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Stay at Home Dads – Family Guy

We have had a lot of conversation lately in class about the role of stay at home dads and the way society views them. The issue being brought up in class has had a lot to do with questions such as “Why can’t a woman be the breadwinner?” or “Why do women always have to be the ones staying home with the children?” In my opinion, I feel that the general consensus in America is that women are the only ones capable of taking care of the children and men just have no idea as to what they are doing. Even though this view is completely wrong and men are just as capable as women at taking care of children, society seems to have put the label on men as incompetent, or even ignorant, when it comes to the task of taking care of children or keeping up with cleaning the house. In a Family Guy episode I recently watched, Lois becomes addicted to the thrill of shoplifting, gets arrested, and is sentenced to time in prison. After only a couple of days with Peter, the father, taking care of the house, the house is shown as a complete disaster, Stewie, the baby, is walking around with so much poop in his diaper that he can barely stand, and the whole family complains about how they have not eaten in days. A few days later, Lois is broken out of jail, comes back home, and order is restored in the house and everything goes back to normal. To me, a Family Guy fanatic, I was actually pretty angry with the way they depicted the situation. Not angry at the show, or Seth MacFarlane, but angry that this false stereotype about men is seen so much throughout America that Seth MacFarlane thought it would be an issue worth making fun of. In my opinion, men are just as qualified as women when it comes to taking care of children or keeping up with the house. However, I feel that women in America generally think men are so incompetent when it comes to carrying out these tasks, that men are never given the tasks at all. Furthermore, because of the stereotype that men aren’t capable of handling household duties, when a man is, in fact, a stay at home dad, I feel that people tend to look at him like he must just be a lazy guy that could not find work because no one could possibly actually want a man to stay at home with the children. Ultimately, I feel that this stereotype about men is completely absurd and until Americans begin to reconstruct their views, the norm will continue to be either the husband and wife both working or the husband working and the wife staying at home with the children.

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