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  #1  
Old 02-18-2020, 09:19 AM
LovingDad1234 LovingDad1234 is offline
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Default Societal Bias versus Men as Parents?

Hope this is the right forum for this thread, but just thought I would share a few thoughts regarding how the media portrays things in ways that don't help at all.

Prior to being a dad, I never paid attention to television commercials or movies in how dads are portrayed. Then I went through the ringer in court and now find myself a single father. I have a wonderful and stable career, household with bedrooms for the kids, a fridge full of their food, toys to their every liking, and am a wonderful cook. I tend to their needs, play with them to their hearts content, bring them to medical and dental appointments, etc...

Yet I found myself in court trying to dismay a "myth" of sorts that a dad cannot possibly care for kids the same as a mom can. My ex was trying to say that it was an abomination that a man can give a 3 year old daughter a bath. Or that I wouldn't know how to tend to a scraped knee, or would let the house fall apart, etc.. The reality in my case is that mom doesn't know how to cook and is constantly at fast food joints, mom is the disorganized one constantly late and forgetful, and mom's house looks like a tornado went through it.

In watching movies, the divorced dad is ALWAYS forgetting kids' birthdays, or even what age their kids are, and is seen as having his life upside down. The divorced dad does not parent at all but rather only brings the kids to amusements parks on their weekend. The divorced dad cannot cook and feeds the kids popcorn for dinner while putting out a fire because he microwaved aluminum. The divorced dad does not have his life together and is lost, needing a woman in his life to set things straight.

Television commercials are not better. They always show the dad as being useless at parenting. Fumbling with doing laundry, or forgetting to pick up kids at soccer practices. Forgetting the wedding anniversary, or trying to juggle the kids and shopping cart in a grocery store, which of course is never an issue for mom. Mom knows best, ha ha ha.

Prior to being a single dad, I never paid attention to these things. But as a single dad, I take offence to how single dad's are portrayed, or how dads in general are portrayed in that they are lost without the mom around. The reality is that I do the groceries with kids and they gladly help out and are polite and well mannered in the store. We make dinner together. We do dishes together afterwards. We enjoy a movie in the evening, and I read to the little one before I tuck her into bed. Movies and television commercials should not go out of their way to portray single dads as being useless. That too often gets then translated into court documents from parents trying to limit the involvement of the other parent in their kids lives.
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:03 AM
UnderPressure UnderPressure is offline
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You are absolutely right and it is a pervasive bias that we are indoctrinated with and it is constantly reinforced. The good news is that it is starting to change, at least in some areas like 50/50 parenting time being the expectation. The societal part will take several generations to catch up to that I suspect.

What I am struggling with is how mom portrays doing everything for the kids as better parenting while I see the opposite. She sees it as better that she washes, dries and outs away all the kids clothes. see a woman with control issues who has to have things a certain way. I do laundry too but I have the kids participate. They bring their laundry baskets, help sort into piles and load the machines. When dried we sit down together and they sort out their things, fold them and put them away themselves. Not always of course - sometimes I might do more of the steps depending on timing. Similar patterns around cleaning and groceries, meal prep and cleanup. Her and her mother do everything with the result being the kids have never had any involvement in these basic life skills.

What her and her mother see as taking good care of the children I see as poor parenting. When I have the kids 50% they will be involved and participating (age appropriate of course) in all these basic life skills. What society may see as dad nit doing as much for them I see as raising children to be functional adults. So I am focusing on raising kids in a way that builds their skills and gives them more ownership and control over their own lives. I know their mother will never see that and to some degree already uses it against me. Short term the kids are happier with watching tv than cleaning and doing meal planning and groceries for the week. Long term I am confident I am doing the right thing and although the kids might not appreciate it now as they grow up into strong, healthy and happy adults they will someday realize it. Even if they never do, I know itís the best thing for them even if itís not the easiest for me, even if society will assume itís because dads canít do it and even if the kids are upset at having to share the cooking, cleaning and home care duties when they live with dad.

