Before I launch, I realize I need to stop watching Good Morning America.
Today's offering was just beyond beyond.
First, according to my calendar, Father's Day is this coming Sunday. So where are the segments honoring fathers? Today, there was a long segment on a recent contest sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine to find the husband/father who did the most housework in the US and reward him. The winner is a guy who works full time (and so does his wife), then he comes home and does all the housekeeping and cooking for his wife and 14 month old daughter. He works 24/7, scrubbing, dusting, everything. He proudly described his cleaning tips. Then they gave him and a male soap actor a mock "contest" where the two competed in a timed window washing, rug vacuuming, and pancake flipping. The soap actor exaggerated his incompetence, while the housecleaning superdad showed off his domestic prowess. I thought I was going to throw up. Superdad's pregnant wife was standing by holding their daughter, just beaming about what a hard worker he is. Good Housekeeping gave him $22,000 of stuff including a plasma TV. They also talked about the 2 runners up, one of whom works 14 hour days and still does everything else around the house for wife and kids. This was presented as the ideal to which all men should aspire. The point was made that these men feel their marriages are better because they work so hard around the house. Wow, we really need to set the bar just a little higher for dad, don't you think?
Flash forward through one commercial break to the next segment highlighting Linda Hirshman's book: Get To Work - A Manifesto For Women. This lady is the epitome of a condescending, elitist, radical feminazi bitch from hell. I'm on my fourth cup of coffee so bear with me.http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/story?id=2067008&page=1
This is pure poison. What she's saying is that women who are full time homemakers are not realizing their potential, that this job is not sufficient for a full adult life, that they're making themselves dependent. She says SAHM's do what they do because they enjoy it - not because of any benefit to the children or family. In other words, SAHM's are inferior to the likes of her because they can't possibly be fulfilling their intellectual potential. Her arrogance is absolutely breathtaking.
Interestingly, the interviewer was a young woman who has 2 small children, and her husband is the stay at home parent. Hirshman does not make the point that a man who is a SAHD is somehow stunting his intellectual growth or making himself dependent on his wife. What a double standard ! When the reporter talked about her particular family's choice, Hirshman kept making the point that this wasn't about any one family's choice, it's a sociological fact that women become dependent and don't realize their full potential if they don't work full time outside the home. Women need to be in the world of adults, she says. (I suppose the companionship of other stay at home parents doesn't count, because they're just childish dependents who aren't true adults).
Then Hirshman said, and I'm not kidding, "Where are the fathers? I'm always skeptical of any choice women make that men can't. Where are the fathers spending time with the children?" And she's saying this to a woman whose husband is a stay at home dad. Unbelievable.
Now - juxtapose these two segments together for just a second and try to find some logic. The ideal man, according to this reasoning, is someone who works full time outside the home, then spends all his time afterwards doing all the household work. The kids go to daycare, and mom works full time, then she comes home to bask in her intellectual fulfillment while dad does the drudgery. He gets a "better marriage" and a plasma TV.
Where are the fathers in this model? They sure don't have time to spend with their kids - with both parents working full time and dad doing all the housework besides. In Hirshman's world, it's wrong for one parent to concentrate on the home front so both parents actually have some time to relax with the kids and each other. She even goes so far as to say that women shouldn't have more than one child, because women tend to leave the workplace more often after the second child. I think I hear China calling.
True to Dr. E's prediction, I was struck by a commercial last night. Just in time for Father's Day. Maybe some of you saw it. I don't remember if it was for Craftsman, or TrueValue Hardware (obviously a poor commercial as I can't remember the product), but it jumped from father to father using tools, and singing a silly song about how they don't know what they're doing. They messed everything up - total baffoons. The last poor guy cut the power to his house while trying to repair something. Great way to sell tools.
It's really sad that we've gone from Father Knows Best in this country, to Father Doesn't Know What The Hell He's Doing.