Why this dad’s dividing opinion with his ‘3 kids’ Facebook rant

Is he right to be mad - or should he chill out?

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Anyone who happens to make a passing comment to a stranger in today’s world, beware: anything you say could get shared on social media in one form or another.

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There was the woman who got shamed for telling someone else’s child to “shut up” on a plane, and the mum who posted about how a stranger had a go at her for breastfeeding in her own car.

Sometimes the social media rants are fair enough – we totally get why certain people are hopping mad and we don’t blame them for wanting to let people know how meanly they were treated.

But this latest one – from a dad in LA – has really divided opinion.

Before we share the post – there’s a caveat: we weren’t there and we don’t know how the stranger said what she did – and this could make all the difference when it comes to our opinion about this story.

Read it for yourself and see what you think.

Charlie Capen’s post

“To the woman in the grocery store who came over to my wife while I was with my kids:

“I would like to apologize.

“You grinned, pointed at me and asked my wife, “Did you know you have three kids?” I stood there completely dumbfounded by the question and didn’t even have the courtesy to respond to your patronizing words.

“I would like to take a minute and share my thoughts.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I love my kids but don’t consider myself one. I’m sorry you can’t tell the difference between having a good time with your kids and being immature.

“I’m sorry if you think men are irresponsible or babysitters but that’s an outdated way of thinking. More than anything, I’m sorry for the men in your life who’ve convinced you of this idea.

“I’ve been writing about fatherhood for over five years now. I’ve made a living out of it, with articles on websites like Fast Company, Buzzfeed, Babble, Babycenter, Huff Post, but I couldn’t string the right words together to correct your antiquated thinking.

“I’ve spoken at the White House about how fathers strip away gender bias and are great partners in fighting systemic sexism. I’ve become friends with thousands of fathers who do an even better job at speaking about their lives or their work evolving the face of men caring for their children.

“But all of this work hasn’t made my job as a dad any easier. If anything, it’s made it more complex.

“I’m examining my life, paying attention to doing it right. It’s a weekly exercise in being honest with myself and about the world that my children face.

“So, I’m sorry if making my kids laugh in a public place warrants a snarky remark, but I need to teach them adults need some levity as the world faces some of its toughest battles ahead.

“I plan to keep laughing with them for as long as I live.”

Hmmm.

What did the public think?

There have been almost 200 comments about this post on Facebook – and pretty much 50/50 in support of Charlie.

One person wrote: “I don’t think she meant the way he took it. You can turn any comments around to suit your attitude.

“She probably just meant it was nice to see him behaving on his children’s level. Sounds like he was being silly, so why would you be insulted when someone smiles and points it out? I would say that proves he IS a child.”

Another poster agreed, saying: “The same comment could have been intended as a compliment. I imagine I could say that meaning that I am enjoying you enjoying your children.”

And another simply said: “I’m sorry – this guy can’t take a joke.”

Though others agreed with Charlie and thought the stranger was well out of order.

“I’m really surprised by all the people in this thread who are dismissing the woman’s comment as “just a joke” “maybe you should lighten up” “she didn’t mean it that way”.

“Are you for real? This comment is demeaning, condescending, and totally minimizing to the dad’s role. Maybe the women didn’t mean for it to rude but it is and relics like this of the antiquated roles of “mom” vs “dad” need to be stamped out.”

And another was equally angry: “People like that need to mind their own business, and they should be told so on the spot.

“Are those kids her kids? No? OK then, how they are parented is absolutely none of her business. Parents owe NOBODY an explanation, NOBODY, as to their parenting style.”

Blimey. Well, one thing’s for sure – this has definitely got people arguing.

What do you think?

Photo: Charlie Capen on Facebook

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