Patriarcal Ideas in Modern Culture: Devaluing Fatherhood?

Patriarcal Ideas in Modern Culture: Devaluing Fatherhood? April 5, 2014

New feature for NLQ. When Patriarchy shows up in a news story as the accepted believe system in culture we’ll be posting the details here. Bolded for emphasis.

From The Huffington Post:


Someone isn’t going to win Father of the Year.

A prominent sports radio host told listeners that Mets player Daniel Murphy, who missed the first two games of the season, should have played ball instead of being with his wife and newborn son.

WFAN host Mike Francesa said he could understand one day of paternity leave for the birth, but he scolded the second baseman for skipping the second game.

Go see the baby be born and come back,” he said in the audio clip below. “You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.”

Francesa, who has three children (two of them twins), remarked that he attended their births and worked the same day.

When you have unique employment, “you have a job to do,” Francesa said.

And he wasn’t alone among WFAN hosts in criticizing Murphy for not lacing up his spikes. Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason told morning listeners, “I would have said C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day, I’m sorry.”

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson told the New York Daily News he was happy Murphy could be with his wife.

USA Today pointed out, besides the obvious that Murphy has his union-won right to the leave, that he has been one of the Mets’ most regular employees, playing in 317 games over the previous two seasons.

With far less fanfare, Minnesota Twins pitcher Brian Duensing was placed on the MLB’s three-day paternity list before Opening Day for the birth of his son. But Duensing doesn’t play in New York.

Last November, Memphies Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph left during a game to help his fiancee deliver their baby.

In September, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco learned that his wife had given birth to their second child during warmups for a game, but he proceeded to play.

There has been outrage over those statements and the idea that having a baby does not involve the father. Best rebuttal I’ve seen on the old Patriarchal views of letting the little lady labor on alone is from Craig Melvin of NBC – Take It From A New Dad: Why We Need Paternity Leave.

What do you think, do men need paternity leave as much as women need maternity leave?

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Joy

    Yes, I think men need paternity leave just a much as women need maternity leave. Most of all, the children need both parents.

  • Allison the Great

    Yes, they most certainly do. “The Little Wife” didn’t make the baby by herself, so why should she have to give birth to the baby by herself and then have a complete stranger come and help her take care of it when the father is in the picture? I hate the mentality that raising children is just a woman’s job. It’s not. This mentality allows men to become like the guys that 2Pac was talking about in “Keep Ya Head Up” .

  • Futuralon Futuralon

    Wow, I was not aware of these ridiculous statements by men athletes. While some women may accept that the father of their newborns would rather work than be with them on a once-in-a-lifetime special occasion, I’m glad that other couples are starting to buck the unrealistic expectations. There’s no way I’d let my husband stay at work on my child’s day of birth and there’s no way he’d want to. My father would tear him apart for even suggesting it. Seems like these athletes who “play through” such an extraordinary event are two or more generations out of sync with the rest of us. Furthermore, it’s just baseball. You’re not going to be launched into space or negotiate a war ending treaty, you’re playing with a ball for a paycheck. Get over yourselves, athletes!

  • Dorothy Young

    Aw, come on, just let the mom pop that baby out alone. No biggie. Daddy’s gotta bring home the bacon, right? I’m proud of this dad for being there for his family.

  • centaurie

    Furthermore, it’s just baseball. You’re not going to be launched into space or negotiate a war ending treaty, you’re playing with a ball for a paycheck.

    That baseballcareer might be over in the same season if you’re in crippling accident, but that kid is still going to be there 20 years later… (presuming the kid doesn’t die for whatever reason)

  • B.E. Miller

    Yes, men should get paternity leave too. If both men and women got paternity/maternity leave, they could take turns caring for baby, and it would help cut down on child care cost. (Though I realize that most sports players get a decent income and could probably hire help.) It would also help give Dad time to bond with the baby.

  • I know this is not the topic of this blog entry, but it is something that Suzanne Calulu might like to link to in a future link round-up:

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I had intended to post a link to a couple of different blogs and articles, just haven’t had the time yet. Been going back and forth to Baltimore and Johns Hopkins for my asthma. I am hoping that I’ll have time enough soon to do just that.

  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    Stunning. So the whole two-parent thing is a bunch of hogwash; mom does it alone with a nurse for help if needed.

    The next time someone complains that absent fathers are ruining the emotional stability of the next generation of kids, point them to this idiotic commenter and remind them that dads are apparently needed elsewhere, like at sports complexes to entertain random strangers.

    Holy stupid, Batman.