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Welcome To The Bitchery

Lindy West already has a fantastic analysis of the ridiculous American Greetings "job interview." I agree with her that this faux martyr-esque approach is so destructive to both genders. I already see two negative consequences of American Greetings' opinion on endless mothering: new dads feel useless because only the womenfolk can do the child rearing (and do it right) and women are so busy being a mom that there's no way they could do anything else.

Drew Magary over at Deadspin has an interesting take on being a new dad.

When a child is born, the father instantly becomes the unwelcome intern begging for meaningful duties. Giving that intern shit to do is more work than not having him around at all, and the average new father feels that in his bones. Sometimes you even grow to resent it. HEY! I HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE! I'M NOT A FUCKING IDIOT!


Given the American Greetings video. I'm not surprised a new dad would feel like a useless intern. After all, if mothers do all this backbreaking, sleepless, vacation-less, thankless, unpaid work all by themselves, then what's the father supposed to do? If these supposedly hardworking mothers take credit for 100000% of parenting duties, there's no way for dads to work themselves into their own parental roles and connect to their families.

But let's take this video a bit more seriously.

If this video is meant to be literal and not click-bait, then our species never would have survived beyond Cro-Magnon. Human beings would have keeled over long ago from physical exhaustion and lack of sleep.


Okay let's say you believe the spirit of this message: motherhood is thankless, endless hard work. If that's true, there's literally no way that a women could hold down a job or a hobby or anything that isn't directly related to being a parent. There is only one thing she can do, and that's it. There aren't enough hours for her to try. (She's too busy applying her supposed medicine, finance and culinary skills she got when she gave birth.)

You wonder where the anxiety comes from whenever a woman with a family dares to aspire to leadership? You wonder where the Having It All hand wringing comes from? You wonder why powerful women keep getting sexist questions about struggling to balance work and home life? It comes from the narrative that mothering is a round-the-clock job so if anything deviates from those duties, the family will suffer. Men not only rarely get those sort of assumptions about working and being a father, but they're paid more if they choose to be parents.


Being a mom is what you are not who you are. I'm a wife, sister, daughter, cousin, niece, grand-niece, godmother, best friend, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, and cat owner, but these aren't full-time jobs. (I never said I was full time anything even when I was an 18 hour a day caregiver for my parents.) All those titles do is describe my relationship to other people; it doesn't tell you anything about me as an individual. That's why those titles are meaningless.

Just like chefs don't spend all day cooking risotto or surgeons don't spend all day in surgery or Aaron Sorkin doesn't spend all day being an overrated writer/douchebag, mothers don't spend all day mothering.

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