Are dads marginalized as parents?
On one of my first outings with two children, I took them to Target. There in the salad dressing aisle as I told my daughter not to touch things on the shelf and the baby cried, a woman pushed past me mumbling, “Maybe it’s nap time.”
A few minutes later, I saw the same woman talking to a man who also had two kids and salad dressing in his cart. Only this time, she was beaming, “You are such a good dad to take your kids shopping. It’s not easy.”
My baby was still crying, and I almost began crying, too.
The nonprofit Make it Work wants to highlight the parenting double standard that affects both men and women. On Wednesday, it released a video that highlights the crazy shit people say to dads.
The men in the video discuss what it’s like when friends and family members ask them if they are on “mommy duty” or praise them for doing simple everyday parenting tasks. The video ends with one dad stating, “Stereotypes about moms and dads distract us from the support all families need and deserve like paid family leave and affordable child care.”
Co-founder of Make it Work, Vivien Labaton, told the Daily Dot the goal of the video is to help smash gender stereotypes that label issues of child care and paid maternity leave as women’s issues.
“The reality is that they are men’s issues too, and we need to update the conversation to reflect 21st century realities and sensibilities as more and more women are breadwinners and more and more men are active caregivers,” Labaton said.
Continued Labaton, “We hope the rest of America will catch on that these issues are important for all parents.”
For the month of June, Make it Work is encouraging dads to tweet their wins and WTFs with the hashtag #DadsFTW.
Laboton said she hopes the video will help move the issues of child care and paid family leave to the forefront of the conversation during this election cycle.
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