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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Harwich, MA

Most of the Dads I've known, let's say over 50%, are useless and lazy at home.
They can't or won't fix things. Operating a "skill saw" is as no different than brain surgery and hanging sheetrock is simply out of the question.
I know and have spent a lot of time with very capable men. Most of them are constantly helping "neighbors" who are clueless.
I personally think the media takes a pretty "soft" approach to how most husbands/fathers behave in their homes. They me sensation at their temporal positions, wonderful obedient church goers but heaven forbid they pick up a hammer, change the filter on the lawn mover or remove a broken sprinkler head.

West Jordan, UT

@BleedCougarBlue - thanks for backing me up on my feminist movement comment.

Proves that Utes and Cougars can think alike!

Fred T

The article misleads by saying "idealized white American family"
The families on TV were white, but they represented an idealized American family, period.
When Bill Cosby's show aired, was he portraying himself as a "white family".
Using "white" in the sentence shows bias. Why does the reporter think black families aren't like those potrayed on Leave it to Beaver? Racist stereotypes? Indoctrinated views?


I am a feminist. I will fight HARD for equal rights and opportunities for both men and women. Portraying men as helpless idiots without women is just as wrong as portraying a woman as a helpless idiot without a man.

I suppose some feminists might be interested in putting men down, but this feminist will never be interested in something so harmful. I hope we as a society make some changes, and we support ALL people and respect ALL people.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Thinkman" you are wrong. Go back to the general confrences of the LDS church. Their have been many talks given reminding women of their duties, and some have even go so far as to remind them to treat their husbands kindly.

American Fork, UT

Every now and again, I'll remind my kids, spouse, or anyone else to whom it is necessary that I am capable of and willing to do many things, albeit almost always differently. I run a business and manage households in 2 nations. I'm a man; every now and again I do something silly or stupid (usually deliberately). But I get stuff done, and I get results.

Cedar Hills, UT

"The Cosby Show" had a pretty good model of a good marriage and a capable dad, but that show was exceptional in lots of ways.

Boise, ID

It's a blessing for children to have an active positive male role model in their lives. (I grew up in a household where Dad was VERY busy working long hours, but I loved when he was home, and in retrospect it's amazing how much of his "left-over" time was spent in his family duties. None of us ever felt neglected.)

It's indeed a sobering thought to consider that some kids get their views of fatherhood, masculinity, etc. from TV and movie characters. But that's probably the harsh reality. (Likewise there are certainly plenty of FEMALE characters on TV and in the movies, that I hope my daughters and granddaughters wouldn't select as role models!)

It reinforces the doctrine that children are most likely to do best when raised by both a father and mother!

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

This is primarily used for comedy, which has always been done. The reason that it works is because people know that fathers are important, but make mistakes like everyone else. People were tired of the perfect family being portrayed on TV. Instead of the same boring portrayal of dad as the all knowing figure in the family (which any parent will tell you that they do NOT in fact have all of the answers), they are portrayed as what not to be like. Do you really think that Homer Simpson is portrayed as the ideal man? Quite the opposite. As someone else pointed out, some people are just intelligent enough to know that TV is for entertainment, not to build your family around the image.

On a different note, the sentiment found in this article is one that I find disturbing in our society. The most privileged people in our society (white males) crying foul that they no longer have the advantages that they once did. "Why can't it be like it used to be?" Because it used to be horrible for anyone other than white males.

Layton, UT

How about a portrayal of the dad that loves his wife and children, and has done everything that he knows to be right, but works at a dead end job full of stress, only to come home from work each day to a house that is qualified for FEMA, and does his own car repairs, volunteers to coach Little League, and has hardly any time for himself.

That wouldn't sell in Hollywood.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

When did post-feminism happen?
Man bad/woman victim is an ongoing theme of left wing politics: i.e. deliberately manipulating the "violence against women act" to make it partisan (after two decades of bi-partisan support) so that Democrats can forward a phony "war on women" meme
(When feminists demand equality, while simultaneously feigning victimhood when not receiving preference - instead of grasping the obvious fact that men and women are NOT the same, and cannot fairly be treated the same - they become the bully they claim to despise)
Demonizing men has always been a byproduct of feminist dogma - one cannot gain the passive/aggressive power of victimhood without having a perpetrator to blame - and if feminists need more power; it is enticing to move beyond legitimate concerns and start making up reasons to be a faux victim in order to increase that power.
Fortunately; Feminists do not represent all women any more than Homer Simpson represents all men

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

This leads to a familiar question about whether popular culture is forming attitudes about gender roles or reflecting what is already in society.

Those who study media find it alarming how women are portrayed - particularly in commercials. Does this create expectations for the workplace? I frequently hear the complaint that men only need to show they are qualified when they apply for work, while women feel they have to demonstrate that they are good-looking first and foremost.

It also seems that kids in sitcoms are wisecracking adorable children with few real problems. Does this set up false expectations?

We should also keep in mind that these stereotypes thrive because they are popular. So why do we WANT dads to act like dunderheads in popular culture? That is the real question here.

American Fork, UT

@m.g. scott

What a paranoid and stressful world you must live in. Not everything is a conspiracy theory you know. Try coming back to reality.

Denton, TX

I miss Robert Young and Fred MacMurray.


It's extremely simple: stupid people are funny to watch, and most men don't take offense at seeing their gender portrayed as stupid. Hence, men on TV tend to be stupid.

Orem, Utah

It's really sad with the way that Dads are treated, especially in custody issues!

Bronx, NY

Back when I was a kid...... oh wait it was no different. seriously look at some of the old movies from the 20's and 30's this is nothing new other then we have gotten old and nostalgic just like our parents did and their parents before them. the world really is not falling apart.

Tooele, UT

As a husband, I don't particularly like the way TV fathers are portrayed, but remember that successful TV shows like "The Simpsons" "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Family Guy" are so much more than just everyone sitting around, watching Dad make a fool of himself.

I remember my mother-in-law telling me once how she hated the character of Marie on "Everybody Loves Raymond" because it portrays mothers-in-law and grandmothers as excessivley nosy, critical and selfish.

The beginning of the article talked about how the focus group in question did not ever have a teenage boy babysit for them, but I think little of this has to do with the portrayal of dads on TV. Often its more the stereotype that feeding and taking care of little kids is unmanly and shows weakness.

Recently at the hotel I work at, a mom and dad were busy grabbing their luggage and I found myself chatting with the two year old girl for a few minutes. When the parents got back the mother said, "I'm surprised you had the patience to deal with her."

I replied, "I have six younger siblings."

West Jordan, UT

Great article! I agree with everything you said. Keep up the good work!

Pocatello, ID

@ Thinkman
I am a woman in my late years and I cannot ever remember hearing a leader railing on the men over the pulpit. I have heard of talks where the leaders are concerned about too many fathers leaving the home or working too many hours. I think it was their opinion that they were also needed in the home to be fathers.

As far as mothers go - you may not hear it so much, but what do you think most of our RS lessons are about? To teach us to be better wife's and mothers and sometimes the women can be really hard on themselves in there.

I am SO THANKFUL that I had a great father! He was not perfect, but I always knew that he loved me and was grateful that I was his daughter. Fathers are so important to the home! I know--- being a divorced woman, just how much the father is needed in the home for so many different reasons. God bless you Honorable Fathers! Wish there were more of you out there.

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