Bitter Dad Blogger Bites Back

Dear Babble,

I am not going to congratulate you for starting a “new” section for the dads and it is not because I think that the name Dadding is stupid. Nor is it because you didn’t include me in your list of Top Dad bloggers or because I am not one of the token dads writing for the tiny little corner you devoted to fathers.

Some of the fellas are excited about this because they think that it shows progress. Some of the guys are excited because they think that dads are finally being recognized for our role in parenting. And some of them are excited because they think that this means that people are finally paying attention to dad blogs.

My juvenile response is to say that you can all “bite me” in far more graphic terms than those two words but that wouldn’t be mature and we’re all about maturity so we’ll give you more substance.

I am not interested in being given the “right” to sit in the back of the bus on your blog. The overwhelming amount of your content isn’t directed at fathers, let alone men. Nor do I expect to see much of an impact from adding the Dadding crew. That is ok, you can have your sections about pregnancy, breastfeeding and things that are really geared towards mothers.

Really, there is only so much dads can do in some of those areas which is why the echo chamber of posts about being supportive of your wife/partner exists.

New fathers might be interested in that kind of stuff not to mention a million other things that come up during the pregnancy and afterwards. A blog that says that it is for “a new generation of parents” might consider being a bit more inclusive or changing their tagline to more accurately reflect their focus.

Focus. Right now my focus isn’t upon the linkbait and drama that comes from creating a list of top bloggers but of the nonsensical comments that people make about dad blogs being “new.” Some of you remind me of Columbus discovering the “New World.” Just like the Native Americans who couldn’t figure out what Columbus was talking about I can’t figure out why people talk about dad blogs as being new.

I do understand that dads haven’t been as good at organizing as the moms which is why some of this has occurred. I understand that it has been in the interest of moms to portray themselves as being the major decision makers in many households. That is a useful tool for trying to garner business from brands, inaccurate but useful.

It doesn’t account for any of the single fathers nor does it really take into account all of the joint decisions that take place in a household. And just for kicks lets tip our hats to the dads who are the cooks in their homes and the lack of focus upon them.

I would write more but I need to go make an appearance at the school my kids attend. Can’t wait to hear how cute it is for a father to show up and how sweet a guy I am because I did more than make a deposit at the sperm bank. The saddest part about this is that I am not novel. I will be one of many fathers that show up and yet this ridiculous 1950s stereotype continues to persist.

Well I better go now because in several hours I expect Mrs. Cleaver to meet me at the door. She better have her hair done, be wearing pearls and have a hot meal on the table or she’ll receive a stern talking to about being a responsible wife.

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Comments

  1. Hi Jack,

    Sorry I haven’t visited in a while. Still working on my wife 🙂

    This was a great read and worth it just for this line: “Can’t wait to hear how cute it is for a father to show up and how sweet a guy I am because I did more than make a deposit at the sperm bank.”

    I’m no Ward Cleaver either 🙂 I do a lot of cooking at home, but don’t wear an apron. I wanna get one of those chef’s toques for the next time I roll out the pizza dough. Wonder what the Beav or Wally would think?

    Loved it!

    • @Craig McBreen If you want to make your life love you more tell her that she is your favorite sperm bank. I can not confirm nor deny having used that line once or even more than once in my life.

      What I can tell you is that I know someone who was hit in the head by a large, heavy object…right after he used those very words.

      Apparently it wasn’t considered to be cute, endearing or nice.

      P.S. let your wife know that I am working on a post called Dear Mama McBreen I don’t Bite… 😉

  2. ginidietrich says

    What the heck is Dadding? Let me know how that Mrs. Cleaver thing works out.

    • @ginidietrich If Livefyre had managed to import my comments into this fercockteh thing you would have seen much of the conversation. This post is a month old and we see that Dadding still makes no sense to anyone.

  3. Etta Waller says

    They hear all the important parenting stuff from the experts (moms), and then at the end, they have a couple of minutes to spare between Sports and Weather, so here’s a dad’s perspective to move us through to the next hour. And by creating such a huge dad platform, Babble is at the forefront of trying to include us. We’re all working to show brands that we dads are here, too, and Babble’s dad content is a huge foothold; without it, our job would be a lot more difficult. I found that the Cardigan and tie helped me keep my heart rate elevated and provided my metabolism with a nice boost.

  4. I fully agree with you being a dad myself. We also have what it takes to do things we need to do for our child.

  5. You’re absolutely right that it’s a mistake to exclude fathers. And by creating such a huge dad platform, Babble is at the forefront of trying to include us.

    They’ve created a Top 50 list, launched a dad space (with it’s own dad blog), and it’s because of their advocacy that I recently got my first series of sponsored posts for Babble Voices.

    What else would you have them do?

  6. Hey J:

    I think it’s a bit early to demand complete equality of Babble at this point. Moms have been writing longer (and better), networking with each other, and working very diligently to create a market that brands know is paying dividends. Now it’s our turn to try to walk that road, and we have to earn it just like they did. And we need to start somewhere.

    Say what you will about the level of influence dads have within Babble’s mommyverse, but there’s no disputing that having a dedicated dad space with a backing as huge as Disney’s is a big deal. It might give a few of us writers a bit more name recognition, but overall it lends legitimacy to all dadblogs, as a smaller but still viable medium with whom brands can invest marketing capital. I’ve seen it at Babble, and I’ve seen it in our Dad 2.0 sponsorship discussions.

    That Babble is launching so much effort into backing dads is having a salutary effect on all of us. We’re all working to show brands that we dads are here, too, and Babble’s dad content is a huge foothold; without it, our job would be a lot more difficult.

