….. by calling the article mansplaining. That’s right – parenting is women’s work and when man says anything about, including complaining about obstruction by the mother, it’s “mansplaining”. How’s that for mommy-blocking? Thanks, Katie McDonough, for settling that so fast.
McDonough starts out superficial and stays there. Here’s one:
“And really, Bruce Feiler? You’re comfortable giving men a pass on parenting because “When a mother criticizes her partner’s child-care efforts, it causes him to lose confidence and withdraw?” That’s the best you’ve got?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.”
That’s not thinking, McDonough, that’s just snark. Mommy-blocking is behavior – constant criticism, surveillance and second-guessing, a directive approach to inter-parental communication – that comes out of a sexist attitude about a father’s place in his child’s life. It’s going to take more than adolescent snark to deal with the issue.
McDonough elides all the enforcement tactics at a mother’s disposal to back up her mommy-blocking behavior – specious accusuations of domestic violence a la the VAWA-approved “I’m afwaid! He fwightens meeeee!!!” to get him out of the house, to baseless but oh-so-believable accusations of sexual abuse to get him more permanently out of the way.
Then she moves on to irelvancies, in this case the idea that mothers get judged more than men about parenting (…so supposedly this justifies mothers taking control of all of it. More self-refutation.)
“Now, let’s ignore how Feiler goes on to tell Dell’Antonia that she is only imagining being judged more harshly as a parent than her husband, (“So the next time you hear (or imagine) those whispers or see (or invent) those raised eyebrows…”)
Why not ignore it, since you are so ready to tell Feiler he’s only imaging the scope and depth of maternal gate-keeping?
McDonough writes generally good stuff. This was just an off day probably. Or maybe this just looked so obvious to her that she didn’t think it required any thought or research. Well, everyone is entitled to a stinker now and then.
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