Good thread, Falstaff…
Sadly the good dads are drowned out by the absent fathers or fathers who just walk out of their kids’ lives…
So every decent, loving father has a system that is disproportionately against them… Just like a black man
is more at risk of being stopped and searched by police while he is walking and minding his own business…,
just like women are less likely to be believed when they make a complaint about rape if the perpetrator is
a ‘well respected’ and privileged man…
There are prejudices and biases against every single sector of society, of different kinds and severity: the
ones against dads are possibly three:
they are incompetent, and they could not possibly truly be looking after their kids on their own;
they would have no idea what to do if they were left on their own with their kids;
they cannot be trusted alone with other people’s kids.
The third type is particularly pernicious, because women are historically not faced with the
‘predator’ prejudice when it comes to children - the majority of child abuse is perpetrated by men, sadly -
so whether it is men in nurseries (non-existent, mythical figures) or in primary schools (a few more, but
still tiny numbers) or child-minders (basically a scary thought to anyone, it seems), the prejudice that they
could not be wanting to spend time with children out of love for their job or for looking after the next generation
As for the other two points in my mini-list, they are less pernicious and certainly they undermine dads’ confidence,
especially single dads, who often do not seek out other dads and just try to deal with everything by themselves,
out of pride or stubbornness, or inability to share with fellow men. However, when confronted with such inanities
I just smile them away and think about how many things I have to get on with as a dad and waste little mental
energy on the prejudices, stereotypes, and tropes that people - a lot of them well-meaning women, sadly - throw
at you without even stopping to think about me as a real person with feelings, pride, and competence as a parent.
Thankfully I meet lots of wonderful people in my walks with my little child, who are very nice to us both and so
I know that the world is ready for stay-at-home dads and it is no longer ‘weird’.
Well, I said my piece!
Away to recharge my batteries.
Good night, all.