Stay-at-home dads sometimes get quite the bad rap and are “shamed” for choosing to live a so called “domestic” lifestyle.
Men are shamed if they decide to stay at home, while their significant other works. As feminists, we should defend men who choose to stay at home with their kids. Feminism is about equal opportunity, and we should not pigeon hole men into certain career paths because they are “male.” Just as we, as feminists, are pushing for more women to take leadership positions in their careers (that is, if that’s their choice) and break the glass ceiling, we should push men to pursue the lifestyle that they want…and it may be to be a stay at home dad.
We live in a world that is very much influenced by social media, tv shows, and movies, and because of that, holds a lot of power in changing people’s ideas on gender stereotypes.
Here is a list of four movies/ TV shows that encourage men who choose to be stay-at-home dads and also portray fatherhood in a positive light.
Roland Burton, in this older TV series, is a stay-at-home dad to his two kids, while his wife, pursues her career in the military. One reason I particularly love this show is that not only is Roland happy to stay at home with the kids, but he is good at it. A lot of time, I feel that shows portray men as stupid and incapable of watching and handling the kids. Roland is a great father and has a great marriage because they are confident in the roles that they have chosen for themselves.
This is one of my personal favorite TV shows. This hilarious show portrays some of the everyday struggles that single dad, Ben Wheeler, faces as he raises his daughter, Emma. Even though he isn’t a “stay-at-home” dad persay, he has an active role in his daughter’s life as he balances both parenting roles in her life in a confident way.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
I watched this movie probably a thousand times during my pregnancy. One of my very favorite parts of this movie were the “dad group” scenes. These dads legitimately enjoy parenting. Even though these scenes are supposed to be funny and ridiculous, there really was something truly feminist about this dad group that I liked. These dads were proud to be stay-at-home dads, and they weren’t ashamed of their lifestyle choice.
Who doesn’t love this adorable film? This is a great one (even feminist!) and doesn’t put fathers in a negative light at all, as Marlin raises little Nemo. Marlin is a dedicated and capable dad, and I love how the film portrays fatherhood in such a positive way.
Like I mentioned, social media, TV, and movies all influence how people view gender stereotypes and roles. These “outlets” need to encourage people to view women and men as equals, which means that they need to be okay with the fact that men can be stay-at-home dads (and be really good at it too).
What shows/ movies have you seen that have portray fatherhood and stay-at-home dads in a positive light?