Father’s Day? Feh.
We know Father’s Day is coming when all the amazing brunch places and luxury day spas are completely booked.
Flowers.com and Godiva.com send 35 emails a day. Huffington Post “reporters” compile “Funniest Tweets from Dads,” quipping about leaving him alone for an hour to take a scented bubble bath with a chilled bottle of rosé. Without the kids knocking on the bathroom door because they have to go.
Sorry — I was thinking of Mother’s Day.
On Mother’s Day, moms have earned complete royal treatment, starting with one day off, for chrissake, from the 364 other days on for nonstop mom craziness, anger, stress, and dying for an alcoholic beverage.
In contrast, Father’s Day is the Hallmarkiest of made-up holidays, rivaling National Odor-Killing Orthopedic Shoe Insert Day, sponsored by Dr. Scholls and Febreze (coincidentally falling on the same Sunday).
EVERY DAY IS FREAKING FATHERS DAY, moms hilariously tweet-seethe, with bitter laughing emoji.
Worse than not deserving a holiday, fathers make mothers’ lives a Dantean circle of hell. This is according to the progressive gender issue-obsessed media that I read for the pleasure of being irritated.
Dads apparently are still not sharing the family load equally — even after all the gender evolution, enlightenment, two-income parenting, and extreme guilting. As Dr. Darcy Lockman, author of the forthcoming book All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership, explained in the New York Times:
“The optimistic tale of the modern, involved dad has been greatly exaggerated. The amount of child care men performed rose throughout the 1980s and ’90s, but then began to level off without ever reaching parity. Mothers still shoulder 65 percent of child-care work. In academic journals, family researchers caution that the ‘culture of fatherhood’ has changed more than fathers’ actual behavior.”
Dads, research shows, are the reason moms work harder, earn less, stress more, and climb more slowly up the career ladder.
Dads make moms lean in at work, at home, and also at book club, because moms have no time to read anything except to catch up on work emails at 2 a.m.
Dads are the reason moms drink too much wine at book club.
Dads are why more moms aren’t Fortune 500 CEOs, a job that requires abandoning family.
We all know from advice columnists, lifestyle writers quoting Ph.D.s, family sitcoms, and ads, memes, tweets, and bestselling books that dads are, to use the clinical term borrowed from golf, “below par.” (Which is good in golf but bad in parenting.) That’s because 100 percent of dads, give or take, are men.
And we all know men — even the “good ones” — are immature clueless nincompoops, completely helpless when picking out guest bathroom drawer knobs.
Men can’t multitask like women, for instance, racing in heavy traffic while issuing expletive-laced guidance to other drivers, texting detailed instructions to the nanny about the latest food sensitivities, and helping the kids in the back seat prepare for AP calculus so as to get a free ride at the best private colleges, all while delivering a jaw-dropping, internet-breaking live TED talk about the myth of equal partnership.
In addition, men lack any sense or sensibility, not having read, understood, or wept over Jane Austen. Men have caused Every Bad Thing in History. Men make wars. Men hurt the environment and everything and everyone, including themselves. Men even #MeToo men!
Men like to blow up stuff, such as countries and the world. Men are driving humanity to The Apocalypse, after which they’ll screw up The Rapture.
Men elected and cheer Trump for being the worst a man can be. Men need to be taught by a razor commercial to be decent human beings and avoid role-modeling “toxic masculinity” for their sons.
Men are either “big swinging dicks” or need to “grow a pair,” often both.
Men can’t see outrageous squalor: unwashed laundry, dirty dishes in the sink, wet towels on the floor, insufficiently cute children’s outfits.
Men are completely helpless around the house. Except for the occasional mowing, mulching, sawing, nailing, dry-walling, plumbing, power-washing, falling off the roof while repairing it, arguing with repairmen who know how to fix things, or keeping the 52” Samsung TV warm.
Worst of all, men think “flocking” is something hilariously filthy from Urban Dictionary, instead of a perfect wallpaper option for the master bedroom.
So go ahead, why don’t you, and fill in the blank “men are ________” with any snarky generalization or back-handed compliment, such as “he means well.” As a dad friend says, “After 50,000 years of being jerks, men have it coming.”
Yet, for all of men’s shortcomings:
Most of my male friends who are dads are fantastic fathers. They’re engaged, attentive, and share the family load out of love and sense of duty, parenthood, and fairness. They also fear their spouses will kick their ever-lovin’ asses if they don’t glance away from March Madness for a few minutes and step the f*ck up.
Many people I know, women and men, have or had great fathers. Loving, involved, patient, reliable, generous, strong, supportive, and inspiring fathers. Great men. True role models. The best a man can be.
So while it’s fun to snark about dads/men, it seems micro- if not macro-aggressive, lazily replaying and reinforcing gender stereotypes and smears, even if for hoots, even if dads/men have earned the chortles and need to grow a pair.
On Father’s Day, for at least 24 hours, could we time-out from the dad/man-shaming? And celebrate the millions of “good ones”?
After all, they mean well.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.