As a father, I am really sick of seeing dads reduced to helpless, stupid ogres who could not survive without their wives. I cook dinner. I wash dishes. I clean the bathroom. I wash and fold laundry. I take care of my sons. I would not be living like a barbarian if I was taking care of my sons by myself.
We should value and honor mothers, not just on Mothers Day, but every single day. Just the act of carrying a baby for nine months, with all of the physical effects that brings, is worthy of respect and admiration. But our mothers do much more than that. They take care of their children and are a help to their husbands. Their contributions every day to our lives are too valuable to calculate.
We do not, however, need to denigrate and disrespect the contributions of fathers in order to honor mothers. That was the premise of a really offensive card I saw while picking out cards for my wife and mother. (I posted a photo of the card on Twitter and Tumblr.) The card provides the same message we get from much of our culture, from sitcoms to stupid viral videos: Men are idiots. Men are incompetent. Men cannot take care of themselves. Without women, without mothers and wives, society would fall apart.
No, it would not. It is an offensive meme.
Our culture hates masculinity generally, and our culture hates fatherhood specifically. We see this in sitcoms, movies, greeting card and many other places. When men are not being portrayed as violent savages, we are stupid and worthless. We hear about “Toxic Masculinity” on social media. I cannot imagine picking up a card for Father’s Day that would demean and mock mothers as a way to build up fathers.
Men and women are both valuable. Children need attentive and loving fathers and mothers in their lives. Boys need fathers to teach them how to be men and girls need fathers to model what manhood should look like. We can and should honor both mothers and fathers, and should disrespect neither.