No place for men.

Stuart Schneiderman writes about a poor stay at home dad who is getting picked on by the neighborhood mothers and who felt so bad he wrote to one of those Dear Aunty types for some help with his situation.

I’m a stay-at-home dad with two little boys, 10 months and 3 years old, and another on the way. At least five times a day, I’m stopped by a seemingly well-meaning person making an obnoxious, sexist comment: “You’ve got your hands full!” or, “Looks like Dad played hooky today to take care of the kids,” or, “Mommy must be taking a much-needed break.”

I struggle with how to respond. I want to model good manners for my kids, but at the same time shut down the conversation and go about my day.

On the 75th anniversary of DDay, these are the horrors that modern men must face.

Schneiderman didn’t think much of the advice that Miss Manners gave our poor hero, so he chimed in with his own.

If he really wants to set a good example for his children, as he says he does, he should do the right thing and get a job. The shame he feels and the shame that the neighborhood women are trying to make him aware of… will only be reduced when he returns to meaningful, manly labor. In that way he will be setting a good example for his children.

Since he receives these insults at least five times a day, or so he says, he is not going to overcome his shame by policing the minds of all the women in the neighborhood. Even if they cease making snarky remarks to his face, they will still be thinking it among themselves. Eventually, the attitude will rub off on their children. And his children, when they are looking for play dates and for school birthday parties will suffer for it.It feels unfair and unjust.

And yet, it is so persistent and so consistent that the man must realize that he is doing something wrong. And that he should change his ways. It will be much easier than trying to overcome his shame by policing the minds of five people a day. And getting a bad reputation for doing so.

I am fine with this advice, at least on the surface. But the issue here is not that the man is the one that stays at home. Rather, we should be examining why this is the case. What factors have led to this situation?

If his wife fell for the modern trap of encouraging women into the workforce via highly overpriced degrees then they have that debt on their heads. Perhaps she is the one who has the most capacity now to earn the most money to provide for their children. Keep in mind as well that with the feminization of the workplace, it is much easier for women to find a job and rise up the corporate ladder than men. In fact, the two sexes are in inverse proportions to each other in this regard.

It is a social stigma now for middle class women to be a stay at home mum. Our society frowns upon this sort of behavior. The acceptable approach is to put the children in daycare to be groomed by the government while both parents slave away in order to pay for such expensive childminding. At least this family is attempting to buck the trend, even though it is rather demeaning for the man in this case.

In other words, maybe they are doing it the best way possible in the circumstances. If you break the entire edifice then people are going to scramble as best they can. I find it hard to judge this guy which surprises me.

The scorn from the neighborhood mothers is illustrative as well. Remember, women constantly declare that they want a man with feelings, who will do the housework and look after the kids, and who will enable her to “follow her dreams”. That’s what they say. But any man who does accept this role reversal is a social leper to other women. This will rub off on his wife and it will affect their marriage.

Women really want to have it all. They have taken over the workplace, the traditional role of men, but at the same time they publicly mock any man who meekly accepts the new paradigm. Pretty soon there will be no place for men, which was the intention all along.

12 thoughts on “No place for men.

  1. “At least five times a day, I’m stopped”

    I call BS. I’d be surprised if it’s once a day or once a week. My suspicion is that mister stay-at-home-dad is so sensitive about his position that he is taking perfectly innocuous comments (you must have your hands full is obnoxious or sexist?) and projecting what he feels into them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TechieDude

    “I want to model good manners for my kids, but at the same time shut down the conversation and go about my day.”

    So you shut them down, like a man. That’s a good example for your kids. Women flock together and form hen party support structures. Men don’t. And don’t care what the hens think. They won’t help when he needs it unless the wife sets it up.

    I was the house husband for awhile when I was laid off, but my kids were in school. When I had to do the lunch or playground monitor thing, I noted the clusters of yentas but didn’t pay them any mind. Other than to send kids their way.

    The interactions went something like this:
    “Mister…Johnny pushed me!”
    Are you bleeding?
    “No”
    Look kid, no one likes a tattle-tale. If you have to do that go tell one of the women that’ll care about it.

    If one of the women said anything like what was said to the father in the post, I’d usually respond “Nah. I like being the housewife. You guy’s have had it easy all along this is a good gig.”

    It was pretty common for the small kids not to be able to open their snack packs at lunch. “Hey mister, can you open this for me?” Sure little dude.. [snick goes the knife] Instant admiration of all the little dudes at the table.

    (I was told not to do this my the wife, so next trip, I brought my linesman scissors.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Once in a while I’ll meet a churchian-type of person, usually of the Boomer generation, who will strike up a conversation with me. Eventually they will inquire about my wife’s profession. I simply reply, “She doesn’t work. She’s just a housewife.” Then they will feign shock, and attempt to shame me for one thing or another. I just reply to them, “My wife is pretty happy being a stay-at-home wife, and I’m okay with that too!” This immediately shuts them up, and they quickly excuse themselves from the conversation. I have been very content about this outcome.

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  4. Katie

    I think these types of comments just happen if someone is out in public with small kids – I get the “whoa, you have your hands full” one all the time. Even if the comments range into the obnoxious or weird (“are they ALL yours? do you take care of them all the time? are they all siblings?”), I think mostly it’s just a result of the fact that small children break down barriers, which I see overall as a nice thing. Seems like this guy is being way oversensitive (perhaps due to his own insecurity or dissatisfaction with the SAHD arrangement?), and those reading “shaming” or “scorn” into the comments he’s quoted seem to be misreading things as well. Maybe some of the neighborhood moms or whatever do feel scornful of him, but probably some of them are being complimentary (what a nice dad you are for giving mom a break – I wish I had a break right now!), but honestly most are probably just making an innocuous if awkward human connection. But I do laugh at him for writing into an advice columnist about how to handle it. I don’t really believe in advice columnist letters – they seem like they’re often made up by the advice columnist.

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  6. “She doesn’t work. She’s just a housewife.”

    Two mistakes. 1) She works her butt off if she’s doing a good job. 2) She’s not “just” a housewife, she is a housewife.

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    1. I recognize that being a SAHM is very difficult. The word “just” is a subtle “apology” for “having virtues lower than your expectations”, which is a bait for throwing SJW types into a tizzy. Non-SJW’s would not get bent out of shape over that word.

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