Parents Respond To Article That Celebrates Dads For One Day Of Parenting

HOW did they manage?!

On Sunday, the New York Times published a hot take on how the men of Montclair, New Jersey were forced to parent solo as their wives or female partners left for the women’s marches in Washington D.C. and New York.

The article, titled “How Vital Are Women? This Town Found Out As They Left To March,” described men’s routines as “radically” altered and quoted a father as saying, “I did have to laugh at the irony of my wife marching for equality in New York while I was missing the game and cleaning out the refrigerator.”

The author wrote: “If this had been a weekday, the absence of women would most visibly have affected the commuter trains, workplaces and schools. On a Saturday, however, there were other matters to navigate: children’s birthday parties, dance performances, swimming lessons, and lacrosse and indoor soccer practices. Growling stomachs required filling on a regular basis.”

“Usually, these chores and deliveries were shared by both parents, in a thoroughly modern way. On this day, many dads were left to juggle schedules on their own.”

WOW. Fathers had to watch their own children for a whole day?! The eyes of women everywhere just rolled all the way back in their heads.

Parents (including me) quickly expressed disbelief and roasted the article on Twitter, in tones both joking and serious.

Many people noted the fact that this story hit some of the same themes as anti-suffragette materials from the turn of the century, while others pointed out that the New York Times article could have been straight out of satirical newspaper The Onion.

Election Day! circa 1909
Library of Congress
Election Day! circa 1909

Editors at The NY Times have since apologized for the story, saying “We blew it.” But the story is still providing laughs and provoking conversation on social media. Here are a few of my favorite tweets from the brouhaha.

Some dads feigned cluelessness in a parody of the way the article portrayed fathers.

Others reminded the New York Times that dads are not, in fact, babysitters and many manage to take care of their own children regularly without any problems.

And of course, the moms weighed in with their own side of snark as well.

Moms also entreated the media to leave old parenting stereotypes behind.

Apparently it still needs to be stated: In 2017, fathers are not babysitters, they are parents. And men taking care of their children should not be news.

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