Describing dads as 'baby-sitters' is sexist - against men??

(100 Posts)
PinkIndustry Thu 28-Apr-16 00:40:07

www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-36144487

I'm glad these men are making the point that their decision to take an equal role in parenting their own children should not be seen as a huge favour to the mothers of their children.They also point out how annoying it is when TV ads for domestic products imply that men are hopeless at housework. However, how can they regard such an attitude as sexist against men? Surely the sexism here is against women as this attitude implies that women are the sex that are 'naturally' good at housework, and that women are the sex who should be providing the childcare.

The fact that these men have decided to play the victim card seems disingenuous and, in fact, sexist in itself.

GreenTomatoJam Thu 28-Apr-16 05:52:59

I think it all comes back to the Patriarchy - housework, looking after childcare, that's women's labour, why would a man want to be doing it or any good at it.

As to adverts, well, they're all hugely sexist. Women eat yoghurt and clean up after the incompetent men by using brand X, or drape themselves on anything else half-naked and pout at the screen.

VashtaNerada Thu 28-Apr-16 06:11:48

Yes I think this all comes down to how it is phrased:
"Men suffer because women treat them as incompetent and unable to parent" is very different to "the patriarchal assumptions that women care and men provide are outdated and unhelpful."

Grimarse Thu 28-Apr-16 08:00:40

I thought this was interesting, from the same article;

Another user wrote "Single dad here. It's even worse when my seven year old wants to have a sleepover… I call the parents. I explain she wants to have a sleepover and your kid is invited. Then the awkward question, will mom be there? And when you explain, no mom here - sorry, there's that long pause. Sad to say to this day she still hasn't had a sleepover."

Beneath all the stuff about us being unable to hoover, there are some serious attitudinal problems to be overcome.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 10:52:43

Grimarse - it is a fact that the vast majority of women will at some point in their life have been sexually assaulted/harassed by a man.I was repeatedly raped by two men who used the daughter of one of them as bait. Do you expect those women to disregard their past experience and allow their child to have a sleepover on their own in a house with no woman present? I absolutely would not. Men are a known danger to unaccompanied children.

If men object to being seen as a threat then they should do something about the violence of their fellow men that causes it, rather than whinging to women about it and expecting women to neglect their own safety so their feelings aren't hurt.

If women take precautions to avoid men's violence they are told they're being unfair. If they don't take precautions and something happens they are told it was their fault.

slugseatlettuce Thu 28-Apr-16 10:53:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlleyCatandRastaMouse Thu 28-Apr-16 10:56:02

If women take precautions to avoid men's violence they are told they're being unfair. If they don't take precautions and something happens they are told it was their fault

Yep therein lies the problem. My 10 year old has never had a sleepover either due to my experiences at a similar age. All households that might be an option have both parents present.

AlleyCatandRastaMouse Thu 28-Apr-16 10:57:10

Sorry I was meant to quote the single dads experience of lack of sleep overs so my post actually made sense

Grimarse Thu 28-Apr-16 11:04:55

Well then, if that is the case, men will just have to put up and shut up.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Thu 28-Apr-16 11:06:39

It's sexist to women, not men ffs.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:11:55

Men will just have to put up and shut up, Grimarse? Is there literally nothing at all they could ever do about it?

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:17:55

I would hope your annoyance at women protecting their children from rape would give you some insight to the annoyance and other feelings women feel from actually being raped though Grimarse.

roundandroundthehouses Thu 28-Apr-16 11:18:36

Can't it be sexist against both at the same time? I think this is an example of an attitude that works badly for both men and women. Which of the two it's sexist against surely depends on the context. If a man rolls his eyes and says that his wife has him babysitting for the evening, he's being sexist against women, suggesting that childcare is women's work. But when my dh took unpaid time off to care for dd1 as a baby, I think the women, shop workers, etc. who referred to him as 'babysitting' (and, on one occasion, asking if I was ill) were being patronising and sexist against him as a man.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:25:38

The issue with saying it can be sexist against both roundandround is that it suggests that the power relationship between women and men is equal - they can both equally oppress each other and so they both have to change their attitudes. The fact is, however, that throughout history women were forced by men to be the primary caregiver, regardless of whether they even wanted children or not (given that they were prevented from refusing sex after marriage and were denied access to birth control even when it was widely available), for the benefit of men. This was not a system that women participated in setting up - they had absolutely no power to influence or change it. So the balance of power isn't in fact equal and men are reaping the rewards (and punishments) of other men's behaviour. Saying sexism goes both ways obscures the fact that the beneficiaries of sexism for aeons have been almost exclusively men. If they don't now like it when the same unfair attitudes are turned on them, well it's a bit fucking tough IMO - their response shouldn't be 'wah wah wah women are sexist' it should be 'oh shit, this is what it feels like to be treated like a joke, sorry women, we get it now, let's sort this out together eh?'

Grimarse Thu 28-Apr-16 11:26:45

Well, on a practical level, I can control my own behaviour. I can take action when I see wrong behaviour from others. But what can I - or you - do about people's behaviour in their own homes?

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:28:27

There is something especially heinous about benefiting from bad behaviour and then being the first to cry when the same bad behaviour comes your way - the disingenuousness of men suddenly trying to participate in a huge 'aren't we all oppressed' act once sexism doesn't quite work for them any more makes me want to spit.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:29:43

So you see absolutely no possible way that men who aren't themselves violent can stand up to men who are violent, or support the victims of men who are violent? Men are seen as a threat, quite legitimately, and you just say 'oh well, can't do anything about that'?

Grimarse Thu 28-Apr-16 11:33:52

You should never answer a question with another question - it's bad form. My mum taught me that.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:34:31

Also, Grimarse, are women, as a group, required to be A-OK with sending their kids to men who are a potential threat (so that poor old men don't have their feelings hurt) while men are required to do absolutely nothing at all?

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:35:39

Ah, the usual. You have no way of answering without sounding like a twat so you do the typical man thing of saying 'you should...' Why do men always think they can tell women what to do? By the way, you still sound like a twat.

Grimarse Thu 28-Apr-16 11:35:39

Also, Grimarse, are women, as a group, required to be A-OK with sending their kids to men who are a potential threat (so that poor old men don't have their feelings hurt) while men are required to do absolutely nothing at all?

No they are not.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:37:08

You said earlier 'there are some serious attitudinal problems to be overcome' suggesting that women not sending their children to male carers is a 'serious attitudinal problem' that must 'be overcome.' Is that what you meant, or did you mean something else?

Grimarse Thu 28-Apr-16 11:37:30

So you see absolutely no possible way that men who aren't themselves violent can stand up to men who are violent, or support the victims of men who are violent? Men are seen as a threat, quite legitimately, and you just say 'oh well, can't do anything about that'?

You act when you witness it. What else?

TheSparrowhawk Thu 28-Apr-16 11:38:58

You seriously can't think of a single other thing? What about all of the many thousands of things women have done to stand up to male violence and protect victims - you can't get a single bit of inspiration from that?

Grimarse Thu 28-Apr-16 11:40:17

You said earlier 'there are some serious attitudinal problems to be overcome' suggesting that women not sending their children to male carers is a 'serious attitudinal problem' that must 'be overcome.' Is that what you meant, or did you mean something else?

It was a bad choice of words. It is a hurdle that men face. I don't know what the answer is, because I don't know how you identify and apprehend the minority.

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