I noticed a particular dad gaining in popularity recently through his posts on Facebook. In his video clips he is playing the character of one of those classic dad's from the 80's and 90's. Mumbling, a bit awkward and his most prominent feature is his general approach toward his parenting. Again,. the incompetent dad is hugely popular. Who doesn't love a guy running around after his toddler like it was some kind of Benny Hill episode? Superficially it's pretty funny, clips that are a few minutes long telling the tale of another awkward dad who just apparently fell into fatherhood and is kind of fumbling his way to victory. If I sound kind of annoyed, it's because I am.
Where are the dads that actually know what they're doing? When are we going to get representation?! Are informed, reflective, responsive dads just not funny enough?! At least in more ancient times dads seemed to have a function and that was for their families preservation. But through the 20th and 21st centuries we have been portrayed to have regressed to a point where we are just clueless, blindly navigating our way through parenthood.
This doesn't just concern me as a dad and the fact that I am extremely under represented, it also concerns me as a teacher who is male and what the perception of me is to society in general. People seem to want more men in early childhood, maybe it's for comedic value so people can watch us 'try' to teach children? Are we looked at unfavourably for infants and toddlers teaching roles because of this idea that we are incompetent therefore we can't be trusted with babies without doing something detrimental to their development?