Why is Motherhood More Scrutinized Than Fatherhood?

Here is a statement I found on a blog I follow:

 BuzzFeed found that mothers were almost 6 times more likely to be described as bad than fathers, further lending proof to my rants over the way mainstream media keeps stoking the “mommy war” fires.

While BuzzFeed analyzed a good number of sources, this is still only a small sampling. My own absolutely non-scientific Googling of “bad mother” netted 1,980,000 results in .33 seconds, while “bad father” only snagged 370,000 results in .32 seconds. Not conclusive in any way, yet still steeped in meaning.

What the meaning in question is the post never explains. It hints at the bad, mean media, as the easiest culprit whenever one discovers a phenomenon one cannot explain.

I can easily explain it, however.

How many men – let’s just take this country for now – state that fatherhood is their only job and that being a Dad is the only identity they need? Five? Twenty? A hundred? And how many women do that? Millions?

Well, here is your answer. Everybody gets scrutinized, examined, and judged at their job. If motherhood is yours, then you will be evaluated on it just like everybody else.

Now, a country where the reality of a “stay-at-home mother” is historically non-existent, the phenomenon described by the OP will not be found. I know that for a fact because I grew up in such a culture. To prove my point, I have Googled “bad mother” and “bad father” in Russian. Here are the results:

bad mother (плохая мать) 3,730,000 results
bad father (плохой отец) 5,320,000 results

Unfortunately, we have had housewifery imported from the US back in the 1990s, and as a result, these numbers are likely to change with time. I have no doubt that they will look exactly like the American numbers the moment when we reach the same percentage of women who define motherhood as their job.

18 thoughts on “Why is Motherhood More Scrutinized Than Fatherhood?

  1. “Good mother” 2 980 000 results
    “Good father” 2 850 000 results

    I assumed people just talked more about mom’s than dads so I expected the first to be much greater. Turns out I was wrong though.

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    1. It’s because men earn the label of good father by just being active in their children’s life or by knowing how to change diapers but women have to work much harder to be called a good mother.

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  2. I think it is just because, according to popular media, the difficulties uncovered in psychoanalysis more frequently involve the mother than the father. The biggest complaint about fathers is that they are often absent, usually because of work, but sometimes from death or abandonment.

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  3. Because it has been unexamined for so long. It attracts attention as novelty so media can charge for advertising. It qualifies as an unexamined issue for grant money.

    What I’d like to see would be an honest answer for why did you ask. That would be extremely novel.

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    1. “What I’d like to see would be an honest answer for why did you ask. ”

      – If you read the actual post, you will see that I was responding to somebody else’s article. The big mystery is now solved.

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      1. I have looked and I see that we agree.

        How odd, and no reference to the size of my dick either.
        This keeps up and I may stop thinking of you as an over certified drama queen.

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  4. Because it has been unexamined for so long

    Motherhood has long been unexamined? On which planet? (I’m assuming that by “it” you’re referring to motherhood.) Motherhood has always been subject to scrutiny and been a popular subject for advice, exhortations, commands, etc. from all kinds of people; there’s nothing novel about the phenomenon of scrutinizing motherhood.

    What I’d like to see would be an honest answer for why did you ask.

    The answer is right in the post, isn’t it? She’s responding to something she saw on another blog…

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    1. “The answer is right in the post, isn’t it? She’s responding to something she saw on another blog…”

      – I really like it how people respond to the titles of my posts without reading the actual posts. 🙂

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  5. Because I felt like searching things:
    “deadbeat dad” – About 914,000 results (0.39 seconds)

    “deadbeat mom” – About 31,100 results (0.17 seconds) Since there is such a difference in search times feel free to double this to 62,200 results in .38 seconds. Still quite a difference.

    As for the question: “Why is Motherhood More Scrutinized Than Fatherhood?”

    Because parenthood is presumed to be “something that women are supposed to do and that men are not supposed to do”.

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