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Are Dad Bloggers Attacking Father Stereotypes or Windmills?


Session: How Dad Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes
Speaker: Ron Mattocks

Are Dad Bloggers Attacking Father Stereotypes or Windmills?

Remember Don Quixote, the middle-aged country gentlemen who lost touch with reality and charged off to fight what he thought were giants, but what were really windmills?  (Do schools even teach this anymore?)  Sometimes I wonder if us dad bloggers aren’t like Don Quixote when we get all up in arms about stereotyped fathers in the media. Are we mistaking a windmill for a giant?

Dopes Are Tropes

Am I implying the “dumb dad” shtick and other negative stereotypes don’t exists? Not at all. However, pointing to the demigod-like fathers of the 50’s as the gold standard for pop culture paternity is a poor argument for demanding a modern reboot. In a sense, these depictions of infallible fathers were  the least realistic of them all. Furthermore, to say that TV dads have only declined since is a faulty assumption too because for every bad dad shown over the ensuing decades, a good one can be found to counter it.  Even today, for every Tony Soprano and Peter Griffin, there’s a Don Draper and Homer Simpson (Gasp! That’s right, Draper and Simpson. Ask me why in LA.)

The truth of it is, the media doesn’t get motherhood right either. Michael Keaton’s Mr. Mom isn’t  any more accurate than Diane Keaton ’s supermom in Baby Boom. In those early years, behind every all-knowing dad stood a mom in heels and pearls mopping a floor; now behind every fat slob in a La-Z-Boy stands a disproportionally gorgeous wife and mother bringing him nachos before the big game. Yeah, that’s realistic.

Still, these inaccurate portrayals aren’t going to change, not as long as profits can be made from them. To network and ad execs, dumb dads and tolerant wives are merely tropes—story devices meant to contextualize whatever it is they’re hawking.  In ad campaigns marketers use mom and dad as tropes in several ways, for example:  1) The Empowered Woman and Impotent Man where a woman is told she doesn’t need a man to make a purchase decision when she can dupe him instead, and 2) The Oafish Man and Longsuffering Woman who accepts that she can’t change her bumbling man and endures aided by consumer products.

Wrong? Yes. But does that mean we mount a steed and follow Don Quixote into the fray?

Ragu: Giant or Giant Windmill?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Why did the spaghetti sauce cross the dad blogger? Give up? To get brand awareness. As a former VP of sales and marketing, I agree, the recent Ragu campaign slighting dads was both lame and ill-conceived. However, if the intent was to gain exposure among parent bloggers, when the numbers hit some ad exec’s desk, I guarantee he yelled, “Winning!” and then downed a pint of tiger’s blood.

The significance of Ragu-gate, though, is that it marks the first instance when a large portion of the dad blogger community responded in force. That’s a significant indicator of dad’s growing social media influence. However, despite both this and Ragu’s mistakes, some feel the situation was somewhat tarnished by the reaction itself.

One account rep remarked to me that they were “put off” by the backlash, not because the sentiment was wrong, but because the reactionary nature of some diatribes created the potential for current and future clients to be more hesitant about working with dad bloggers. Several veteran mom bloggers expressed a similar sentiment, likening it to the controversy over the varied reactions of the “Motrin Moms” back in the days when moms and brands were still feeling each other out.

In the end, though, Ragu got what it wanted. And dads? Ragu-gate’s widespread visibility may have given dad bloggers an added degree of credibility as influencers in the estimation of brands and advertisers. But the incident comes with a cautionary tale of how a right message can get lost in the wrong delivery, something moms and brands already know. But regardless of the outcome here, I have to ask, were we attacking a media misandry giant, or just another windmill.

When Did Giants Become Windmills?

For Don Quixote, his delusions stemmed from his getting too caught up in adventure books. Applying this to us dad and the fight against stereotypes, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and miss what’s really happening along the way. Are fathers still largely misrepresented? Yes. Do women still control household purchasing power? Yes (sort of). But is there a paradigm shift running counter to the above premises? The answer is also yes. Consider this:

That same WSJ article also pointed out that, although still a bit feeble, today’s sitcom dads are confident, family men who are okay with housework and proficient at child rearing. Dumb dads and mom-centered advertising may still exist, but even so, the mainstream media is starting to get it.

Real Giants: The Makers of “Mooks”

Unlike Don Quixote’s self-fabricated monsters, real giants that are more damaging to fathers, do exist. Despite their overall positive treatment, the new dads on shows like Man Up and Up All Night, are plagued by their struggle to define their own masculine identity. Are they  acting like men or are they still boys? Are they being too macho, or too feminine? Where did this male identity crisis come from? Three words: AXE Body Spray.

Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but AXE marketing campaigns are a prime example of the real problem. Commercials showing mobs of sex-crazed women ripping the clothes off a teenage boy seconds after he applies a little body spray sends unrealistic and confusing messages to young impressionable males. And these images are far more prevalent in pop-culture than the stupid dads. According to the book, Packaging Boyhood: Saving Our Sons From Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes, marketers are overtly telling boys they are supposed to be everything from underachieving nobodies to win-at-all-cost super jocks.

Such messages are damaging to boys’ self-esteem, delaying their entry into emotional adulthood, and what’s worse is that media, marketing and ad execs and are creating a generation of “mooks,” a term coined during an episode of PBS’s Frontline (“The Merchants of Cool”) in reference to selfish, superficial, young males who act like morons—morons who will likely be fathers themselves. By comparison, how a spaghetti sauce portrays me seems silly when some stink spray wants to turn my three boys into characters from the Jersey Shore. (Coincidentally, both Ragu and AXE are owned by Unilever.)

Dad Bloggers are Not Don Quixote

Unlike, the farcical Don Quixote, dad bloggers have real issues to confront, and to be blunt, it’s not what the mainstream media thinks of us as fathers; it’s what the mainstream media is telling our sons about what it means to be a man. The good news, though, is that men as consumers arguably have more of a voice in shaping brand messages now, more than ever through the power of social media.

The days of traditional marketing campaigns are over, and  brands are having to accept that they no longer control the message. Some of that control is now within the grasp of dad bloggers, and as the industry continues to gauge our influence, brands are listening. What are we going to say, and which brands should we be talking to?

Personally, what the mainstream media says about me as a father isn’t as important as what my kids think of me as a parent. My job is to do what’s best for them, so if Ragu runs a two-for-one deal—guess what’s for dinner, kids? And if an auto maker advertises their “Dad is a Turd” Spring Sell-A-Thon, but yet they offer a quality-made, vehicle that’s right for my family, then let’s make a deal.

It’s not that I’m ambivalent. I’m not. But, being already secure with my masculine identity, as a father I have a greater responsibilities to protect my sons (and daughters) from harmful influences, than I do protecting my image. So go ahead, CEOs and Media Moguls, make all the money you want off this “stupid” dad. But try making e a buck from telling my sons they’re stupid, and well, we’re going to have words.

* * *

If you’d like to continue this discussion, I invite you to join the outstanding team of Kevin Metzger, Jim Lin, Bruce Sallan, and myself for the Type A Parent panel, How Dad Bloggers Can Bust the Father Stereotypes.


  • Backpacking Dad

    No. No no no no.

    I don’t even know where to start here, Ron, but the easiest place to point out a mistake is the “I have other things to worry about” argument. As a comparison, consider the argument “I shouldn’t try to do anything to diminish gang violence or poverty in the United States, because there are genocidal civil wars in Africa”.

    Also, thinking that the idiot dad trope is something that only impacts guys who are insecure in their masculinity is myopic. It impacts your sons and daughters, your friends, your wife. Reactions to it may be ineffective or counter-productive, as you suggest, but that doesn’t mean we stop looking for a way to answer it. And I don’t even really agree that reactions so far have been useless.

    • R_Mattocks

      Well, hmmm. 

      I don’t know if there’s any other way to put this, but I think you might be missing the point (and we can blame me if it was poorly articulated). So, let’s see, where to begin…

      Starting with the tropes–as I said it’s a device, not some insidiousness plot to destroy men with a magic bullet from the grassy knoll. To a certain extent, there is a feminist influence, but even at that I’m not going to get up in arms about, because the ironic part here is that, guess who the majority of people are making up these parts? Men. Why is that? Why are men making other men look stupid in the media? $$$$$ 

      Ragu–There’s two points here as to why it is useful. 1) there is significance because it demonstrated the dad bloggers have a unified community 2) but it’s also a matter of not what we say, but how we say it. And let me clarify too, I’m not going to fault anyone for the reaction, because passion is important–passion was a driver in gaining the visibility. But if we’re not mindful of it, then we just damage our own collective credibility.

      The fact of the matter is we have had an impact on brands, aaaaaand there are strong indications that the mainstream media is portraying dads positively and more reflective of the times. But there’s this area that’s still an issue with regard to men and their masculinity. Furthermore, many of these characters in the examples I referenced, are being written by guys who are dealing with that struggle personally. Why? 

