December 4, 2012

"What will go away, albeit slowly, is the image or the perception of the befuddled dad."

Because "Kids are going to grow up with dads that give them baths and drive them to soccer and are cutting up oranges for team snacks." That is, the marketing made men look dumb because women were making the toy-buying decisions, so look for toy design/packaging/ads that appeal to the male ego.

This is supposed to be an example of the new trend:



Can you see why?

(Whatever you guys and ladies are buying for little girls and boys this year, if you use Amazon and enter through the Althouse portal — here — you will be supporting this blog without paying any extra for your selections.)

36 comments:

edutcher said...

This is about the wussification of men.

And the fact that the Democrat Party wants to do for white men what they did to black men 40 years ago.

Freeman Hunt said...

Legos!

Not much building going on in that Lego set though.

Shouting Thomas said...

Before Palladian gets to it... the green anal beads on either side?

Pogo said...

Legos needs to make a postmodern ironic building set for hipster dads.

They could call it the Meh. series, and little girls and boys can build a spliff, My Little Dead Ponies, an I Love Lucy Show set replaced with Nativity characters, or a post-apocalyptic shopping mall with zombies.


rhhardin said...

The feminine needs aisle will be replaced.

Palladian said...

Before Palladian gets to it... the green anal beads on either side?

Thank you for carrying the, uh, torch for me, Shouty...

Charles said...

Self-respecting dads don't cut up oranges for team snacks. They demand to know just why the hell it's necessary for kids to eat at the end of a soccer game.

It's time to start fighting back, gentlemen.

Pogo said...

"cutting up oranges for team snacks."

Made me wince, too.

Curious.

madAsHell said...

Nope.....ain't seein' it!

Freeman Hunt said...

Why do they feed children oranges after soccer? They've been doing that since I played kindergarten soccer, and that was 27 years ago. As a child I remember thinking that soccer must deplete vitamin C.

Freeman Hunt said...

Soccer scurvy.

rhhardin said...

They cut up a deer after rugby games.

Erika said...

Apparently you guys were raised in a neglectful soccer atmosphere. Where I grew up, sliced oranges were for halftime, while a Capri Sun and a granola bar were for after the game. With separate schedules for each.

Astro said...

I think the 'befuddled dad' thing was mostly just an act; a simple way of saying 'I don't want to be bothered' without hurting the kids' feelings. The marketing types didn't pick up on that and reinforced the stereotype so much it became the pop culture reality.

Erika said...

I'm happy to report that my husband shares equal Frito-pie-from-the-concession-stand buying duties with me for our softball playing daughters.

Charles said...

Capri Sun and Goldfish after the games, of course. Because the little tykes are going to friggin' STARVE TO DEATH between the final whistle and lunch in a half hour.

How did this happen? I'll tell you how it happens.

One mother decides "I'm going to bring a snack so I can validate my existence and prove what a great mother I am, even though my kid is already a spoiled brat, can't learn to kick a soccer ball and disrupts any chance of any of the other kids having a meaningful learning experience through team sports."

Then, after one game, that narcissistic mother goes into full-on martyrdom mode: "I worked hard to make sure your children didn't STARVE TO DEATH before lunch. Let's make a signup sheet so that every parent can be responsible for a game on the schedule."

Then it escalates: Popsicles. Baked goods. Organic granola ("because I care more about your kids eating pesticide-laced Goldfish than you do").

This must end. It must end on the soccer fields. It must end with the room mothers ("We've decided that each week a student is going to make a craft and bring in home-baked cookies - no peanuts, please - to celebrate how great our teacher is and how great a job she's doing. Which Friday would you like to sign up for?")

Paddy O said...

I admit to still being befuddled.

Broomhandle said...

Yes, fruit at halftime and massive sugar afterwards. With a subtle escalation among some Moms to make the treats ever more elaborate. Except for the Hispanic Moms, who rightly wonder what the hell it's all about. I was glad when my kids moved onto football in the sixth grade. Better seating and (surprisingly) less parental posturing.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What will go away... is the image or the perception of the befuddled dad.

Can you see why?


Because if you put an adult male in the commercials, then Julia's bastard daughter will become confused and keep raising the issue with her government-provided childcare's mandatory on-site psychiatrist during her thrice-weekly counseling sessions.

It's for the children.

wyo sis said...

No home baked treats. Only purchased wrapped treats. Not everyone's kitchen meets USDA standards.

The Gold Digger said...

I'm happy to report that my husband shares equal Frito-pie-from-the-concession-stand buying duties

Is there anything better than Frito Pie? I don't think so.

