This Instagram account denounces the double standard of parenthood

A father changing a diaper? It’s wonderful. A mother, on the other hand, is “the bare minimum”. There is nothing special to say, since it is normality. Why aren’t mothers and fathers treated the same way, for the same acts? This double standard in parenting, the Instagram account “Yes, but you are the mom! ” describes it perfectly. Through situations in the daily life of parents, this account highlights the pressure that moms are under.

Fathers praised, mothers criticized

As soon as a father performs the slightest action to take care of his child, the majority admires him. All generations tend to agree on this. The older ones gave a medal to the man who changed his baby’s diaper, if he could. And today’s parents, more aware of gender issues within the nuclear family (composed of father, mother and children, editor’s note), feel lucky to have a rather “deconstructed” father. In itself, this is something positive. Society increasingly appreciates these male efforts. The fathers are more involved, the mental load of the mothers should then decrease. (In numbers, that’s not really the case).

Nevertheless, this admiration of fathers invested in their child highlights an injustice for mothers. When they perform the same act of healing, they hear nothing. At best, reviews. It is always to be improved. Worse still: if a father is too tired, or makes a mistake with his child, it is not so serious. “He will have tried”.

A mom doesn’t have that luxury. She will be criticized, she will have failed in her duties. She is condemnable. A mother then decided to relay the testimonials of parents that she receives in an Instagram account. By observing his account “Yes, but you are the mom! “, those gender injustices are obvious.

The old myth of the gender division of parenting

If this double standard is still tenacious in our society, this is largely due to patriarchy. On one side, the old stereotypes about masculinity imply that a man does not have to assume the role of loving, tender, nurturing father. Basically, he’s the one who brings the money back to the nuclear family instead. On another side, the mother of a family is trapped in the famous myth of “maternal instinct”. Naturally, it is she who will take care of her child, sacrifice her personal life. Spending the night waking up and trying to give birth is “in her genes”. And in literature, media or cinema, these received ideas have long been reinforced these sexist stereotypes.

In her book “The Revolution of the Feminine”, the philosopher Camille Froidevaux-Metterie studies the evolution of the status and thought of “women” throughout history. She explains there the gendered division of parenthood goes back centuries. The mothers were then confined to the private sphere, while fathers enjoyed in the public sphere. That is to say, a woman is at home taking care of her children. It was, once again, something “natural”. And a woman could not make the choice to refuse motherhood.

But things have changed. The author says that today, contemporary feminisms have dissociated motherhood from female subjectivity. This is a “huge novelty”.

A double standard that persists today

But the prejudices that should of this long history die hard. We still see it today, especially in the experiences reported in the Instagram account “Yes, but you are the mom! “. This double standard story also echoes the photo of singer Vianneyrecently posted on his Instagram account. He poses preparing his bottle, and everyone applauds him. The media, the comments on social networks… only feminists saw a problem there. Sociologist Illana Weizman explained this in an Instagram post:

“it is normal and expected of her to fulfill all parental duties when the slightest effort from fathers is seen as a godsend”.

And you, have you ever felt this double standard in your discussions of parenthood? Come talk about it on the forum The body optimistin the corner Pregnancy, Future Parents, Parenting. We talk about everything, and without taboo!

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