Editor’s Note: Josh’s post yesterday caught fire. If you haven’t read it, please read it and make sure you scan the comments. Very interesting discourse. Personally, I think too much has been made about the “Dad War,” we’re all adults and THEYCALLMECODY seems to be fine. These are important conversations to be had, and we appreciate Josh’s original post and this follow up.
So this thing happened. A person new to blogging wrote a blog post on a decently trafficked website. The post was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating tribute to his wife. Slap a title on that puppy, and you’re done. A funny thing happened on the way to the publication. In a decision his wife later said she disagreed with, he made the post title about all fathers, not just himself.
So another thing happened. A bunch of involved dads, including some that you all know, got their hackles up. Missives, as both responses and other blog posts, went flying around the intertubes. You probably saw the one here. Hyperbole and more tongue-in-cheekiness abounded. Exaggerations were made and names were called.
The sidelines went crazy. A facebook post by the original website had tons of comments about how horrible men are. Comments came fast and furious from both sides, recruited via twitter and other social media. “Ringers” were brought in, both pro and con. Mr. Burns was somewhere yelling at Mattingly to shave his sideburns.
Deeeeeeeeep breaths people.
And here’s where we’re left: A response from the author, explaining himself. One that will satisfy his supporters, and likely disappoint many of his detractors– me for one. I’m sure there’ll be others.
Cody is left thinking that he tried to pay tribute to his wife and get a few page views, and it turned out to cause an all out assault on him and his family by a group he wasn’t sure existed. A group he was disappointed in, because they had never given such a response to any of his other work. He’s also disappointed about the level of discourse.
The opposite side is thinking that he tried to pay tribute to his wife and get a few page views, and that he did so by using inflammatory language that, while inadvertent, managed to insult a lot of dads. A group that was disappointed in him, because he’s been given a pedestal from which he can do great good for parents, male and female. The dads are also disappointed about the level of discourse.
So that’s where we’re left. Both sides disagree about a lot, but seem to agree that words should be chosen carefully, and with the audience in view. Cody doesn’t want to see himself (or his family) attacked personally, even in jest, and the dads on the other side want the same. Sweeping generalizations about groups made for comical reasons and page views often backfire. Calling someone a douchebag, even in jest, can hurt their feelings too. If we all want to raise the level of discourse, then it’s up to us ALL to do so.
Live and learn.
(Although I’m not hugging it out with that one dude. That’s kinda creepy)
Josh Kross is an at home dad to his three kids. When not putting his MBA in operations management to use making sure his kids get where they need to be, he is the Upper West Side event coordinator for the NYC Dads Group. Follow his blog, The Angry SAHD.
moosh in indy. says
As his wife and as a somewhat established blogger, I can’t thank the dad bloggers who took the time to pull my husband aside and privately discuss what went awry, how he can improve moving forward and expressed their views with genuine concern and interest.
That being said, I live with the man and know first hand that arguing with him is a giant pain in the ass given his career, especially on certain things.
I of course want to scream and yell that he’s a good guy who made a very bad mistake, but it’s not my fight. I’m just the poor (expletive) that reproduced with the idiot and should look for a real man to call father to my children (thanks facebook!)
While it pains me to see so many bloggers still calling for his head on a platter, I’m grateful for those who are willing to move forward, learning from the experience and growing together.
(P.S. Y’all should probably hug me anyway, I’m way better at it, Cody said so.)
I read through the comments…Here are a couple of lessons I tell my girls, any group I am involved with, and remind myself from time to time…… There is a difference in attacking someone and attacking what they write and say, and when disagreements arise there are no permanent enemies. That may sound Pollyannish but it works for me. However, it is deeply frustrating when these stereotypes continue because guys who stay at home are ostracized by moms and dads who “don’t get it” Dads who stay at home are not incompetent, not lesser men and not moms. They are men who are dads that stay at home.
A few hours have passed since I wrote my offensive comments on Babble, and of course I wish I didn’t go there now. But I did, so all I can do now is move on. I usually try to be positive, but when men tell me how normal men should act, I get the shakes. What can you do…
So now I think we should leave this guy alone. His post had absolutely no merit, but if we are still angry, we should point our anger at Babble.
If Cody is new to blogging, then how does one of the biggest parenting sites let him write there with no proof-reading or editing? When the dust settles, Cody may or may not rise again to write a misguided Dads Are Great post (which I imagine will look a lot like this one), and Babble will continue putting out faux-controversies that aim not to teach, share, or inspire, but to make us click. The damage to the way fatherhood is viewed in society as a result of reinforced stereotypes means nothing to these people. Disney doesn’t give them money to change the world, after all, but to make them more money.
It’s time to leave the poor guy alone. And let Babble spread its poison. But if you’re a token dad writing at their Dadding section, you should consider adding “Writer at Babble” to your resume and start looking for a new gig in a place that respects you enough as a writer to stop you from writing posts that will bring the wrath of the Internet upon your head, and respects you enough as a father to not use gender wars for financial gain.
This is so tiresome. The only wars here are ones we create ourselves with silly sensitivity and pointless judgments. Just because parenting is serious doesn’t mean we all have to take ourselves so seriously. We’re bloggers, and inherent in that is that we are writing from our own experiences, regardless of what we title something or not.l I wish this Cody guy had said “screw all of you, I stand by my post” because WHO CARES either way. We all do things differently, dads are different than dads are different than moms are different than stepdads are different than blah blah blah. Opinions are kind of the point. Unless he was posting pictures of the children he’s torturing, why should the Dad cabal attack him? All he’s doing is what we all do. Agree, disagree, whatever, but let’s not act like A) his post was going to damage dads reputations as parents or B) we should have any authority over any other dads we disagree with. Parenting is a pretty personal thing. There was nothing to take personally in Cody’s post unless you are insecure about your own place. Let it go. All the judgments and attacks and so-called wars are just a waste of everyone’s time. Can’t we all just get along? Or at least ignore each other?
I ignore most of the interweb everyday.
I think it is safe to say both the way Cody titled and wrote his piece and the way Babble promoted it was for the purpose of not being ignored. Of corse the irony is that if Cody had just written about himself. If he had titled it “10 Things My Wife Does Better Than Me” it likely would have went ignored. I doubt anyone would have attacked his parenting.
Which is where I feel Cody’s response is lacking. He seems to simultaneously trying to poke the bees nest and act surprised when the bees sting.
I think there is some middle ground between over the top personal attacks and just ignoring it. Somewhere in the middle is dialogue. And it may sometimes be messy getting there, I hope in the end it is worth it.