Simon Kenton said...

In our house I was the pussy, buying gifts like underwear and socks and neatly-wrapped school supplies. Santa was the stud, bringing matched sets of throwing knives, tactical tanto blades, shotguns, 1911A1 .45s, and elk rifles; filling stockings with ammo and the garage with clay pigeons. I was the uneasy accomodation with the feminizing trend and did my best to model SNAGish behavior; he stood for traditional values: cutting and blasting.

He won.

EMD said...

He won.

You sacrificed yourself for a noble cause.

Of that, you should be proud.

Rocketeer said...

In our house I was the pussy, buying gifts like underwear and socks and neatly-wrapped school supplies.

Sorry, badass frontiersman, but there is no more manly gift for Chritmas than underwear and socks. Toys? Feh. Toys are for kids. Socks are what grownups get.

Seriously, my hard core farmer uncle always gave me and my brothers warm, plain boot socks - the cream-colored kind with red toes, heels and cuffs. It always made me feel adult, like he viewed me as a man, an equal, and not some snotty kid to be catered to. So I guess what I'm saying is that I realize now that while I thought he was giving me socks, he was giving me a hell of a lot more than that.

EMD said...

This must end. It must end on the soccer fields. It must end with the room mothers

We shall fight on the soccer pitches
We shall fight on the softball diamonds
We shall fight on the football fields
and in the classrooms
We shall fight on the playgrounds
We shall never surrender

EMD said...

It never ends.

Christy said...

Back in the '80s I liked to host racquetball parties. Always had bowls of cut up oranges around because I had always found bowls of cut up oranges at club tournaments. I liked them. I always have grapes ready after exercise walks. I don't get the disdain for snacks after a game. When we allow ourselves to get too hungry, we make bad food choices.

Bought 2 tag team wrestling belts for a young nephew for the holidays. He must have 2 because, of course, its a tag team. I'm tempted to say that I'm reinforcing gender stereotypes, but my own grandma loved, loved, loved wrestling.

And I love Legos. What engineer doesn't?

Strelnikov said...

Is the "good father" represented by the poodle? Is that it?

Conserve Liberty said...

Oranges are to replace fluids - during halftime.

LEGO bricks are a good Christmas present, especially when they're just boxes of bricks or collections of people. My three children (28G, 26B and 22G) played with them for YEARS - and for hours on Christmas Day and until we de-decorated the house.

Boot Socks are a good Christmas present. Books are better. Antique framed prints are better. Anything Dad, or Uncle Chris or Mom or Aunt Sarah made is better - ANYTHING. Something someone else (anonymous) hand made is a good present.

Speak "adult" to children. Eat in the dining room on flatware and china, together, every night. Converse. Only watch television when someone else is also watching - that's a rule. Make it more fun to do things at home with you than to go to the mall and they'll stay home.

Yeah, I did my turn at the orange quarters; changed diapers; bought clothes (dresses and pants, with and without them); made meals (and brown-bag lunches) drove them where they needed to be; let them do whatever it was and then picked them up; coached, Scouted (Girl and Boy - the Girl Scout thing was a battle, though - some mothers thought I must be a perv).

Raising children is an active pursuit you do for them over a couple decades, not for your own ego over a couple days. Trouble is, you don't know whether it worked until it is too late to do anything about it.

28G = Network News Producer
25B = Construction Project Manager and married
22G = Ph.D. candidate

They're completely independent, thoughtful, confident, physically fit, socially adept (and socialized) - in short, we did well.

Teachers regularly asked us what we did differently than the other parents to "make" our children.

It was the talking to them as if they were adults and the eating together. Everything else is just ornaments.

Kirk Parker said...

Freeman + rhhardin == humor squared! :-)

delagar said...

What Conserve Liberty said.

If TV commercials, or TV shows, or Pop Culture, are raising your kids -- well, there's your problem right there.

carrie said...
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carrie said...
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carrie said...

First question is how many kids will even have dads playing an active role in their lives. 40% of births are to unmarried women and I can't imagine that many of these babies will be spending enough time with their dads for their dads to have much impact on them. And then there are a lot of kids of divorce whose fathers are out of the picure or only marginally in the picture.

Conserve Liberty said...

Those Mom and Dad families with jobs and churches and aunts and uncles are so - I don't know - WHITE or MIDDLE CLASS or something.

Racist or sexist or gender-identificationist or WASP-y or something bad, whatever it is.

Rich Rostrom said...

Sliced oranges at halftime are very common at rugby games.

And you need leather balls to play rugby.

(I was just a spectator.)