      Because, among several other factors, brands are telling boys what they should be and what being a man is, and those messages are way off base. So it’s lending itself to a generation of men who are struggling with their male identity. If they’re struggling, then how do they teach their sons?

      And here’s where you’re going to hate me. Your analogy is fundamentally off-base. The issues in Africa and the US have no direct correlation. The issue between dads and sons does. If I continue to go after all the Ragus I want about how they portray me, but if I don’t apply my daddy blogger “influence” against AXE’s false messages to my impressionable young sons, then I’m passively lending myself to the problem young men are dealing with. So yes, I’m not so concerned with gang violence (dad stereotypes), because there’s African genocide (brands are assaulting our sons), the obvious difference, though, is that my son will grow up to be a dad. Stopping African genocide does nothing to stop gang violence–stopping brand’s poor influence on my boys will help them be more secure men.   

      Why keep trying to cut off a head that going to keep growing back when we need to kill it at the heart by going after the brands that are negatively influencing our sons (and daughters). I don’t think that’s short-sighted; it’s actually quite the opposite. And I haven’t been seeing this conversation take place.

      • Backpacking Dad

        Wow, Ron. You’re right, I mistook what your claim really was. But that’s because I never thought you’d be making the even-more-suspect claim that the problem with the portrayal of dads in media campaigns is that someone got to the boys when they were young. 

        There are two problems with this thought: 1) Thinking of the relationship between dads in the media and brands targeting young men as a chicken/egg one. 2) Thinking that the latter is the egg. I think you’re inventing a causal relationship, and apart from the sheer egregiousness of marketing at boys in the first place, there’s no EVIDENTIAL motivation for doing that. The idiot-dad/distanced-dad stereotype has been around for DECADES. It’s not the result of a generation of boys being marketed to by selling them on laziness. THAT tactic didn’t show up until recently.

        If there is a chicken/egg relationship, and I don’t even think there is one, it goes the other way.

        So in the end, I guess I can say “huzzah!” to you for noting that marketing to boys is ALSO a really terrible thing that needs some conversation. But I can’t get on board with the thought that dad bloggers are somehow choosing the fruitless battle over the meaningful one.  And the data you cite in the piece shows the media is growing more aware of dads as consumers, at least. It would be hard to claim that as proof of the success of what dad bloggers, among others, have been doing, but the temptation is very strong. To instead see that as reason to not make so much hay about it anymore, since the media is changing in the right direction, as you seem to be doing here, is definitely not the right approach. Half a bridge is still not a bridge.

        • R_Mattocks

          First off, Sean let me say that if you feel in anyway that by countering your perspective, this is anyway personal, I assure you it’s not. And if I so, it’s inadvertent. You’re a respected voice in the community, and you can count me among those who do. 

          That all said, I’m not backing down from my position. I never said this was an on-going cycle of brands getting to boys first. I said that’s the cycle that’s playing out now—there’s tons of research that indicates this, I referenced one book from among many along with a credible documentary, and then pointed to several new television programs that show signs of this trend. That’s what’s going on now, and the shear volume of these messages to boys dwarfs how dads are being shown. 

          In previous years, other factors, such as feminism for example, were involved that I could’ve gone into but then this damn post would’ve required chapter headings. Another one of the factors that contributed to a lot of the dumb dad imagery in the late 80’s & 90’s came as a result of angry sons who created stereotypical bumbling  dad characters as a backlash to their emotionally unavailable baby boomer fathers. The reason I didn’t was because I couldn’t find the article I read to cite it. Point being, the dumb dad thing has come about for different reasons, but regardless, the up and coming generation of boys is under assault from brands and marketers like never before. And yes, if you read Packaging Boyhood, or watch the PBS documentary (and I’m glad to pass on some more resources), there is an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting a relationship.

          One very good point that another dad raised which I wish I would’ve thought of for this post is that there is a difference between the media showing the dumb dad and the media *blaming* the dad for whatever is wrong because he’s the man. Ragu, I couldn’t care less about, but when Mattel put out the homeless American Doll whose dad abandoned her on the streets, yeah, that ticked me off. Why? Because Mattel was telling kids directly that dads are to blame for this poor doll’s troubles. And I wrote a letter to the CEO saying just that. And so, to me, there’s a difference between those two scenarios, and as such, I don’t think taking a brand to task is a waste of time. So maybe it’s a more a matter of picking and choosing those battles.

          Finally, there are indeed indicators that dad bloggers are having an impact or at least are being given serious consideration.

