"I’m tired of our society applauding dads for handling the most basic of parenting duties," the artist said.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 27, 2022. It has since been updated.
We have come a long way to do away with gender roles, however, heterosexual parents are still subjected to double standards. Fathers are frequently praised for doing routine parenting tasks, but mothers are expected to do the majority of these tasks while getting no acknowledgment for the efforts. Mary Catherine Starr created a comic titled, "An Illustrated Guide To The Double Standards Of Parenting," to emphasize the different perspectives of society when viewing parents, reports HuffPost. She is a mother, yoga teacher, artist, consultant, and blogger and is based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She runs an Instagram account, @momlife_comics, and posts comics related to parenting, marriage, and yoga.
The post displaying the double standards of parenting has become Starr's most famous comic to date. The scenes shown are based on Starr's own experiences as a mother in a culture that places significantly lesser expectations on fathers. She captioned the post, "This is not a dig at dads, it's a dig at our society—a society that applauds dads for handling the most basic of parenting duties + expects nothing short of perfection from mothers (or even worse, shames them for every decision and/or move they make!)." Starr spoke to Huffpost regarding her comic, "I’m tired of our society applauding dads for handling the most basic of parenting duties and expecting perfection from mothers,"
The artist added, "People have said lots of things to me that they would never say to my husband. For instance, once, when my daughter was young and I was pushing her in the stroller and looking down at my phone, a neighbor called out to me that I ‘should pay attention to my daughter instead of my phone.’ " She further said, "I know he never would have said that to my husband." Starr went ahead to state another example where fathers are said to be "babysitting" their kids when they are only taking care of their own children.
She commented, "People will ask moms, ‘Who is watching your kids?’ when they’re traveling or out at night, but don’t ask dads that." She further said that mothers are expected to be at home when their kids are sick, however, fathers are exempted from such duties. She told Huffpost, "Moms are expected to stay home from work when their kids are sick, and dads aren’t. And, in fact, often dads aren’t given the same flexibility that moms are given when their kids are sick.” Parents are also sharing their own experiences in the comment section of the viral post.
One mother wrote, "How about when dad dresses them oddly or inappropriately for the weather - hilarious. If mom did that, she's borderline negligent." Another commented, "Sad but true, I wish society would realize the emotional damage it's causing to women and the fact that we shouldn't be shamed or over looked for all that we do." Starr believes that acknowledging these double standards for parents in our society is the first step towards discarding them for good.
Cover Image Source: @momlife_comics/Instagram