Why Are We Still Celebrating When Dads Take Care Of The Kids?

Photo: Liam Norris/Getty Images.
On Saturday, women (and men) made history marching for equality all around the world.

Also, some dudes in Montclair, NJ, watched their own children for a day — and The New York Times seemed to think it was newsworthy.

Unfortunately, I'm not kidding. On Sunday, the Times ran a story called "How Vital Are Women? This Town Found Out as They Left to March," (The piece was previously titled "When 'Mommy Has To March,' Routines Shift." Excuse me while I barf.)

The article, penned by a male journalist, followed four men's journeys as they spend the entire day taking care of their kids because their wives were at one of the many Women's Marches. This "shift" led to routines being "radically altered" as "many fathers tried to meet weekend demands alone for a change."

Welcome to the 1950s. In 2017, fathers raising their kids shouldn't be deemed newsworthy.

The piece is centered on the notion that mothers are actually superwomen who are in charge of the household, and men are poor, unfortunate souls who could accidentally let their kids eat poison ivy because they just don't know any better.

I'm pretty sure dads everywhere would disagree with this.

It also implies that being a father is somehow a part-time gig. But the thing is that "Daddy" is not just "taking care" of his kids, as if he was a babysitter. He's actually raising them, like you know, he is supposed to do. And using over 800 words to celebrate that fact as if it's a remarkable event is tone-deaf, specially in the context of the march.

To make matters worse, we're (yet again) focusing on men's so-called struggles when talking about this women's event. One dad couldn't see the Rutgers University men's basketball game because he was feeding his kids leftover pizza and cleaning the fridge while his wife was marching. Boo-freakin'-hoo.

The tone of the piece implies that it was hard for these men to do care for their kids without the support of their partner.

But isn't this the life of many single parents out there? The article completely overlooks that single fatherhood has been on the rise for a while now now. Where are the congratulatory cookies for those parents who raise their kids without a partner every day?

As a young woman, I've talked with my partner about what our potential family could look like if we ever decide to give our furry child some human siblings. And in that equation, he wouldn't "babysit" our children or moan about how he's missing the Red Sox's game because he's changing diapers. He would take care of our hypothetical kids without giving it a second thought, because it's his goddamn responsibility, not some award-winning effort.

In this day and age, women are no longer the primary caregivers and men aren't the primary breadwinners. Millions of women marched on Saturday to remind the world of the progress we've made — and how we need to do everything in our power to keep from sliding back into a regressive way of thinking. And a simple way to start is by normalizing dads caring for their kids — not dedicating a ridiculous trend piece on the topic.

It's 2017. We can do better than this.
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