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January 26 2017

NYT Gets Feminist Flack Over Story About Dads Bumbilng at Home While Wives Marched in Washington

Charlotte Allen

I love watching the liberal media eat their own.

One of the gazillion New York Times stories about the Women's March on Washington this past weekend was headlined: "How Vital Are Women? This Town Found Out As They Left to March."

NYT reporter Filip Bondy seemed desperate to prove his feminist chops by painting the scene over inauguration weekend in upscale Montclair, N.J. (median family income: $96,000) as a latter-day Lysistrata, with helpless men thrown into convulsions of domestic chaos after their womenfolk headed south to Washington, D.C., "Dump Trump" signs in their hands and bright pink "pussyhats" on their heads.

Newser sums up Bondy's story:

"Routines were radically altered" as women were noticeably absent from home, Starbucks, and yoga studios, Filip Bondy wrote. One sports writer even missed a basketball game to care for his kids, and when the women returned, "many fathers exhaled in relief."

Bondy probably thought he did good. Isn't it a convention of TV sitcoms and commercials that men are such bumbling, useless fools that they can't even run their wives' washing machines?

Uh, uh--Bondy, you blew it. Don't you know that in today's egalitarian households, husbands actually do the same amount of housecleaning, dishwashing, laundry-folding, and childcare as their wives? Or at least we wish they would, and maybe with enough nagging....

At Slate Christina Cauterucci scolded Bondy for presuming to "praise" men for taking over these tasks:

Fathers reheated leftover pizza, dressed their children in winter coats, and played with their kids at parks—without help from their wives! This could have been a story about the life of any single parent, primary caregiver, or parent whose partner is away for a weekend. Almost every parent outside the 1 percent has days where he or she must parent, unremarkably, alone. But because the parents of Montclair were men who usually have women around, Bondy gave every banal duty of parenthood the weight of a superhuman feat.

Cauterucci accused Bondy of being "trapped in a time warp." The Huffington Post's Emily Peck sniffed:

The piece seemed to reinforce three old-fashioned tropes about gender and parenting: Men can’t handle parenting tasks; men who manage to handle the basics of parenting are exceptional and worthy of a news story; and parenting is fundamentally the work of women.

A Houston woman tweeted (according to Newser):

How is it a hardship that wealthy men in a privileged community are taking care of their own offspring for less than 24 hours?

The NYT ultimately realized that feministically sensitive as it had tried to be, it had actually been feministically sensitive in the wrong way (it's hard to keep up with the ever-changing rules of feminism-sensitivity). Reports Newswer:

Times editor Wendell Jamieson has since said the article "was conceived with the best intentions, but it fell flat. And I regret it." "Sorry, sorry, sorry," Bondy tells the Huffington Post. Of the criticism, he adds, "I deserved it."

Indeed he did. Maybe if he'd realized that most men are perfectly capable of helping out at home when their wives get progressive bees in their bonnets and take off for a day of sisterhood. As one dad joked on Twitter:

I also endured this hardship. I fed my son Tevin dog food and accidentally set fire to my daughter, whatshername.

He also didn't have to go to the march--which sounds pretty smart to me.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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