    • Too early to demand equality? I’ll let you have a Mulligan on that one.

    • Hi Doug,

      From a global perspective I think it is safe to say that you and I are on the same page. But I respectfully disagree with most of what you wrote.

      It is not accurate to say moms have been writing longer- though I am not sure it is important.

      They have done a superior job of networking and organizing their resources than we have.

      Disney is huge and they have ample resources to dedicate to parenting. I am not satisfied with their picking up a few fathers and giving them a bone to chew on.

      They can and should do better. I have seen a lot of the media kits for the moms and their numbers are funny.

      And you know that numbers can be used to demonstrate any number of things.

      The brands that don’t work with fathers are missing a huge opportunity. Come to think of it I am not sure if Disney works with any fathers, I might be wrong about that but it is a mistake.

      It is a mistake not to include fathers. I am not taking anything away from the moms or suggesting that they don’t deserve what they have.

      But that pie is large and their is plenty o’room for us. And we need to keep reminding them of that.

  7. It really is too bad that these stereotypes still exist, but I think that the generic categorization of gender roles will always exist on some level.

    People like labels–they even label themselves, just look at all the twitter bios and see how many people define themselves with the buzzwords of our time.

  8. Dadding?!

  9. Jack-
    Sometimes, you just have to pause and let the world catch up…

  10. Don’t hold back, how do you really feel about this?

    Do you cut the grass in your cardigan sweater and tie like Ward Cleaver did?

    I think the perfect family started to disintegrate when that show went off the air. Prayer in school had nothing to do with it.

    I see this has struck a nerve; you certainly have the perfect forum to express your ‘thoughts’ now.

    Rock on, dad.

    • Hey Bill,

      I found that the Cardigan and tie helped me keep my heart rate elevated and provided my metabolism with a nice boost.

      You might be right about the disintegration of the family- or maybe we should blame it on the Brady Bunch. If it hadn’t been for those meddling kids…

  11. CHOPPERPAPA says

    ‘I do understand that dads haven’t been as good at organizing as the moms which is why some of this has occurred.”

    That’s because they were working full time jobs outside the home so that moms could stay at home and be ‘organized’.

    I’m will you dude, but I will disagree on one point. If it brings to the forefront that dad blogger, then I’m cool with that.

    • I only know a few of the dads that are writing there and they seem to be good guys. If this helps them then that is great- still doesn’t pull the rest of us very far now does it.

  12. Dadding? Yeah, I agree. It’s stupid. Popping would be more to my liking.

    I see these websites/lists etc etc all as revenue-generating endeavors and they follow the money. If their market research tells them that majority of their readers are mothers and these mothers click on the ads, then they cater to them more. It’s like I don’t get upset when all the ads in Cars and Drivers show women in revealing clothing. 😉 Or that even for something like Wired, it is still obvious that when they are addressing their audience, the “imaginary” audience is probably 80% male? I still read and love it and every time I do I feel like cross-dressing Hua Mulan.

    • I spent years selling space and working on marketing projects so I understand exactly what you are saying.

      They can do whatever the hell they want but stop pretending to be focused on parenting when the site is about mothering.

  13. Good stuff as usual, Jack. I’ve got “Daddy Duty” today, which is a bummer because I was really hoping to sit around and watch sports, take a nap and drink beer – damn kids!

  14. OHMY. Hi, I’m a mom. Not a mommy blogger. I have never had a husband, on purpose.

    But, I’m somewhat laughing and somewhat amazed the world is just now addressing this lack of equality among dads.

    Don’t forget to ask the kids which parent they fave; I might suggest the females are “daddy’s girls” (case in point) and the boys lounge in the kitchen with mom sopping up all the adoration.

    What it comes down to is this, Men/Dads, you are equal parts parent, caregiver, money provider, lover, partner, friend, and more in life just not on the blogosphere.

    So, feel the love from your kids. #ThatIsAll

    • Never doubted for a moment that my kids and I have something special. Most of the time I don’t think about any of this but every now and then….

  15. “Dadding.” Nice! This entire disingenuous endeavor reminds me of that last bit on a news show: “And finally, a chimp and a turtle have become best friends in the San Diego zoo!”

    • I don’t have kids, but I do like reading this blog. I read it for the fine writing and clever comments.

      That being said, can you please tell me more about the Turtle and Chimp?

      • You know, they’re friends.

        Sites like Babble treat fatherhood like it’s that cute bit at the end of the news. They hear all the important parenting stuff from the experts (moms), and then at the end, they have a couple of minutes to spare between Sports and Weather, so here’s a dad’s perspective to move us through to the next hour.

    • But it is so cute to see the turtle and chimp play together. Here, Have a Krembo and smile. 😉

  16. I’ve been trying to figure out also why moms documenting their kid’s first poop is so much more popular than dads doing it and I’ve realized that, like most blogging communities, they just read each other’s blogs. There are more moms and they like hanging with each other on cyberspace. If you pranced down to the mall’s foamy play place during the day you will likely find a gang of moms. I went once and started talk to the one (I apparently came before rush hour) but before long others showed up and
    I was abandoned. It ended up me and another dad on one side of the play area and about 8 moms on the other. Same on the Internet.

  17. Hey Jack,
    After I set foot to your article and read all of it’s insides, a bunch of ideas had gone to my brain saying why am I not doing this to my kids? Wanna implement this on my daily relationship with them even though I am a little busy dad. 😀

  18. Love it Jack. Everything I wanted to say but not quite sure how to put into words. I’d write more about how good this is but I have to get to the bus stop and pick up my kids.
    Nice work.

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