Monday, March 05, 2007

Today's Scourge: The Over-Involved Dad

New York Magazine, which has done so much to gin up parenting trend stories that are overblown, silly or patently false, is at it again with a wonderful piece on "momblocking": dads who dictate to mom how to parent (if they let her parent at all). It is apparently the gender-reversed version of overbearing "gatekeeper" moms.

The piece is wonderful not because it exposes the seedy and growing meanance of fathers who thoughtlessly cut their wives out of the diaper changing (and not because it quotes the charming and talented Greg Allen of Daddy Types). I'm fairly certain that momblocking is not a huge problem for New York mag readers. Indeed, I doubt it's a particularly big problem for anyone, even Amy Sohn, the author. (The solution to momblocking -- and gatekeeper moms -- is the simple but sometimes painful elixer of constant communication.) Momblocking is certainly not an emerging trend.

No, the piece is wonderful because the editors at New York Magazine apparently think that they can blow 1,000 words on a made-up trend that focuses on overinvolved fathers and people will believe this is really a problem. In short, it is now plausible to think that dads -- in general -- are so generally involved in family life that they're going overboard. Again, probably not true, but I'm just happy to live at a time where people think that's possible.

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