Unless you’ve been living under a rock, this was the perfect, and HILARIOUS example of Parenting, live on the BBC (the family speaks about the incident and says they were quite uncomfortable that the mother was assumed to be the nanny / helper).
That video, was hilarious. I laughed, my partner laughed, and we said:
Who knew it’d be like this?
I had a couple of thoughts on this in regards to two main issues:
ISSUE I: ASSUMED THE MOTHER WAS THE NANNY / HELPER
I read it reported that she was the helper, so I thought she was one… until someone clarified that it was the mother and it was incorrectly reported in the first place.
How are we supposed to know? I guess the main thing that comes out of all of this is…
A) REPORTERS SHOULD NOT ASSUME THINGS
Real reporters, not tweeters, should not be publishing she is the nanny when she’s the wife & mother.
B) WE HAVE A STEREOTYPED BIAS
I guess we’ll never be able to re-create this, but if we could and see in a parallel universe what people would have assumed if the wife was Caucasian instead, and then recorded what was reported versus what actually went out, we’d see whether it makes a difference or not.
I’d be curious, but alas.
C) BUT I CAN SEE WHY THEY ALSO ASSUMED WRONGLY
NOT that I am defending the racial situation, but I will mention that I see where they got the idea.
The mother I believe is Korean, but I can see where they assumed wrongly, as the video is grainy and she just looked “Asian” to everyone in the same way you may not be able to tell apart different cultures of Caucasians if we had seen a blonde or brown-haired woman instead.
The truth of the matter is (not that I am defending them for not fact checking), that in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia but even here in my own backyard, I see lots of Filipina or Indonesian women who work as helpers in households.
They do a HELL of a lot of work, from washing cars, to cooking, to child-rearing to cleaning.
I once asked a helper to outline her day and you could have knocked me over with a feather. I couldn’t imagine doing all that even staying at home with Baby Bun.
Granted, it is not ONLY from those countries that they come from, it could be from anywhere really, but when I visited Hong Kong and Singapore in particular, I saw a lot of them.
It was especially clear how many of them lived in Hong Kong and were depended on for their help when on their days off (Saturdays and Sundays), they constructed little cardboard shanties near the walkways leading to the IFC Towers I & II in Hong Kong or in the parks, and you could hear them all visiting with each other, chattering, doing their nails, eating, sleeping, and hanging out on their day off.
On the one hand, I loved the lively resourcefulness of them to come up with these cardboard shanties to create their own central community and space where they could meet and visit, but on the other hand, I felt sad that they were invisible workers who had no real place to go but supported whole families who could not function without their help.
Why don’t they have their own community?
But that’s another discussion.
ISSUE II: THE MOMMY MARTYR’S BURDEN
I also think this parody of what a woman would have done if she was the professor was actually not that funny and a little unfair to both women and men.
Nobody is a Super Parent.
As a human being, and parent, I can’t multi-task at all and answer important questions; I need to focus and it’s too hard to deliver an intelligent response when your brain is half on your child.
So no, as a mother and woman, I couldn’t have done better than him.
I am not Super Woman. He isn’t Super Man.
I have tried to do it before, and I ended up having to lock myself in a room while my partner tried to keep Baby Bun quiet and entertained so I could conclude my interview.
The next time I had a phone interview, I left them in the apartment and went to the lobby.
I get that the video is meant to be funny like “oh women are better at multi-tasking than men“, but I don’t even find it funny on that level either.
The poor guy did the best any parent could reasonably expect to do in that situation — although my partner and I both talked it over and thought if he were rational (which, granted, would have been hard to be in that particular spur of the moment), he would have excused himself, calmly picked her up, put her outside the door & locked it, then resumed the interview, kid-free.
S#%* happens. *shrug*
Why are we doing this to women and ourselves?
What I dislike the most, is that those kinds of parodies perpetuates and implies that it is easy for a woman to be an efficient, cool, calm, multitasker, but not for a man.
We already have enough exhausting pressure put on ourselves (we are our own worst critics), not to mention the external pressures of society to look like a supermodel or else “we’ve let ourselves go”, juggle, entertain, educate & enrich a full family, be a sexy, happy 50s-style housewife AND bring home the bacon to fry up for dinner with our full-time jobs.
I’m tired just writing that.
This stupid pressure that women and society put on themselves to DO IT ALL is making me frankly, very annoyed and angry.
We have to…
BE ALL WE CAN.
Now you’re too far in!
Bla bla bla … when we women are just half the human race with different biological wiring meant for procreation.
We are no better, and no worse than men.
Can we just repeat that?
We as individual men and women have our own strengths and weaknesses, both physically and emotionally, and some of it may come from our gender (e.g. women with lower body strength, men with upper), and yes, some of it may be biological (e.g. women are the ones who give birth), but that doesn’t mean we are any better or worse.
We’re just wired differently.
So, perpetuating that myth of SUPER HUMAN MOTHER even as a joke just because we’re wired differently, is just as bad as saying that all women should be subservient & under the thumb and rule of men.
If you keep saying this crap, it’s going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and it just makes it all the harder to fix the inequality we have between men and women.
It makes it worse.
This myth of a super human mother is a self-sacrificing, smug, martyr’s burden I do not wish to carry, so you can just leave me out of it, thankyouverymuch.
Men, as my partner has proven time and time again, are equally as wonderful caregivers and multi-taskers in their own way (meaning they may not do it our way, but their way is just as good because it gets the same results).
On top of all that, the parody is enforces even more that WOMEN should be the ones who take care of women, cook and “DO IT ALL” and men are just incompetent idiots who can barely tie their shoelaces.
Are you kidding me?
I am not laughing at that.
I don’t believe in it, and therefore it isn’t funny at all.
That’s just insulting to the men in my life, most notably my very capable, competent partner who manages the entire household, cooks and organizes our life on that front (I do the social engagement part and clean), and my little boy who will be equally as self-sufficient, efficient and as hardworking as his father and me, his mother.