Best interests of the kids gents, no matter what. Do what you know is the best for the kids despite this societal bias.
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:34 PM
LovingDad1234 LovingDad1234 is offline
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Fully agree with everything you said. Particularly the part you described about "control". My whole court process was about getting the mom to agree to give up control. She can have all the control she wants during her 50%. Otherwise, recognize that the kids have TWO parents, and TWO sets of extended families.

Too often I am at the grocery store and I see the same thing over and over again. Powerful mom barking at the kids. Borderline having a breakdown. Meanwhile you see me with the kids and its easy-going, non-frantic, etc.. Kids want to help make dinner? Sure! We are teaching life skills as you mentioned.

However, television, media, commercials, and movies constantly portray dads, especially divorced dads as bumbling goofs who don't know their kids' birthdays! Can't cook, or bother to show up to kids's events. Dad always forgetting to attend recitals as they are more interested in themselves than the kids. Mel Gibson in the movie What Women Want doesnt know his daughter's age. John Cusack in 2012 is SUPER later to pick up kids and doesn't know that one of them wets the bed. Dad night is pizza night in all TV commercials because dad can't cook. Or TV commercials show how "mom knows best" and is the glue that holds the household together. The reality is that dad's are often more put together than mom, not barking orders at the kids and even more patient, organized, and in fact just as good as parents. Wish the media and TV would stop taking "jabs" at single or divorced dads suggesting they are incompetent....
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:51 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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It must be horrible to be a male in this society. I don't know HOW you guys do it. Good lord. And if you're white, it must be doubly hard.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:27 PM
LovingDad1234 LovingDad1234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
It must be horrible to be a male in this society. I don't know HOW you guys do it. Good lord. And if you're white, it must be doubly hard.
I feel you are totally missing the point of the thread. The point is how single or divorced dads are portrayed in society, and how media outlets donít help the situation.
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Old Today, 02:02 PM
Resident sceptic Resident sceptic is offline
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The feminist propaganda from the government is a good vote getter and this message has permeated the business community, so itís good business propaganda too, where itís all about the money. Whatever happened to equality? What ever happened to inclusivity? Do two wrongs make a right?

Women have always had an advantage in Family Court it seems, where the biological mother is automatically assumed to be the best parent. My family has been dealing with a lying, cheating, conniving mother who alienates the children, and mentally and physically abuses them. The older boy has missed approximately 120 days of school over four years in her care; the younger child about 70 days. Both are failing, the younger boy is failing grade 2. The mother only helps when she has to to maintain the appearance of parenthood.

It seems when weíre dealing with the courts it too is all about the money and not challenging the mother; indeed it would seem to be ALL about the mother and her wishes and the children have NO rights. The motherís lies and cons deemed as the ďnormalĒ way things operate - I do wish with all my heart when the court finds someone to be lying, the offender would be fined or loose their case and put a stop to this. I believe this one factor; being able to get away with lies and deceit handcuffs and weakens the court.

Getting back to the zeitgeist of our country as led by our government: We get women who are less qualified for a job, being hired or promoted because of her sex. It is wrong to not promote a woman who is well qualified just as it is wrong to promote a man with lesser qualification. I just want the best qualified. Simple.
We get commercials on TV from charities and from our government who promote only helping females, at home and abroad. Our schools want boys to behave like girls and so on...

So thatís one shoe. People in our governments and business should think about the damaging imbalance in our society created by not facing the real problem of inequality and inclusiveness. The fallout is going to be horrible. We will have a generation of angry children, boys in particular, who feel left behind or left in the care of a dysfunctional parent and who themselves are now dysfunctional. Thatís the other shoe.

Is getting votes and making money really more important than our children? We have to fix this; not with a feminist agenda but with a meaningful, strong agenda of equality and inclusiveness. No, two wrongs do not make a right and never will and it is only dishonesty and self interest that allows such a notion to to exist in our institutions.
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