In her article, “Dumbing down Dad: How media present husbands, fathers as useless,” Sarah Petersen does a great job in identifying the different elements to society’s treatment of fathers. Petersen acknowledges a problem with the media, but then identifies that society too is slow to help fathers reach their at-home potential with their families.
The most pointed and clear commentary in the article comes from author/speaker (“The Dad Man“) Joe Kelly, who says that the way fathers are treated is a habit. “The habit is that men are of secondary importance in the life of a family,” Kelly told The Deseret News. “Therefore we all kind of expect men to be secondary. And it’s not surprising that attitude plays itself out in many ways in our culture: in media portrayals and in the habits we have as families.”
This is a great point that isn’t discussed often; Kelly feels that fathers aren’t being actively victimized, but that it’s this attitude habit that keeps the cycle of dad-bashing alive. The image of fathers in television shows, commercials and advertisements portrays an attitude that fathers are, as Kelly says, “secondary” in taking care of family. But does that attitude explain how it plays out with dads looking as if they’re in-line with the kids in commercials? Possibly.
Head on over to The Deseret News (linked below) and check out Petersen’s article. It’s one of the better ones that recaps the struggles modern fathers are facing.