Listen Up Kids, Your Father Is An Idiot


…or so mainstream media would have every child believe. In the recently released, faith-based comedy “Moms Night Out“, audiences are asked to sympathize with the poor, over-worked, stay-at-home-mom’s attempt to have at least one night where, as my wife sometimes puts it, “no one needs me”.

Dumb DadsI get that. I really do. My wife is an AMAZING mother! No, seriously! Look up “Amazing Mom” in any dictionary and I guarantee, you wi… (ahem)

Well, I’m sure you get the point. I’m just saying that the concept of having a Moms’ Night Out is not lost on me. I often encourage my wife to go out with her friends and enjoy a much-needed, much deserved break from the fullness of parenthood that is our home. As a matter of fact, the MOMS Club my wife belongs to has a Moms’ Night Out at least once a month. Sometimes more if the moms are feeling particularly fried.

So when I first saw the title of the movie, I thought, “Cool! My wife really enjoys those each month! I bet this will be a great movie!” That is, until I saw the trailer. It serves up a good portion of cliche’ while attempting to draw you in with the following teaser:

"All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and 
conversation - a long-needed moms' night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult 
conversation and food not served in a paper bag, they need their husbands to watch 
the kids for three hours. What could go wrong?"

Apparently, everything when you involve dear ol’ dad. The sad answer to that question provided in the film’s plot summary. A snippet of which (according to Wikipedia) explains to us that, “… their husbands attempt to care for the children with disastrous results.”

This trailer had the familiar stench of the highly derided “Dad Test” commercials by Huggies. I have no problem finding the humor in parenting. But it shouldn’t be used to downplay the importance and value of fathers.

Over the years there has been no shortage of articles from people who’ve felt the same way about Dumbing Down Dads and the Epidemic of Stupid Men and Useless Fathers. As an involved father of 6, I just find it disheartening that we are still fighting to redefine the role and establish the importance of the father in the home. This movie is one more step backward in this struggle. dumb-dad

In his review of the movie, critic Brian Orndorf says, “Less inviting is the suggestion that all dads are buffoons, unable to keep up with their children. Before the night is an hour old, Sean has a dislocated shoulder and Marco is a rattled mess, unable to juggle the basic needs of fatherhood while tending to a parakeet he’s brought from home. It’s ugly sexism in what’s trying to be a harmless feature, pandering to the female audience with a mean-spirited attitude toward men and their habitual boobery. “

Why are we perpetuating the notion of imbecile fathers who get in the way of moms and embarrass their children? Is it too much to ask that we instead focus on laughter caused by simple everyday folly that doesn’t imply someone is a buffoon who exhibits “habitual boobery”?

Or maybe I should just start posting my own videos of the movie making process that depicts writers, directors and producers as idiots who couldn’t come up with an original thought if their lives depended on it. :-/

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Categories: commentary, family, marriage, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Listen Up Kids, Your Father Is An Idiot

  1. Great post! Dad’s need to get more credit, Dad’s are not useless and in a society calling for men to step up as fathers, you think our movies would should fathers in a better light.

  2. That’s one of the things I like about the show “Better Off Ted.” Ted is a single dad and he’s a completely competent parent. Learning how to be a decent father wasn’t part of his story arc when his wife left them – he just is, because that’s something that happens in reality. Also it’s a great show for many other reasons and you should totally watch it.

    • I’m so glad that someone else appreciates Better Off Ted! I also love the way Ted’s relationship with his daughter is handled. It’s pretty great.

      And Dove, as for your post: boom! Especially that last line. 😀 But seriously, I think it’s hurtful to both men and women when media consistently portray dads as morons who have to let moms handle the kids. Moms are already treated as the “default parent,” and subtle messages in movies like this don’t help. Besides that, I’m hugely offended for all the dads I know. Most of them are more than able to raise their children. I swear that dads usually have an IQ higher than that of a pile of bricks.

  3. Khai

    We keep saying “oh everyone needs a father figure, kids without fathers grow up to be terrible people, fathers are super important” but then… fathers are stupid, oafish, idiots?

    Thats just screwed up, man.

  4. I would point to the inability for most men to communicate (or care? I think we find that men don’t care to make a big deal when things go right) that they’re involved. They don’t crow about it, mostly because it’s NOT their entire lives. When children and homes are the minute-to-minute of a woman’s life, I think when even the smallest detail is wrong because of a father’s unfamiliarity with the process, it’s an explosion. And when relationships with children are placed at a higher value than that of the marriage, you get movies like this.

  5. LaNeshe (Nesheaholic.com)

    I hate the way the media portrays dad’s as incompetent. It’s a real shame.

  6. THANK YOU for posting about this! I feel so passionately about it, too. I hate Berenstein Bear books for this very reason. The dad is always the butt of the joke, always a little dumber than the mom. Hate it. I also hate it when people say “daddy daycare.” Um…if it’s your kid, it’s not daycare…it’s parenting.

    • Exactly! I was on a conference call one day with various agencies that provide services to families (I work for a children’s nonprofit) and the overwhelming majority of them are of the opinion that mom is the caregiver while dad is the babysitter. I have 6 children. I don’t “babysit” them. Nor do I go crazy trying to keep them from killing themselves until mom comes home. So frustrating sometimes.

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