Growling stomachs require filling

Thoughts on Filip Bondy’s “How Vital Are Women? This Town Found Out as They Left to March”

I was immediately rubbed the wrong way by this article. Simply the central premise is upsetting: How vital are women? The answer should be inherent, yet for some reason, the value of one half of our society had to be questioned. To boot, the piece itself was entirely simplistic and focused mostly on how challenging it was for men to be (gasp) sole parents for the day, as though such sacrifice was titanic and these husbands had really stepped up to the plate.

I could tell things were only going to get worse just a few lines in: “Routines were radically altered, and many fathers tried to meet weekend demands alone for a change.” More inanity followed, “growling stomachs required filling on a regular basis,” “Usually, these chores and deliveries were shared by both parents, in a thoroughly modern way. On this day, many dads were left to juggle schedules on their own,” “‘Doing everything by myself all day long is not typical,’ Mr. Coyle said, not so much complaining as stating a simple logistical fact.”

I’m still working on formulating just exactly how I feel about this piece. But I am certain that it’s a thoroughly demeaning and pointless piece of reporting. If anything, it seems designed to point out how hard those poor dad’s had to work while their selfish wives were away marching for those silly rights (part of me kept expecting the article to eventually just say, ‘and by the way, there’s no such thing as gender inequality’).

I can see the value in taking a look at how a small community was impacted by such a huge event, especially one that disproportionately drew women to partake. But to build such an article around that opening question — How vital are women? — feels more like part of the problem, than an earnest attempt to capture zeitgeist of the moment.

Nothing about it ever felt news worthy. It basically boiled down to: Lots of women went to march. Fathers had to act like fathers even though it interrupted their weekend. It was hard. They were happy when the women got home. Yoga studio attendance returned to normal.

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