It should certainly NOT be treated as an excuse to argue that despite doing less chores and housework, fathers are doing more than mothers overall. But this is precisely what New York Times columnist Ross Douthat chose to do in his Father’s Day piece, ‘Can Dads Have It All?‘
On Father’s Day, the honor of dads must be defended, says @DouthatNYT. Yes, fathers spend less time doing household chores. But when you add up housework, paid work and childcare, married fathers today are doing even more than their fair share. https://t.co/aY7cIYX96U— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) June 16, 2019
Douthat admits early on in the article that he gets more credit when he is “wheeling his brood around the mall or supermarket” than his wife does, and he also grants that “fathers still do much less work around the house than moms, even when both spouses hold down paying jobs.”
AND YET, Douthat points out, as National Review deputy managing editor Robert VerBruggen writes in an essay for the Institute of Family Studies, ‘The Myth of the ‘Lazy’ Father,’ “when you add up housework, paid work and child care, married fathers today are doing slightly more work than married mothers.”
“The current division is actually a reasonable balance,” writes Douthat, in what sounds like an attempt at rage-baiting but is unfortunately a sincere train of thought.
The columnist’s take—based almost entirely on a single poorly-conducted study published by the Institute for Family Studies, a conservative anti-LGBTQ think tank—was immediately attacked by Twitter for its bad faith arguments.
I know we make fun of him, but I really hope Ross Douthat finally gets the respect of his wife, a mop tied to the top of a roomba
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) June 16, 2019
Surely there was someone somewhere at the newspaper who could have said “Ross we’re not publishing this, it’s pitiful”?
— Dr Fran van Plannaram Ph.D. (@dismalplaces) June 16, 2019
“Men doing half the work isn’t fair”
— Katy Montgomerie 🦗 (@KatyMontgomerie) June 16, 2019
This is literally one of the dumbest ideas that a human mind has ever had
— ❤️ (@umairh) June 16, 2019
What a great essay to put single working Moms in their place.
— G-Andy (@GeoAndy) June 16, 2019
If they need child care, the woman is working and they are almost certainly splitting the costs. If she’s not, she’s a full-time parent. Either way, if she’s also spending more time doing household chores, how does that “more than their fair share” work out again?
— Dave Hogg (@stareagle) June 16, 2019
“IM A VERY GOOD FATHER TO OUR CHILDREN, KAREN!” Ross Douchehat shrieked at the armless mannequin he’d rescued from a dumpster behind Macy’s
— Ned Pyle (@NerdPyle) June 16, 2019
The fact-checks poured in immediately and densely.
ILO – “Data from 2/3 of world’s working age pop. show that 16.4 billion hrs per day spent in unpaid care work… Were such services to be valued on basis of hourly minimum wage, they would amount to 9%of global GDP…women do 76.2 % of total hours of unpaid care, 3X more than men
— Cicely McWilliam (@CicelyMcWilliam) June 16, 2019
Holy shit what is wrong with you?
You know this flies against MOUNTAINS AND MOUNTAINS of evidence? Like, this is so wrong, it’s beyond fact-checking? You just have to redline the entire piece?
It’s the definition of “not even wrong.”
— Angelos Tzelepis (@AngelosTzelepis) June 16, 2019
Dads statistically doing less housework AND childcare. Women, on the other hand, are the ones doing both paid and unpaid labor. Imagine having to lie just to say nice things about a large swath of fathers lol https://t.co/oKXfPwQqua— inorganic african feminist (@ztsamudzi) June 16, 2019
Obviously they want rage clicks, but this is such a fascinating misuse of a common phrase.— Ana Mardoll (@AnaMardoll) June 17, 2019
"More than their fair share" necessarily implies that someone else is slacking. Since marriages often have only two people in them, that leaves...the wife. https://t.co/ibS1bNJZOu
Ignoring for a minute the countless studies suggesting that women work harder than men overall, Douthat in no way addresses the gender wage gap, that women are doing both paid and unpaid labor, or the social pressure on the woman to be a full-time caretaker.
In other words:
— PrinceOfWhalesHat (@Popehat) June 16, 2019