When Gary Crutchley started taking pictures of his children playing on an inflatable slide he thought they would be happy reminders of a family day out.
The woman running the slide at Wolverhampton Show asked him what he was doing and other families waiting in the queue demanded that he stop.
But the innocent snaps of seven-year-old Cory, and Miles, five, led to him being called a ‘pervert’.(Daily mail)
Apparently it’s still weird that a father is on an outing with his children. The bystanders were quick to jump to the conclusion that he was some pervert trying to take pictures of their kids to put on the internet. Even after pointing out his own children and showing the pictures that were only of them, they still weren’t satisfied. Is it really so strange for a man to be an active participant in rearing his children that the immediate reaction we should have is that he’s a predator?
The common conception of a father is someone who works and does everything in his power to avoid too much contact with his family, namely his children. Men are caricatured as having no natural parenting instinct (unlike women) and that they either aren’t interested in their children or don’t know what to do. Those mothers wouldn’t have batted an eye if Mrs. Crutchley had been the one taking the photos.
So is it a self fulfilling prophecy? We expect men to be incompetent caregivers and react harshly when they aren’t acting in that role? Again, I’m afraid I’ll have to blame the patriarchy. Parenting isn’t women’s work, and I think some people still haven’t grasped that. The mothers at the slide truly believed that a man could not be present in a parental capacity and that he must be there in the role of lustful predator. It just reaffirms all of the stale stereotypes about men, women, love, and lust. Men are capable of feeling more than lust and of being perfectly capable parents.
I told you the patriarchy hurts women AND men.
(Thanks Karen for the tip)