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Happy New Year!

You know what I like about 2013? Here's what I like about 2013.

Commercials.

I'm not kidding. I'm really digging TV commercials lately. Holy shit...there are commercials of....of MEN being nurturing and COMPETENT with children!

Now...we don't watch a whole lot of TV. We're Netflix, PBS, and board game type folks in the Muskegon Critic household. In fact...not long ago when we watched TV my youngest son asked me why the show stopped. The concept of "commercials" is sort of foreign to him. I know, right? I love that he's not exposed to the crap, but on the other hand, he's not building up a resistance and cynicism to ads. So......who knows if it's good.

Anyway....

Where was I?

Ah! Yes....commercials!

...over the past few years I've been a stay at home father. Yes, I do some contract work while being home. But I've been the primary care giver for our kids for most of 8 years. And I admit...watching media images of the mother as the primary care giver while the father is depicted as some bumbling, clueless entity around his children has kind of gotten up my nose.  

But lately there are more commercials of GUYS with CHILDREN being not bumbling idiots. I just saw a Tide commercial of a guy folding laundry with his daughter. I know, it's a stupid thing to get all sentimental about. But it really means a lot to me.

In all seriousness, I can't express how.......how..............what's the word?

How, I guess, validating it is to start seeing media images of fathers who are nurturing, competent parents rather than the butt of a joke.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Really glad to see this. I'm been annoyed that, (0+ / 0-)

      for the last twenty years, TV has decided that fathers, and not only in commercials, are to be constantly portrayed as either beasts or boobs. Philanderers, child abusers, or silly incompetents...it's liked we flipped the 1950s theme of women as drudges, floozies or silly incompetents.

      I'm a woman, but as someone who lives in the real world of individual people, I get awfully tired of seeing men treated like this. Especially in commercials.

      So if that's changing, three cheers!

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:31:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our family is similar... (5+ / 0-)

    very little commercial TV and a dad who was the stay at home for quiet a long time. I remember the day that my kids read in the paper that dads weren't generally the ones at home or doing the bulk of the care-taking. They were mouths wide open and didn't quite believe it was true.

    Runs in the family. My nephew once told my sister that he didn't want to be a dad when he grew up - dads had to do too much housework (his dad was also at home or at least there after school when the kids got home).

    I blame Bill Cosby for portraying husbands/fathers as bumblers in the face of their partners and kids, but if you watch Leave it to Beaver closely, you can see some of that going on there, too. It's subtle, but it's there.

    •  Actually, compared to most TV dads, Bill Cosby (0+ / 0-)

      ain't bad.

      Which goes to show how awful dads, and men in general, are portrayed.

      For example, I can't stand to watch Everyone Loves Raymond.  Why would anyone love such a dimwit?

      As for commercials....don't get me started.

      Guys, if this is changing, I say "Bully!"

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:35:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes I wonder (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, Muskegon Critic

    how much the media (most especially including advertisers) have been influenced by the NYT.

    Consider: both are based in NYC.  The NYT has run lots of stories (mostly feature stories in sections like Style) about stay at home dads, whether in Manhattan or (mostly) Brooklyn...and those dads are probably also friends of people in advertising b/c if you can afford to be a one-income household with children in the five boroughs, you are NOT hurting for money.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:29:10 AM PST

  •  Another non viewer here though my other (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, Muskegon Critic

    half does.  That's really heartening.

    This situation was becoming fairly commonplace in the seventies with no one thinking too much about it as best that I can recall.  They're a good many reasons why the father might be the principal caregiver and sometimes because they're just better at doing it.  Also with the increase in two worker familes, the fathers began to share the household chores with the mothers, doing whatever was needed.  A lot more than just taking out the trash once a week and limited repairs and such.

    Then Reagan and the drugstore cowboys along with the fundamentalists swept in and began to save America with their stereotypes.  It was built up pretty well by the time of the Clintons when Hillary was endless ridiculed for wanting to do substantive work as First Lady going as far as rumors that she was lesbian, as all feminists were accused of being by the fundamentalists and lockerroom cowboys.

    I hope that we're back to progressive realism again.  If anything would indicate that today it would be marketing.

    •  Oh, God, yes. Remember how she got (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      slammed for saying that she wasn't interested in baking cookies?

      Maybe someday, we'll just let individual people be.....individual people.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:37:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Comment From a Woman With No Children (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, Muskegon Critic

    As I said, I have no children, and I tend to watch DVDs rather than broadcast TV.  Don't even own cable.  I enjoy the TV series BONES on DVD, and just recently watched season 7.  (No spoilers of season 8 please, I'll see it when it comes out on DVD - Thanks)

    All through this series alpha male FBI agent Seeley Booth has had joint custody of Parker, his son.  There are several very nurturing scenes between the two characters.  This season he and his partner Bones (super rational forensic anthropologist) have had a child and moved in together.  There's already scenes of him caring for his daughter.  In addition, Bones' father (played by Ryan O'Neill) is the baby's caregiver while Booth and Bones are at work.

    I don't know if it is art imitating life, or life imitating art but it is long overdue, IMHO.

    BTW, if you ever get a chance to see the Made for TV movie Wait Til Your Mother Gets Home, watch it.  It's about two parents (Dee Wallace and Paul Michael Glaser) with three children, switching roles for a summer.  It came out about the time of Mr. Mom at the theater so was overshadowed, but I think it is a much better, more realistic film.

    Truth is generally the best vindication against slander - Abraham Lincoln; 1864

    by Debis Diatribes on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:59:45 AM PST

  •  You have my respect, MC (0+ / 0-)

    My wife took care of our kids when they were little but now I have the caretaker role while she runs out in the middle of the night to deliver babies.

    I help take care of her disabled 89 yo mother and I do a bunch of other serious family stuff I won't outline here.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:05:03 PM PST

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