I was very heartened to see this recent piece in the Atlantic about how our culture has finally shifted away from the "bumbling dad" stereotype. In many ways, we had become like the sex kittens and brain dead secretaries of the 1960s and 1970s.
I remember the old days, when the only media dad was a bumbling dad, flummoxed by diapers, mystified by breakfast cereals, as incompetent at managing a household as his wife was hyper-efficient. In sitcoms, and in the commercials that aired during sitcoms, Dad was comic relief; everyone knew that power in the home (economic power, especially) resided with Mom.
I have been lamenting this for years. It's such a stereotype, not simply of dads, but of all men that feeds the malaise that is the Michael Jordan Generation.
Now, though, it seems like things have changed.
Now, however, the marketers have realized their error, and dads—involved, caring, competent dads like me—are coming to the foreground. We see them with their daughters in car commercials, and with their daughters in other car commercials, and sometimes they even use Google! And not just to, you know, Google stuff. At last, we fathers have been recognized as an important demographic deserving of the attention of America's most creative capitalists.
The car commercial that comes to my mind is the one where the dad is telling his daughter, who is shown at age 6 or so, not to text while she drives. Suddenly, she is no longer 6 but 16. That's how dads really are...like Cliff Huxtable....not Benny Hill.
I really hope things stay this way. Men are not baboons who exist only to eat, watch sports and sleep on the couch while the wife does everything that requires competence.