Comments about ‘Dumbing down Dad: How media present husbands, fathers as useless’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

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Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

We all do it. Like I tell my grown daughters, "Honor and respect your husbands, but only if they are following the Lord."
Now where did I learn that?
Of course, she gets to decide when his judgment is righteous.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Substance. The guy that is gone to work to bring home the bread. The guy who is gone because the car needs repair. the guy that is gone to fix the sink or something that is broke. the guy that is tired sitting on the couch trying to get all the stuff at work off his mind. The guy that has the substance in himself to do his best every day and only he knows what it took. When the only answer that you get from him is fine. That's because that's what it is to him.

West Jordan, UT

A direct result of the Feminist movement. Very sad indeed.


As a father or four, I have felt this way for a long time. Just a continuing march from the Feminist side that fathers are optional.

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

Article quote: "It's not hard to find. If you watch TV, then you've most likely witnessed the portrayal of the modern-day husband and father as lazy, incompetent and stupid."

Man, that is so true!

I make danged sure my kids know my successes, abilities and abilities. No, not to brag, but to make sure my kids know I'm not a moron of a dad like they so often see portrayed
on TV. One of the ways I make sure my kids treat me with respect is I don't let them call me (or their mom) "guys". It slips out from them from time to time.


"Guys" is a term used when one is speaking to their peers. I love my kids but I am not a "peer", I am their dad.

I'm an adult with a child who is 20 years old and I STILL don't call my mom and dad "guys" either in their presence or when I'm away from them.

Parents deserve our respect. Period.

Layton, UT

Disney Dads, if they exist, are mostly clueless or bumbling. And don't forget that even before many of the teevee series the kids book series Berstein Bears... the dad was always the one who never followed his own rules.

Smyrna, TN

I agree basically with everything except that it is a direct result of the feminist movement. ImaUteFan should have read a bit closer and noticed that several of the positive images mentioned in the article were post-feminism. the real problem that I see though isn't just that dads are seen as dumb but that families in general are now being presented as increasingly dysfunctional. The dumb dad image was just the beginning.
To be fair though, while Ward Cleaver was the perfect dad, what about June Cleaver. She was presented, like all housewives in the early days oof television, as being good for nothing except having babies and keeping house. Some, like Lucille Ball and Connie Stevens, were seen as out and out airheads. In the case of comedies with positive parent images, they were usually single parents like Eddie's Father or Dianah. Perhaps this explains the turnabout as women have tried to reassert their value in society. What we truly need are good shows that present a realistic if not always ideal image of men and women as mature adults who can still be funny.

Layton, UT

Many of the stereotypes are due to a curse we brought on ourselves.

I know a lot of men who exploit the stereotype that they cannot take care of their own children, and go off to play basketball, pursue hobbies, or golf on the weekends, without a second thought about what the rest of the family is doing.

That's mom's job. Then they wonder why mom's upset.

At church, I often volunteer to watch kids at the nursery for my wife when there's a Relief Society activity, and often moms come with their kids, even though I know the husband is home. Somehow the husband has trained his wife that he cannot be entrusted to care for the kids so she takes them to a nursery over their own dad.

It's not a death sentence to watch your own kids--or even the kids of another person. But that's another evil. Men aren't trusted to watch children alone in the church, because of the potential molestation threat... kinda sad that we think of a man as just as likely to molest a child as care for it.

Enid, OK

@ Gadfly -

So June Cleaver was presented as being "good for nothing" except having babies and keeping the home clean?

First, where would we be without women who have babies? Indeed, where would YOU be?

Second, what's wrong or bad about keeping a house clean? YOU may choose to live in a filthy home but I'll make sure I don't come and visit you.

Third, what about the unconditional love that her character showered on her children? Gues that doesn't count for anything, huh?

And, yes, the 'dumbed-down' dad actually IS a result of the feminist movement. The feminist movement was ALL about 'women are strong and don't need a man because men have nothing to contribute that we need'.

Did you catch that?...'men have nothing that we need' and therefore by default, are judged to be clueless idiots.

Gray, TN

This is definitely a Disney issue - I don't know how many movies and TV shows that Disney produces have either no dad in the house, or a widower that re-marries poorly, or the dad is clueless about life and family. The other thing that grinds me is the incessant laugh track for every line spoken on a Disney's kid show - it's like everything the actors say is "Funny", every single line...
Until the reality of the dilemma of single-parent families is addressed, our society as a whole will suffer. Adults need to be prepared for unselfish lifestyles BEFORE they get married and become parents. And fathers need to stick around to be a positive role model for their children, and mothers need to be partners with their husbands and work together in meaningful roles that each family circumstance requires through the various and different periods throughout their lives. This is not to say that single parents are "bad", but their is an epidemic of children growing up in single-parent homes and 40% of babies are born to unwed mothers. This is a core family emergency, and dumbing down the role of "Father" doesn't help.

