On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed "daddy privilege." You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!
So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to BuzzFeed’s Krista Torres is here to explain why people are talking about "daddy privilege" on TikTok. Here's some of what we learned:
BuzzFeed Daily: You recently wrote a piece for BuzzFeed about "daddy privilege." Would you mind explaining what daddy privilege is for our listeners?
ABC / Via brightestyoungthings.com
Krista Torres: Daddy privilege is basically when dads get praised or get extra attention for doing the normal tasks that are required of them for being a parent.
BuzzFeed Daily: I saw the TikTok that we're going to talk about, and I was like, "Oh yes, this is what 100% a true and real thing. Have you ever experienced daddy privilege with [your husband] Phil?
Krista Torres: Yes, actually. When my husband has been doing certain things in the store, that's happened. Obviously, my son is older now, but it happened a lot when he was younger. The big one was him changing dirty diapers. It was thought, you know, that dad's going to hand the baby off to mom because, for whatever reason, society thinks that that's the mom's duty and that dads just can't fathom changing a dirty diaper.
So that was one from older, distant relatives that I experienced at big family functions and stuff, just like little comments. But then definitely in public, in the grocery store, if he was wearing the baby or something, there was this whole scene of people flocking to them to just shower them with attention and call him out for doing things, and it's like, "Wait a minute. But he had a kid, so he should be doing that anyway."
BuzzFeed Daily: Absolutely. So your piece focused on TikToker, mother, and business owner, Chloe Sexton, who posted a video discussing her husband's daddy privilege that has since been viewed over five million times. Can you go into a little detail about the incident that sparked Chloe's video?
KT: Yeah. So in her video, basically, her husband is the one who told her that he was embarrassed by how he was being treated, which is awesome — that he was able to kind of pinpoint it and be like, "Wait, why? Why is somebody treating me like this?" And so she didn't actually witness it, but the husband came back to her and was like, "You know, I was at the store wearing the baby, getting groceries" — and she is a baker, so she goes to this wholesale food place where she gets big bags of flour and all this stuff she has to load up and take back to her bakery.
Well, when the dad does it, everyone's coming to help him and offer assistance and be like, "Oh my gosh, you're such an awesome dad for loading all this stuff up and multitasking." Even though Chloe did that when she was nine months pregnant and she does it all the time every week, and no one thinks twice about it.
So basically, he was just saying that he felt kind of embarrassed that he was being treated that way. But I think that he is, unfortunately, in the minority there because I think a lot of dads love that. They're like, "Well, I should be being showered [with praise] for doing all of these things."
So yeah, those are my thoughts on it. And I don't mean to encompass all dads. Hopefully, that's changing. But I do still feel like there are a lot of dads, because of how society portrays them, who think that they should be praised for doing these certain things that moms do on an everyday basis.
BuzzFeed Daily: You actually spoke to Chloe for your piece. Did you get a sense of what changes she would like to see in the way both mothers and fathers are treated?
@paramountplus / GIPHY / Via giphy.com
KT: Yeah, I think it's more of just us as a society just basically being like, "Hey, two people decided to have a child, and they are both equally responsible for caring for the child and every single task." And I think one thing that she pointed out, is that mothers don't need praise. We're not being like, "Oh, you need to praise us too." It's just [realizing that] we don't need to overly praise dads when moms are doing the same thing all the time, every day, and people just expect that because that's a "mother's duty."
BuzzFeed Daily: I also think that's going to [breed] even more work, resentment, and aggravation [in] the woman or the mother. Because if the father or their husband is getting this outside praise consistently, I'm sure they carry that into the home.
BuzzFeed Daily: So, if you search "daddy privilege" on TikTok, you can actually find dozens of videos of different women explaining the same experience. We also found a video from a former hospital employee explaining how fathers regularly don't know any of their children's medical information. Would you call something like this daddy privilege or does this veer into something worse?
Fox / Via primogif.com
KT: I think at the root of it, it's daddy privilege, but it also spirals into something way worse. I've talked to dads who don't know their child's birthday, and yeah, you can have a lapse of the memory and be like, "Oh, I [mixed up] the days," but to not even know your child's birthday — that's you choosing to not have this sort of involvement in your child's life that you need to have as a parent, in my opinion.
BuzzFeed Daily: Stories like this are a reminder of how deeply gender roles are ingrained in our society, as you mentioned. Things are very slowly starting to get better as we learn to redefine the gender binary. There was actually a post on the subreddit Am I the Asshole? the other day, by a guy wondering if he was an asshole for not "babysitting" his kid. And people pretty promptly tore him a new one and reminded him that it's not babysitting when it is your actual child. But what is it about the traditional conceptions of motherhood and fatherhood that have resulted in a phenomenon like daddy privilege?
KT: Gosh, I hate that term so much. You are not "babysitting," you are doing your duty as a parent. But I think, as I said, it stems from decade after decade of all this being ingrained in our minds. And then you watch your grandparents having those certain gender stereotypes and their grandparents before them — the mom was cooking the dinner, bringing dad the dinner. There were certain things that each gender did not do, and it's ridiculous, you know? So I think, as you said, slowly, things are changing. It is moving at a snail's pace. And unfortunately, that's just how it is. So the more we talk about things and the more people like Chloe shed light on these situations — I think help make people who are, in a bad way, contributing to the situation realize what they're doing.Because there were people who are saying, "Oh, I do that to be nice and root them on, I'm not thinking it's doing harm. But now that you put it this way, I think, Oh, maybe I'm part of the problem just by rooting a dad on being like, 'we love to see it.'"But it also can give them this false sense in their head of like, "Oh, you should be so happy. I'm doing this type of thing."