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Men can't do everything right

by Mark Phillips    --show me more like this

© Stephen Coburn - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.

Back when women first joined the workforce and got paid for their work, some men thought they were incapable of producing as much or succeeding as well as their male counterparts. Women struggled against injustice and, using sheer will and strength of character, proved them wrong. It was a long hard struggle, but now most agree that in practically every position in every industry, women are just as competent as men. Now, men are beginning a new revolution. We are heading back into the home to become the Primary Parent. After generations of this being the women’s role in every society except penguins and ostriches, there are some who believe that men are not as capable as women as Stay At Home Parents.

Good. That gives us a little breathing room.

There are occasions—no more than once a day—that the clothes I choose for my two-year-old daughters don’t match. I know there are rules about different prints and too many shades of red, but I have yet to fully understand them.

I have also never been good with hair. Mine was short, even in the 80s, simply because I never got the gist of “doing it.” Today, I consider it a major victory if I get my girls’ ponytails to stay on their head. Getting them centered is too much to ask.

At play dates or at the mall, when mommies see my girls in all their incompatible glory, I am given slack simply because I am a man. If my wife were to bring our girls similarly clad, she would be ostracized. How could any mother allow her children to be seen in such disarray?

Some might see this as a sinister form of sexism. The expectations for my behavior are lower than that of my female counterparts! This is discrimination! It says that one group is less capable than another!

Yep. Bring it on.

I am sure it gives some women a smug sense of superiority knowing that their daughters’ hair is bundled and bowed, while my daughters sport ponytails sticking out the side of their heads. Their sons wear slacks that are just the right shade of tan, while mine wears whatever was on top in the drawer.

I say, Ma’am, you are welcome to your smugness.

Men don’t do color. We don’t know the difference between eggshell and taupe and we couldn’t point out ecru if an ecru-colored snake bit us. If the world wants to accept that as a fact, why should we spend valuable energy proving them wrong?

We don’t do hair. We don’t do clothes. I, for one, am okay with that. There are so many things I had to learn when I became a SAHD. I am quite happy to be inadequate in those areas where I am genetically predisposed for failure.

If I tried, I could learn all those rules, but I am too busy teaching my kids how not to throw like a girl.

Copyright © 2005
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