The Changing Role and Status of Dads in Society

Caregiver Discrimination

In the not-so-distant past, the husband was traditionally considered the primary breadwinner, leaving home every weekday morning to go to work. The wife’s role was limited to staying home and taking care of the children and household. At the end of the day, the husband would return home to dinner waiting and the house properly kept.

Fast-forward a generation or two, and now the wife also leaves the home every weekday morning to go to work. Of course, she does this in addition to taking on the majority of the household and child-raising responsibility. Slowly things have changed, so that the husband helps out more with household chores and duties, including childrearing.

But not everyone was willing to accept these changes. As a result, laws also changed with the times, usually protecting women from employer discrimination based on their sex and/or caregiving responsibilities. However, men have also experienced discrimination based on their ever-increasing domestic roles at home. We recently discussed some of this discrimination in our blogs, Paternity Leave Discrimination: Can Fathers Be Victims Too? and Can a Man Be the Victim of Family Responsibilities Discrimination?

In the recent past, as well as today, pop culture has tended to paint the husband as a relatively clueless husband and aloof father. Thankfully, mainstream media has started to catch up to the changing status of husbands and fathers in today’s society. From TV shows to commercials, dads are being recognized for the important roles they play at home and in their children’s lives. Chad Prevost has written a nice piece that recognizes and discusses this shift. His Washington Post article titled “Why this is the end of the dumb dad era,” can be found here.