          – One of the WSJ articles I link to speaks directly to the fact of dad bloggers being disgruntled about the P&C ads about Olympic moms and how than created a dialogue
          – P&G also shelled out a cool million or so to start Man of the House and then staffed the writing pen primarily with dad bloggers
          – The Good Men Project started as a non-profit site hoping to gain larger corporate sponsors, but it wasn’t until they add the DadsGood portion that brands were more interested & even then the brands were only interested in working with the dad blogger side of it.
          – And then there’s the lists, those wonderful silly Top Dad blogger lists like the ones put out by those wacky quacks at Cision–we all know they’re arbitrary and use fuzzy math, but outside of our happy band, several account reps from 3 different, major PR firms have told me that they and clients take several of those lists seriously.  Why? Because they consider us to be influencers. 

          Those are just a few cursory example, so if I need to pull out more, I can. For now, however, I’m not going to beat the horse into glue.  

          It’s at this point, I think we both would have to admit, we’re not seeing eye to eye, nor will we. That’s okay with me. If you want to rebut this comment, I welcome what you have to say. But also know that I’m probably not going to counter again–not out of any hard feelings or maliciousness, but because I don’t have anything more to say on the matter.

          And at the end of the day, although we might differ on what constitutes this, we both want the same things–emotionally healthy families and the respect that’s due us.     

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we should write about what we are as fathers, husbands and friends and hope taht sets a funny, weird, but good example?

    I’m far from perfect but I show up (see my blog post title How Soon is Now?). Mom bloggers are getting caught up in not only stereotypes but also selling how “cool” “different” “nontradiontional” they are instead of just writing about their lives honestly.

    I try to avoid blogs by dudes or dudettes that use labels and stereotypes.

    Writing about how great you are is disinegenous, writing about how lousy you are is counterproductive. How about writing about yourself, honestly, and watch people get into a whole person.

    good post

    • R_Mattocks

      Thanks Lance. I’ve seen a whole slue of posts by moms and a few dads lamenting the fact that they’ve gotten away from their blog being exactly as you say it should be–honest. I have periods where I’m guilty of it too. People respond to real. Glad you brought this up. 

  • Phil

    Only problem is that these stereotypes exist, to a major degree, in the real world. People have said too many stupid things to me and with my kids to even start tracking. (NOT the babysitter!) Of course it would be nice if the mainstream media (THE major source) could turn it around, but they won’t for the reasons you stated.

    There are few Dad bloggers out there who write like they are the dumb dad in a sitcom, so just by blogging, they are breaking these stereotypes. I make it a point to write about the stuff that I do, mainly raise kids, under the notion that I can do it just as well as as any Mom out there, and I can.

    Until people can open up Parents Magazine and actually read 50% about dads and 50% about moms, dad bloggers need to keep disproving b.s. stereotypes that they are the “lesser parent.”

    And Ragu can stick it. If I see a BOGO at the store, I’ll ignore it like I would anyway and make my OWN damn homemade sauce, without all the crappy “additional” ingredients, not to mention the insane sodium content.

    • R_Mattocks

      Can’t argue there, Phil. Yeah they do exist and they don’t help. I wonder, though, if there are any who feel like it’s okay to act like that because dumb dads on TV enable it to some extent. It’s like the dad blogger who write like they’re the dummy–they’re playing into it on purpose. I didn’t think about this until you mention it, but now I can think of several dad bloggers who do this. For the ones I’m thinking about, it’s ironic because they’re doing it to get a large following so they can attract advertisers. Ironic.

      You making spaghetti sauce just gave me an idea. A bunch of dad bloggers should get together to create a line of “Father Foods” with a tagline: Just Like Papa Used to Make.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve written on a similar topic before. The obvious conclusion is that responsible Dads, versatile Dads, SAHDs, honest, moral, etc… are boring. Boring does not make money. You want to see some normal Dads, tune in to HGTV and watch him buy a house or put up light fixtures.

    I have been so put off by the Dads depicted on television I can’t watch those shows anymore. When people ask me if I saw the last Two And A Half Men,, I only shake my head and say, “Is that show still on?” I even quit watching The Simpsons. I’m making a point to scrunch up my face like I’m smelling something awful every time someone mentions Tim Allen’s new show.

    If the show has a Dad in it at all, chances are I won’t watch it.

    Except for The Walking Dead. Now there’s a Dad I can relate to.

    As for Ragu… too watery.

    • R_Mattocks

      You’re totally right about boring. It’s all about the almighty dollar, and the men who write & produce these shows are willing to debase themselves for it. 

