Let me momsplain something here, “daddy privilege” is a term to describe the double standard that exists in parenting – praising dad for doing expected/normal duties. Is it new? No. But it is getting called out with more and more moms and dads (you go dads!) coming forward with the disgusting truth of how our society upholds such low standards for dads while expecting greatness from moms.
Say it louder for people at the back?
BEING TREATED RADICALLY DIFFERENT FOR DOING THE SAME PARENTAL DUTIES IS NOT OKAY!
I hope I’ve made that clear enough, if it isn’t, read on to learn just how much this privilege has been embedded in our society’s perception of what parenting should look like and why it's not okay.
The Sexism We Can't Seem To Shake
It’s sad really, how we’ve got here. As women, as parents, as citizens of modern society, where up until today, we are still segregated and treated differently by what is expected of our gender roles. The exact roles that were played by our ancestors where men were the breadwinners and the women slaved away as nothing more than domestic workers.
However, there has been major shifts in parenting roles where over the years, we’ve slowly progressed in breaking the stereotypical perceptions of these “typical” parental responsibilities. More mothers are shattering glass ceilings and achieving their dreams while more fathers either juggle a part-time job or stays at home. Yet, despite the evolving change in parenting roles and responsibilities, sexism is still very present, prohibiting us from moving forward to achieving an equal society.
The Bare Minimum
A good father can be as simple as showing up and be loving. A good mother on the other hand is a loaded list, full of rules, exceptions, and contradictions.
Annoying isn’t it?
We not only birthed them, but most often we go above and beyond our roles to cater to our child without a second thought but and yet, we take the back seat while our husbands get treated as if they deserve a gold medal for merely performing basic parental duties.
Hot take: the problem is not men being praised for showing up. It's that women don't feel praised enough. BOTH should be celebrated. Feminism is about equality of the sexes.
I know this very well because my husband experiences ‘daddy privilege’ from basically anyone he meets whenever he’s alone with my daughter. Or even when I’m around but he’s merely feeding her or giving her a shower while I eat or do my own things. Like, okay, it’s not like he’s “substituting” me. It’s his role too. Why is he getting praised? “You changed her diapers? Aww, what a hands-on dad! You sorted out her lunch and you’re feeding her? Wow, you’re a keeper. That’s so nice mom gets to workout while you watch over your daughter. She’s really lucky.”
Those are some examples of what ‘daddy privilege’ looks like and by now, I can tell you’ve heard this slew of praises for fathers get said so often you just want to scream.
This is the era where we need to stay woke and realize that days of men being the sole breadwinner are long gone. Women are thriving and we are still not getting recognized for all our worth. No matter how much we bend over backwards trying to prove to society, double standards will cease to exist if we don’t try to correct the manner the right way.
How? Well I believe in educating our children from young on the benefits of an egalitarian relationship. Our children pick up more than we credit them. They may not understand much at such a young age, but they can model behavior very well and in the long run, once they grow older, they will have develop this sense of respect for the opposite gender based on the dynamic your relationship is founded on.
Several ways you can encourage this is by:
- practicing respect for one another
- sharing parental responsibilities
- create an environment where discussions welcome opinions from both parties
- show support for one another
I have always been a strong feminist and to be honest, I was pretty nervous to see how my in-laws’ stereotypical relationship would rub off him and our marriage. In our early days, I did feel I had to fight harder for my voice to be heard as my husband was so used to growing up watching his dad be the alpha male. I can’t blame him but this is my point. If we don’t start getting our partners on board in changing the “system”, then fathers will forever continue to subtlety sidestep their way into parenthood earning them all the praises.
And mamas, I did just that, I continued to remind my husband of my principles and expressed my frustration with this double standard that’s been perpetuated for far too long. It didn’t take long for my husband to hear me, support me and want the same equality that I want for us but for society too.
Due to the double standard in parenthood, society’s expectations for fathers are so low that there’s also a discrimination for fathers who actually want to be present for their family. Baby changing rooms made available only for mothers is one example. My husband was always very hands on with diaper duty so one of the many times we went out, I remembered feeling so frustrated with how one mall that we went to only had the baby changing area in the female bathroom. I was left feeling so bothered because the area was quite distant from the sink and I kept thinking how unsafe it was to leave my baby unattended even if it was for a millisecond in a public bathroom.
There is no denying that fathers are more involved than previous generations (hence the persistent praise when doing basic daddy duties) but what society fails to understand is that men are finding new masculinity in their roles as both partner and parent. In some sense they are lucky to do so without the society berating over them. That’s because society has never had grand expectations on fatherhood to begin with. Then there is also the emerging group of fathers who face discrimination for putting in the work as much as their partners and find themselves justify, upholding their rights as simply being a father.
The Nitty, Gritty Truth
Bottomline, its 2021 and it’s scary to know how ‘daddy privilege’ is only getting exposed now. Convincing the world to change from it’s sexist perceptions is a lot harder than we think but it needs to be stopped. These assumptions surrounding gender roles are degrading to everyone regardless of gender. We need to start with our partners, with our children, and educate our inner circle to eventually stop perpetuating the existing parenting double standards that we are bound to.
May be it will never be, but I’d rather stand with the chance that it could. I and I speak on behalf of women (cause heck, I know a lot of you agree) are tired of fathers earning brownie points over the simplest of tasks whereas us mothers rake up more doubt for merely trying to make the “right” choices.
I love my husband, but I am so done with his species getting praise for doing the exact mundane things that we moms do because there will always, always, be someone who will lift our men as the exalted one. They’ll always be the hero. I don’t want my kids growing up complaining when I work but then turn a blind eye to when their dad work. I don’t want to constantly live in this bubble of always feeling I’m not doing enough, not good enough when my husband gets the subtle perks of feeling whatever he’s done was enough. I want that advantage too because I envy that certainty.
This is how society plays a role. Every parent deserves to be seen and appreciated. Do your part today by sharing this article and highlight how discriminating it is when you treat a dad as if he’s role is less than when he’s just as or maybe even more capable than the mother.
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