Northern Utah, UT

I have noticed the portrayal of men on television is horrible, this is why I haven't watched a sitcom in decades. Why can't men be portrayed more like the Charles Ingall's type: tough, caring, and as important to the family as his wife Caroline. Men and women each play an important role in a well functioning family.
As a teacher, for the most part, the homes where there are two parents who love their children and take good care of them, bring forth the best students in the classroom. A father who is active in his child's life, actually is a huge advantage in school. Sure moms make sure the child's "to do" list is done (i.e. homework,reading logs, etc.); however, in my experience it is the dad that ensures proper behavior!
As a wife of an wonderful man, I feel blessed everyday to work side by side with such a humble,caring,leader of our home. Who my children feel is a force to be reckoned with, instead of the dufus dads often found on the T.V. screen.

Smyrna, TN

So BleedCougarBlue, you certainly seem to be able to read things that I didn't write. I never said all those things were bad. I just think June Cleaver was capable of that and more. Where would I be? Actually my mother was somewhat of a feminist before anyone ever hear of feminism. She knew her mind and spoke out on public issues whenever she felt like it no matter how many men, including my father, disagreed. She voted according to her choice. She was Democrat of all things, even though she married a Republican. She also sacrificed her health to give birth to my brother and me. She kept a clean house, usually with little help from her all male family. She gave us all unconditional love. She also worked outside the home to help support us when the Vietnamese War took her husband away and split the family income between two countries every other year. She stood by her husband for 52 years before her death. Yes, where would I be without such a great example of womanhood.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

Oh Boo-hoo. My self esteem is shattered because some sitcoms portray Husbands/Fathers as Buffoons. NOT !. I as kid in the 60's and 70's we had all sorts of positive Father figures on T.V. To name a few we had Fred MacMurray in "My Three Sons", We had Ben Cartwright on Bonanza. Gomez Addams in the Addams Family; He really did love his Mortica, didn't he? Ozzie and Harriet, never figured out what Ozzie did for a living. The Waltons.

Apparently, the author has low regard for T.V. viewers in that we can't seem to distinguish between comedies and dramas or real-life for that matter. Would that more of us had Fathers like J.R. Ewing. America's Oil problem would have been minimized and in that perfect world not had two wars that our sons and daughters had to bleed in.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Actually, if you watch June she was as shrewd as they come. She got what she wanted. Eddy Haskel didn't fool her one bit. Ward did all the dirty work.
That's far from being a dumb blonde.

m.g. scott

I see politics in just about everything, (even the Academy Awards believe it or not), and this "useless dad" business is todays liberal politics called "The New Normal". It is known that single women and single moms are much more likely to be Democrat. Married women much less so. Therefore, married women and intact families are a threat to the Democrat Party. Hollywood, one of the Democrats major media arms, helps to promote the single woman and mom as being the best way to go. Like I said, I see politics in everything.

Smyrna, TN

Now let's consider some other great male role models from the "Golden Age" of television. How about Ralph Kramden, the wife abuser. (You are going to the moon Alice he says with clenched fist). Tony Nelson (How did anyone that dumb ever get to be a major?) The same for Darren Stevens. (He became a top notch advertising executive despite his mental inadequacy) Or Gomez Addams and Herman Munster??? OK, those two aren't fair examples. They are just being played outrageously for comic effect. But isn't that what all of them were doing? There were dumb dads before feminism and the stereotype got worse after but it was all for comic effect. I am not saying that it is good. But I am concerned when narrow minded people choose to ignore all sides of the story, especially when they center on one stereotype (Dan Conner is a good example) and forget the dysfunctional members of the rest of the family (Roseanne). Why does BleedCougarBlue completely ignore my comment about the greater problem of the dysfunctional family stereotype?

Smyrna, TN

Say No to BO
Good point.

Provo, UT

How often do you hear over the pulpit at our church meetings, regardless of faith, the leaders railing on fathers while at the same time praising mothers and women in general?

Answer: very often

How often do you hear over the pulpit at our church meetings, regardless of faith, the leaders railing on mothers?

Answer: never

Morgan Hill, CA

I used to see women with bumperstickers on their cars which said "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." I found it interesting that nearly all of those women were upper middle class and white. On the other hand, try telling that to inner-city teenagers who get involved in gangs, drugs, crime, and drop out of school because, all to often, they do not have an active male role model in their lives. I was a single father, raising my children alone for some 18 years. I was able to give them an example of a purposeful, constructive life. To a large extent, this example has "rubbed off" on them.

Cache county, USA

This is part of the feminist movement.
On a side note, would I rather be compared to Tim Allen, or Steve jobs?
I will take Tim all day.

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