That’s a different way of saying, “My daughter is kicking up a storm and moving around a lot, lately.” Goes to show that how you say something really changes the tone of the message.
There’s a link that has been passed around a bit, lately. Not going to link it* but I wanted to express some thoughts. Basically this guy saw a dad going off on a kid at a grocery store in a particularly egregious way, got riled up, and decided to blog about it in a sort of “come to Jesus” fashion.
The basic message he states is fine, it’s the context he frames it in. The incident he describes is pretty bad — pinching, spirit crushing, etc. However, he addresses his message to dads. Not “parents”, just dads.
In fact, he rounds out the post with exhortations consisting of 7 or so bullet points starting with “Dads, such and such”, “Dads, stop being wankers”, “Dads, stop killing your children”, etc. Everything he’s saying after “Dads” is good, but it’s incredibly sexist to imply that fathers need someone to tell them this stuff. Why not “parents”, or “moms and dads”?
Put another way, replace “dads” with “black people” and it suddenly becomes a highly racist post. Here, let me do it for you:
“[Black people]. Wake up! These precious souls that have been put into your care are unique and so very sensitive.”
“[Black people], Should anybody buy into this silly notion that anger is sometimes or often necessary?”
Basically my complaint with this sort of message is the implication that just men need to be told how to be parents. Phrasing a universal message at one particular party implicitly states that there is a special reason for singling that party out. Ever been called out for behavior that everyone else is doing? It’s the same principle. And furthermore, by applying the universal message just at the one party, that party becomes the identified recipient for that particular message. The bad kid is always identified as the bad kid whether he’s good or not.
If that’s the message you assume to be true, that will naturally come out in everything you say – I don’t think the blogger I’m referring to consciously thought any of this, but his real feelings came out in the post: men are bad enough parents in general that they need to be told how to be good parents.
And this is the kicker: his son is going to learn that; and I can guarantee you he will live up to his father’s expectations of how men behave. That’s the real problem with his message.
* Because 1) I don’t like the message it sends, and 2) the guy kind of borders on forced SEO-scam blog posts, using his kid as a vehicle for it. I think he means well, but the tenor of his posts are affected by trying to drive traffic or “go viral”. Makes everything seem disingenuous or hollow.