      After I saw the WSJ mention about all the TV pitches they got this year I started counting up all “dad” shows–yeah, there’s a ton. The Tim Allen one I want to see, but it looks suspect. I watched an episode of Suburgatory, and the single dad seemed involved & not dumb, but it portrays his daughter as being more clever than him. Up All Night hasn’t been horrible–it presents the regular mistakes and issues of new parents, but it pokes equal fun of both mom and dad but it’s not malicious. Mom is just as clueless as dad, and really dad is the more competent one.   I know everyone raves about Modern Family, but I just can’t get into it–the dads aren’t horrible, but they’re not too swift either. 

      Dads and zombies… know of it, but haven’t seen it. That will probably change since the wife is transitioning from vampires to zombies. My favorite TV dads: Nathan Fellion on Castle & Johnathan Kent on Smallville. And yeah, I like Don Draper, but there’s a whole other dimension to that that would require a whole post.

      Excellent comment. Thanks. 

  • The JackB

    It is a mix of things really. I am not defined by television shows or marketing campaigns. I am who I choose to be even if it is not always presented that way by the media.

    I don’t buy into what is being sold and I don’t think that all of our spouses/girlfriends/children are taken in by that either. That is not to say there is no effect but that it is mitigated by what we do.

    It is mitigated by what they see from us. My kids may see me as a big goofball, but they won’t tell anyone that I am a buffoon because I am not. They don’t see me act like the boneheads on TV.

    So my level of concern isn’t as high as others.

    • R_Mattocks

      You and I are on the same wavelength Jack. Just live it–be the dad. I think there’s guys out there who play into the stereotype because the shows enable it. If dads would just BE dads at home, they would negate what the media puts out. 

  • Tattie Weasle

    Bringing up boys is very confusing especially as a mum with a dad who isn’t around much due to work. TV portrayals do concern me and I worry about how it influences my sons (5 and 8) at the moment I can control what they watch the BBC here in the UK doesn’t do adverts but it will become more difficult as they get older. Big problem is I don’t know how they should grow up, what boys need in order to grow confidently in this changing world where the roles of men and women are so very different to how I was brought up…wonderfully thought provoking post. Thank you.

    • R_Mattocks

      Tattie, thanks for the comment. It’s a tough deal. My three boys actually live away from me. We talk on the phone almost every night, but still, I have the same worries and concerns as you. When my stepdaughters are watching TV or a movie, and I’m around, I can ask them, “what did you think of that dad?” and we can talk about it. I have no idea what my boys are seeing. I think our only course of action is to just make them feel as loved as possible, and hope they come to us. Thanks again for sharing in the conversation. 

  • Anonymous

    -“As early as 2005, a Parents Television Council study determined that 87% of TV programs had an involved father (up 4% from 2004), 15% were being raised by a single father (up 11%), and only 13% had no father figure (down nearly 4%).”

    This marginal uptick in representation is little consolation in light of the fact that they’re being represented in a negative, inaccurate, and stereotypical fashion. Also, 2005 isn’t very recent and I would venture to surmise that at present those gains have have been reversed.

    -“In a 2010 Yahoo survey of 2,400 men between 18 and 64, 63% said they were the primary decision maker for household purchases, with 51% also claiming they were the primary grocery shopper.”

    This survey was an outlier among a much larger body of credible evidence which shows women continue to make the vast majority(~75%) of household purchases and spending decisions.

    -“Subsidiary brands of major corporations like Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, and Kimberly –Clarke, have started developing pro-dad product campaigns that are targeted toward fathers .”

    They aren’t outpacing the concurrent growth in brands which are dropping fathers(and males in general) as an advertising target altogether, or the development of female focused advertising campaigns by previously neutral companies.

    -“There’s increasing mainstream expression in books (Go the F*#k to Sleep), movies (The Change-Up), and TV (Up All Night)that reflective of involved fathers’ parental frustrations and struggles with work-life balance.”

    Again, this representation has been largely negative, and hasn’t outpaced the concurrent growth of the absurdly positive portrayal of mothers(Supermoms, tiger moms, soccer moms etc. etc.) and women in general

    -“The Wall Street Journal reported that network execs said they heard more pitches this year for shows about the changing dynamics of men, than ever before.”

    And every one of them was either critical or demeaning….

    This statement:
    “Personally, what the mainstream media says about me as a father isn’t as important as what my kids think of me as a parent.”

