Inspired by an everyday experience, Australian blogger Constance Hall is speaking out about a double standard many parents have noticed.
On Monday, the mother of four shared a powerful post about the stark contrast in the way society tends to view moms and dads.
Hall relayed an anecdote about two afternoons with her family. The mom was having lunch at a restaurant in the park when her baby’s diaper needed to be changed. Since there was no changing table in the bathroom, she went into the park and changed the diaper in the grass.
“Thirty minutes later a women approached me and said, ‘I saw you changing your daughters nappy, could you please use the change table next time,’” Hall recalled. When she told the woman there was no changing table in the bathroom, she replied, “There is, it’s in the disabled toilet and that’s around the other corner.”
“I felt like a loser. The world went on,” Hall said.
The next weekend, her husband Bill changed their baby in the grass and the park and encountered a different reaction from strangers.
“A group of women walked passed, one said.. ‘Aww good dad!!! That’s what we like to see, get in there,’” she explained. “Bill felt like a legend. The world went on.”
The mom shared her thoughts on this discrepancy in the way she and her husband were treated for doing the same thing. She wrote:
I didn’t think much of it because I am used to it.
I am used to being scrutinized for jobs that my husband is praised for.
I am used to picking the kids up from school to judgmental looks about being late, while Bill is used to a red fucking carpet and a 12 piece band praising him for his heroic appearance at school pick up.
That’s the way we as a society are, we place so much pressure on women to be perfect and selfless while putting low parenting expectations on men.
Hall clarified that she’s not asking people to stop praising dads. “I love seeing Bill get praised for the things he does for our kids,” she said. “He is a good dad, why not celebrate him.”
But she called on moms to praise each other as well, not just fathers they see in public. “Let’s see a women talking on the phone while pushing her pram and think ‘Wow, she chose not to stay at home bidding on eBay smashing straight vodka. She chose to come to the park and be a magnificent mum,’” she wrote.
Hall’s post has clearly struck a chord. It has received over 73,000 likes as of Thursday afternoon, and the comments section is full of stories from other moms who witnessed this double standard with their own male partners. Other commenters pointed out ways that society doesn’t encourage equal views of parenting, like the absence of changing tables in men’s room.
Clearly we have a ways to go before reaching parenting parity.