What Is Daddy Privilege? Why Parenting Norms Still Have A Long Way To Go

First, women fought for the freedom to leave traditional caretaker positions. We fought for workplace equality. Now, professional moms aren’t revolutionary—they’re the majority. 

However, working moms are not the only ones who have to make sacrifices. appreciationThe patriarchy failed to meet its mark. Because when women wear both hats, it’s expected. But when men wear both hats, they’re heroes. 

One TikTok user summarized this phenomenon perfectly as daddy privilege.

What is the Daddy Privilege?

TikTok user and a new mom Chloe SextonSharing her experience with daddy privilege in a most fitting way: with a baby strapped to her hip. 

Sexton runs an e-bakery, which requires her weekly visits to a wholesale market. “Last week, my husband had the day off. He agreed to do it for me. But he also had the baby,” Sexton said in a TikTok post. “I tell you that this man was treated like a hero.” 

“Mind you; those same people see me there every single week. I’m strapped up with a baby or seven months pregnant hauling 100-pound bags of flour in the back of my Subaru. There’s nothing to see here. Just a woman doing woman things, busting her ass.”

“But my husband,” Sexton continued, “ha! My husband wears the baby, and it’s, ‘oh my god, look at you! Oh my god! You work so hard!’”

Sexton, with her baby in tow, leans close towards the camera. “He’s not a hero. He’s literally just a father. He’s just a parent. Doing the same s*** I do every week.”

This is, in essence, daddy privilege: unégal recognition for equal work.

Side Effects Of The Patriarchy

Familial dynamics can’t be generalized over an entire population. Some relationships are truly equal while others are more uneven. But Sexton isn’t the only person who’s noticed this trend.

“I just had a C section,” one Tiktok user commented. “And when people call to check-in, everyone asks if my husband is sleeping enough. Not me, though.”

“Men bringing their baby to a meeting: ooh’s and ahh’s all around,” another user wrote. “I brought my baby—got called into the captain’s office and told not to do it again.”

So, not only is this problem common, it’s a logical side effect of patriarchy. “This story really illustrates how reproductive labor has been enforced on and expected of women,” one user commented. 

“Not only are you expected to be fine with not getting paid for your labor, but you’re expected to do it with no help. It’s not uncommon for people to be surprised that a father is actually a parent. The bar is so low for fathers,” they continued.

Of course, others disagree

To no one’s surprise, plenty of men had something to say about daddy privilege. But to give credit where it’s due, there are lots of dads on Sexton’s TikTok supporting her. But, in a follow-up videoSexton shared some of her furrier comments.

“He is a hero. All dads are heroes, and you can’t change my mind,” one user wrote. “He was kind enough to help you out on his day off.” 

“With his child. That he had. This was intentional. With [me]. Who [I] care for. Every day he works,” Sexton replied.

“Men would think you’re a literal hero too if you paid his bills,” one comment read. This was addressed by Sexton in another follow-up video. “There are so many holes in the sexist bulls**t that you put here that I feel like I should fill them in for you.”

“This little bitty baking business I have now actually floated my family’s income when my husband lost his job during the pandemic and then helped us buy this house.” Sexton continued, “So, maybe lower your voice. Tell me what you do.”

We have a long way to go

Sexton has been featured in numerous international news publications. She has also received what she calls “the most hate mail I’ve ever had in my entire life.” 

Some users went so far as to leave reviews on Sexton’s business page. One “customer” claimed Sexton was rude, dramatic, made their daughters cry, and called Sexton a witch. 

“Don’t think she likes children,” the review reads. “Thankfully, her husband was there, and he saved the day!”

As if anyone needed proof that this review was a lie, Sexton’s bakery has no storefront. Her husband doesn’t work there. Sexton’s experience is one larger than herself. It reveals the still-present inequalities between men and women.

This isn’t Just a woman’s issue, either. People who are amazed that fathers do their jobs suggest that they were unlikely to be able to do it. It implies they’ve accomplished a great feat. 

Not only is this insulting to women, but it’s also belittling to men. A fight for feminist equality also means fighting for men’s rights to be a father without getting a patronizing participation trophy in the process. 

One of the first steps to achieving true gender equality is to get rid of daddy privilege.

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