While the writers of 20/20 are still patting themselves on the back for Friday night’s segment, “D Is For Dad And Dumb,” in which the advice for dads for Father’s Day was “don’t be an idiot,” I have meanwhile witnessed a different version of reality.
For this Father’s Day weekend, I have seen Facebook flooded with pictures of my friends’ dads. Despite being on Facebook since 2005, I never remember a Father’s Day so obviously consumed with people celebrating their dads.
In the midst of the “dad traffic” today, I also saw this really cool quote by Reverend Billy Graham:
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”
Despite the reinforced stereotype in media that dads are as about as respectable as Homer Simpson, most people in my version of the real world identify the concept of dad as an honorable thing.
Not to mention, the dads I know in real life have better things to do than to spend much time or energy worrying about how people outside of their nuclear family view them. (As a daddy blogger, I might personally be an exception?)
The dads I know put their family before their own needs and wants, on a daily basis. And that’s normal. It’s not something they talk about. They just do it.
Whether 20/20 ever gets the courage and/or integrity to address the quiet and sophisticated strength of dads in the real world, I don’t know.
It’s funny. I honestly can’t think of one time growing up that my dad ever did or said anything selfish. He only gave and sacrificed for our family the whole time.
That’s the way I have always thought of him and always will.
According to the new Pew Research Center survey, Americans expect dads to be more of a moral teacher and emotional comforter than a breadwinner or disciplinarian.
The way I look at it, whether a dad chooses to be or not, he often is by default the moral teacher and emotional comforter, for better or worse.
That’s not to say that the mom’s role in teaching her children values and morals is simply marginal, but I do find it interesting that in a time where the media still makes dad out to be a horrible role model or at least a lovable idiot, see “ABC 20/20′s D Is For Dad And Dumb” Segment which aired just in time for Father’s Day, this new poll shows that dads are expected to be the moral teacher more than the disciplinarian or the greater income provider.
So why is it that if dads seen as the moral teacher, that they are still often portrayed as dummies in the media? I’d say it’s because there’s a disconnect between what TV writers think America wants to see and want America actually thinks about their dads.
I base “what America actually thinks” on what I’m seeing as Facebook status updates today for Father’s Day. I see Facebook consumed with pictures of everyone’s dad, with a caption bragging about how incredible, supportive, and even how “perfect” their dads were while growing up.
Therefore, I find nothing surprising, only assuring and confirming, about the results of the new Pew Research Center survey.
I take great pride in the fact that I have the honor of instilling values and morals in you. Because hey, it sure beats what the media would like for you to believe; they evidently still think I’m simply a lovable idiot.
It’s a rewarding thing after three years of being a daddy blogger, to see examples in the media of those who get it:
Dads don’t appreciate being represented as idiots who need to learn to behave and be better role models for their children.
Sadly, though, there are still media outlets trying to capitalize on the “Al Bundy” version of dad, in what I assume is a desperate (and subliminal) attempt to relate to the females viewers, who traditionally have more buying power than men.
Last night after Mommy and I put you to bed, we vegged out to ABC’s 20/20. At the end of the episode, there was a segment called “D Is For Dad And Dumb.”
In a generic disclaimer, the segment ended with the narrator proclaiming this: “Now we should say not all of the caught-on-tape moments involving dads are negative. Let’s wrap up with this thing up with clip from a father letting it all go. He’s become known as the “dancing dad” on the internet…”.
That’s right. Not all dads do bad things. Because the rest of us are just plain goofy, evidently. Dads either can’t be trusted or we’re simply clowns.
Let me remind you again of the name of the segment: ”D Is For Dad And Dumb.”
Nothing subtle about that. Unsurprisingly, here’s the closing line of the segment:
“So [the] bottom-line message to dads on this father’s day seems to be, don’t be an idiot. Don’t be an idiot, think about what you’re doing…”.
Okay, the question is this: Am I personally offended by 20/20′s “D Is For Dad And Dumb” segment?
I’m not angry, but I am disappointed. (Classic dad line.)
If I were to mention on Facebook that I oppose gay marriage, which I don’t, I would most likely be called a bigot within 20 seconds. However, it’s acceptable in media for good dads to be lumped in with the worst examples of fathers and no one raises a fuss.
I doubt anyone from ABC is reading this, but here is what I propose: Do a segment on 20/20 about how dads are tired of being portrayed as classic idiots. Show that the modern dad is very involved, caring, and is a proper role model.
Interview me. Let me explain it on national TV how a normal dad feels about the way I am stereotyped. It could be a segment called “D is For Dad and Dignified.”
If not, I’ll stick with the satisfaction of knowing my son and my wife think I’m a good dad; no disclaimers required.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but it will still be another 13 years or so before you are able to get your driver’s license.
Mommy and I decided to test you early for your driver’s license, using a fire truck you built out of couch pillows while we were making dinner.
The part of the test you did extremely well on was part where you prepared to drive.
You very meticulously (and cheerfully) put on your seat belt.
However, you didn’t do so hot once you started up the fire truck: You pretty much immediately crashed.
All that safety preparation for nothing… Well, no, actually it balanced things out I guess. I’ll let you decided for yourself- here’s a video clip of the event:
I’m still trying to figure out why you had to “start the fire” at the back of the truck before buckling yourself in.
Either you A) were starting a fire on the fire truck itself so you could put it out with itself or B) you were starting the fire truck, which for some reason the ignition was at the back of the vehicle.
Another thing I’m confused about is why you named your toy fire truck “Mater” and why you had to go get him to help you after you evidently crashed your pillow fire truck in the garage.
For example, in theory, because of the fact I “like” Non-GMO Project, Occupy Monsanto, Julie Borowski, Ron Paul, Parents Magazine, and Bruce Springsteen on Facebook, I am evidently making it somewhat obvious that I’m a a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, vegan dad who has accidentally caused his 2 and a half year-old son to now get upset in his car seat if he doesn’t get to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits album on the way to school in the morning.
To me, a Father’s Day card is just as indirectly telling of what kind of dad one is perceived to be, at least in that moment, that year by their child.