Blogger Doyin Richards was surprised that an image of him styling his daughter's hair went viral online and received a lot of attention, both positive and negative. One mom wonders how we move past the wow factor to treat moms and dads as equals.
Doyin Richard/Daddy Doin Work
We assume that moms know the morning hustle of the household with kids; brush teeth, eat breakfast, put on fresh clothes, do hair, grab the diaper bag, kiss foreheads, etc. But do we assume that daddy knows them as well?
In many homes, the answer seems to be no. At least that’s what blogger Doyin Richards found out when he posted a photo of him styling his daughter’s hair while toting his other daughter in a carrier.
The photo of Mr. Richards that went viral online features him aptly managing his vital role as a dad. In the photo, Richards is holding his 6-month-old in a baby carrier while styling his 2-year-old’s hair. Sometimes many forget that there are many tasks dads can do – and in many cases, would love to do.
Richards originally posted this photo with an article titled, "I Have a Dream" on October 15, 2013, though just this week it has been making ripples again. Perhaps its resurgence suggests people aren't ready to stop talking about this issue of differing expectations for the genders.
The funny thing is, if it were a mom pictured instead of a dad, no one would really care. Clearly, women and men are not considered equal in the home yet – not even close, if photos like these cause such a stir. Actually, to me, the photo seemed pretty everyday, and I was shocked to hear that there has been some negative comments about it.
The movement for equal rights has made great strides of progress in the workplace. Just talking to women who had babies in the 70s and 80s makes me realize that the areas of maternity leave policies, pregnancy discrimination, and accommodations in offices for pumping breast milk have improved significantly since their childbearing days. Sure, there's still room for lots of improvement, but we've come a long way from women having to pump milk for their babies while hiding in a bathroom stall.
Another important frontier for gender equality is in the home. Sure, there are many tasks that naturally fall to the mother or the father respectively, and that's okay. We need to focus on our perceptions though – that's what created the controversy around his photo. Dads being deeply involved with their kids should not only be normal, it should be completely expected. It seems like that's what Richard was conveying when he shared this photo and article.