Clueless Dads

One thing I never see is men challenging their portrayal as fathers in the media. This portrayal would be the stereotypical lost father with a young baby.

In the recent episode of Doctor Who the mother went away for rest and the father was left alone with their baby. In the usual fashion the father was shown as clueless. Not only was he clueless, but The Doctor, who is 900+ years old, and has traveled through space and time was also at a loss except for the fact that he could understand "baby," since he understands all languages.

Why don't men challenge the notion that they are clueless when it comes to babies?

Are they actually clueless so there is no need to challenge this? Are women somehow biologically predisposed to know better how to care for a baby than men? Or is it that because of the media's portrayal of taking care of baby being a "woman thing" men take the easy way out in not seeking knowledge or pretending they aren't capable? Is this portrayal completely false, but men don't feel the need to challenge it?

I have to believe that men are just as capable of taking care of a baby as a woman. A first time parent is a first time parent regardless of gender. With the exception of maybe doing a toddlers hair, which a woman has a leg up on from doing her own hair for years, is the playing field not equal?

Furthermore, does the clueless depiction of a father in tern suggest the notion that a first time mother should be all knowing? And what does that do to the to psyche of the first time mother who finds herself behaving more like the stereotypical depiction of the clueless dad? Does she then feel less than as a clueless mother?

I would love some opinions on this, especially from fathers.


  1. I always hated the dumb/clueless father stereotype on tv. I think that any edge a first time mother might have over a father would come from having had more parenting conversations with other mothers, rather than innate know-how. But I could be wrong.

  2. I think the perception of clueless father's is slowly the top of my head I can think of three current television shows where a father is a SAHD or a single parent (Up All Night, Parenthood, Raising Hope).

  3. i think i agree that in the media...they have to maintain certain stereotypes and this is one of them! i think in real life..there are MANY men that are anything but cluelss and awesome and amazing fathers!


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