    Contradicts this statement:
    “So go ahead, CEOs and Media Moguls, make all the money you want off this “stupid” dad. But try making a buck from telling my sons they’re stupid, and well, we’re going to have words.

    Your kids see those “stupid dad” advertisements too and they certainly influence what they think of you as a parent, maybe you dind’t realise it based on the first part of your statement but fathers ARE a type of parent. By not taking issue with the father stereotypes as well your your the one sending your kids a bad message.

  • Anonymous

    “However, pointing to the demigod-like fathers of the 50’s as the gold standard for pop culture paternity is a poor argument for demanding a modern reboot.”

    I dont think “Dad bloggers” want to see Ralph Kramden make a comeback any time soon…or this:

  • Anonymous

             Your absolutely right about AXE body spray, particularly with regards to their “premature perspiration” campaign. It’s as if their marketing executives held a meeting that literally have started with the phrase: “All right guys, whats the most damage we can do to a young mans self-esteem in thirty seconds?”

  • BloggerFather

    Yes, it’s not a big deal. Dads sometimes have a hard time convincing the world they can buy stuff, sell stuff on blogs, or make their children a good pasta, and stay at home dads are still treated as a curiosity even by well-meaning people, but as long as men in general have it much easier than women, do we really have a right to complain about anything? We can walk the park at night, so who are we to complain about pasta?

    However, what C.C. Chapman did in the post that started it all was not whine, not cry out to the Gods of marketing, not complain on behalf of all disadvantaged males, but complain from a position of power. He made fun of a large company that spent a lot of money alienating a lot of people.

    A while ago, I wrote a post about Pampers. While some people agreed with me, a lot of people said the same thing you (and other critics of Chapman) are saying: If that’s what he complains about, he’s living a charmed life.

    Well, I do have a charmed life. Pretty much. And part of that charmed life comes from the ability to use the little money I have to buy a different brand of diapers. I can complain about the way my kids are being marketed to, but I can also cancel my cable and get my kids’  shows streamed without commercials. I can complain about companies not paying attention to me, or I can publicly call them out and tell them I will save a dollar and buy Bertolli. It’s better, anyway. Richer.

    It seems like every lash is followed by a backlash, and I feel the backlash Chapman got from other dads was uncalled for, especially as even he admitted he went a little far with the Ragu Hates Dads title. I understand where you’re coming from, don’t get me wrong, but the attacks on Chapman miss his point: We don’t need Ragu or any other company to pay attention to us–they’re the ones who have recently realized they needed us (dads, not necessarily bloggers), and they’re the ones who will be called out when they fail.

  • Anonymous

    Really great points, looking forward to hearing more.  You do have to pity the ad agencies a bit.  It’s an easy hook, playing to the ‘dumb lug dad’ stereotype.   What are they supposed to say to / about the 2 million plus dads who get dinner done, dress the kids and shop, and as ragu-gate showed, are pretty darn proud of it too.  And the many millions more who pinch hit at meals part time, and pick up the groceries? 

    It’s clear they don’t have ideas how to influence that demographic. And, its also clear, they’re looking to dad blogs for some guidance – and probably partnerships.

    A lot of those dads – I’m one – are still somewhat grumpy with being considered some kind of ‘male mommy’ for taking on more responsibility with the kids.  We’re not.  We’re dads.  We still play football and fish.  We’re even dumb lugs a lot of the time. But we can cook pasta sauce (from scratch if we have to) for the kids.  And that’s no contradiction, and that’s the point. 

  • Mark B

    Of course it would be better to let things slide.  Just like joint custody, low evidence thresholds and outright bigotry against men when it comes to domestic violence, etc.

    You’re a good boy, Ron.  You just keep quiet and let the women tell you what to do.

    Good boy!

  • BurtonFamilyJewels

    Popular media is just now catching on to a trend that has been in the works for the past decade. As the role of women in the workplace and in higher education continues to expand active and involved fatherhood becomes more and more acceptable and ‘masculine’. There is however, a real lack of diversity in these popular representations of fatherhood.

  • Deborah Ann Goss-Ross

    This dimwit Dad thing started many years ago and when this was highlighted in the news today I realised I was married to one. I had always thought it was a joke and in my life it was until today. 32 years of marriage and my husband is a dimwit couch potato. Dont get me wrong he is not a bad Dad. He is a product of 32 years of me doing everything for him. I realised recently when I asked him to do some banking etc. that he has either pissed his brains out along with all the alcohol or he is just plain lazy. Either way I was shocked. Im married to a bloody Andy Capp/Homer Simpson character and its my own bloody fault.

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