I wish there was a War on Dads, so that I could wish there wasn’t

"You DELAYED immunizations? You bastard!"

You know what America is really good at? Hyperbolating differences of opinion into “wars.” (And making up words like “hyperbolating.”)

Everywhere you look, there’s a War on Something. Terror. Drugs. Christmas. Salt.

And lately, setting aside for a moment all the Wars on Women’s pay, choice, and dignity, there are myriad Wars Within Women: Moms vs. the Intentionally Childless. “Single” moms vs. “co-parenting” moms. Bottle vs. breast. WOHMs vs. SAHMs. The list goes on and on.

You know why we have all these “wars”? Because there is strong passion on both sides of every one of them. People care deeply about this stuff, because they’re deeply invested in what matters, and What Is Right For Our Children. Topics are debated, insults flung, and women lay into each other like Peter and the Giant Chicken.

What do the dads have?

Not much, really. Just a pervasive (and temporary) compulsion among advertisers to portray us as aloof and incompetent? That’s an annoyance, for sure. But you could hardly call it a war. It’s an issue we’ve addressed repeatedly, and brands are apologizing and (slooooowly) getting the hang of it. The end. No sizzle, no zazz.

Declaring a war on dads is like declaring a war on pudding. How can you hate pudding? It’s pudding! Creamy, delicious, everything it’s supposed to be–but not likely to become a wedge issue during an election year.

People get riled up about moms because they’re held to an impossible standard of Always Doing It Right. If you’re a dad, you’re doing it right if you somehow manage not to put your kid’s binky in his butthole.

But that is changing. We need more dad-based vitriol out there, and on something more substantive than “How can you raise your kid to be a Cubs fan”? (Note: You should never do that.) We need dads in each other’s faces about circumcision, co-sleeping, and choosing to stay home.

This is a call to arms, gents! Pick a topic you feel passionate about, find some guy who did the opposite with his kid, and punch his lights out!

Then buy him a beer and hug it out.

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Read more from Doug on his personal blog, Laid-Off Dad.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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