted that women now feel freer than ever to complain. But she is deeply troubled that while men are taking on more and more of the responsibilities feminist women have shunned, men aren’t doing it right. Specifically, men are not complaining about these responsibilities like women do:
Imagine being at a play date and hearing someone say, “God, I needed a drink all day today. The kids were behaving terribly, I couldn’t deal.” You’re picturing a mom, right?
However, what if the speaker is a dad? The question is moot because I have yet to hear a dad complain this openly and honestly about his kids, and this is not for lack of trying. Dads don’t even take the conversational bait. If asked to commiserate about parenting, the average mom breathes a sigh of relief and sits forward in her seat, but the average dad looks around like he’s on Candid Camera and gives a vague answer about having lots of fun sitting around watching dance class through a two way mirror for the 15th week in a row.
What has not yet dawned on feminists is that men not complaining didn’t mean men got a better deal than women. It is just that men are far less likely to complain. Most men understand that bitching, moaning, and being miserly with love is ugly. On the other hand, complaining about anything, everything, and even nothing is at the core of feminism.
Not surprisingly, Rodman sees confession sites like Scary Mommy as hallmarks of feminist progress. Let it all hang out is the new slogan for motherhood, and being true to yourself is now the ultimate maternal virtue. She is delighted at the thought of her daughters growing up to not be ashamed to be terrible mothers, liberated from the feminist arch-enemy, guilt.
Mommy guilt seems to be on its way out, shepherded by the honesty in the blogosphere and, more recently, by books like All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior. The mom confessional zeitgeist has grown so dramatically that it is barely a trend anymore. Rather, it’s ushering in of a new era of honesty and self-disclosure for moms. This is all wonderful news, and I hope that mommy guilt is vestigial by the time my daughters may decide to become moms.
But in a baffling twist, weak men (who aren’t brave enough to bitch) and evil society are ruining it all.
Note: I am not judging any of these behaviors. I’m saying this: Tell me what the reaction would be if a dad talked about yelling too much and smoking pot in front of his kids.
If Daddy is going to be an equal parent, then Scary Daddy needs to be recognized and supported too.