Dadmom

This commercial by Tide laundry detergent is a great example of gender equality within a household. The commercial shows a dad calling himself a “dadmom” as he folds his daughter’s laundry while his wife is at work. He also describes himself as masculine and nurturing and brags about his ability to dress his daughter and fold her clothes perfectly.

This advertisement reminds me of the New York Times article by Lisa Belkin. Belkin first writes about a couple who shares their responsibilities and have equal time for work, household chores, and taking care of the kids. The commercial shows the dad doing house hold chores while his wife is at work which is the opposite of what society believe to be the norm. Women of the household are still, today, spending most of their time taking care of the kids and doing household chores while the men are at work. Although it takes compromise and time to adapt, it seems to be simply done by couples who are willing to negotiate and be fair.

Bringing an incentive could also benefit the equality in a relationship. In Bennhold’s article, he discusses the Swedish law that allows husbands to take paid paternal leave for 13 months which allows the father to also take care of household chores. The Tide advertisement could help promote the idea of “momdads” and hopefully bring this paid paternal leave idea to other countries to create gender equality in households.

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2 thoughts on “Dadmom

  1. annyhuu

    I’ve never heard the term “dad mom” before, but I think that it definitely could be used by more families that want to promote gender equality. Especially since most people acquire their values during their childhood years at home, if a few parents use the concept of “shared parenting,” this type of household structure will increase greatly in the next few generations.

    Yet although I do agree with you that this commercial “is a great example of gender equality within a household,” a few aspects of the ad also make me question the producer’s views about gender. As you mentioned, the father claims that most people will find his “mixture of masculinity and nurturing…alluring,” which is quite accurate as helping out with household chores are generally seen as the gender roles of the female and not the male, and being able to “take the frilliest girl dress and fold it with complete accuracy” is almost never expected of a man even though they are completely capable of learning such a basic task. However, though these messages do critique the socionormative values of the gender binary, the commercial puts itself back into the stereotype when the father asks to excuse himself to “do pull ups and crunches in the other room”.

    When I first watched this commercial, this last message about working out made me feel that in order to still be seen as a man, the father had to work out or do a lot of “masculine” activities in order to compensate for the femininity that will be associated with him as a “dad mom”. Will this father be looked down upon if he simply likes to do household chores? What if he also likes to cook and spend his time in the kitchen as well? Will he have to also know how to fix a car to “balance” his masculinity? In my opinion, the fact that the father had to deliberately tell the audience that he also works out for a muscular body reinforced the gender roles after trying to critique them. It’s like he is saying, “don’t worry, I’m not completely strange, I still do masculine things”.

    Thus, I believe that the concept this commercial is sending about “dad moms” are great and can definitely “promote the idea” of shared parenting, along with your idea of having a longer paternal leave, but the last section about working out should be reconsidered. To me, Tide is trying too hard to please both those supporting males doing household work and those who do not at the same time.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Why husbands who share household chores miss out on sex | Rebuilding Rob

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