Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A response to the response to the responses to the "Top 10 Things Mothers do Better than Fathers"

Hey Cody (can I call you that?) how are you?

When you posted your "Top 10 Things Mothers do Better than Fathers" I, like a bunch of other people, wrote a blog post about it. I spent a couple paragraphs on your post, but I wrote mostly about the responses it produced on the Babble Facebook page.

I am writing this response not to "get you." But I admit I have some concerns about your response to the controversy.

You start out by saying: "I also began to notice that the controversial posts were far more popular than the posts that tried to put real meaning behind the words. The realization of what people are interested in was more of a punch in the gut than anything. I decided to title a post, 'Top 10 Things Mothers Do Better Than Fathers.' It wasn’t my intention to offend fathers. It was written as a humor piece using personal examples from my own life."

Or as DADCAMP put it: "He wrote a personal fluff piece and gave it a generic headline to generate traffic. He admits he crafted it as link bait."


You seem to be simultaneously poking the bee hive and surprised the bees sting. Even though you said earlier that is exactly what happens.

And let me agree with you, some of the responses were over the top, and there are others of us that need to learn from this. But you need to learn from this too.

You have written some good stuff and maybe one of the good things to come out of this is people will read those as well.

Criticism is not fun. The first response is to become defensive. The same way the first response to a blog post using outdated stereotypes is to attack the author. It is a fairly new phenomenon that men are defending their image in the home as parents. Huggies found this out the hard way.

If you had titled the piece "10 Things My Wife Does Better Than Me" I don't think you would have gotten any of the negative responses. Ironically I doubt anyone would have challenged you parenting abilities if you had just made it about you. They attacked you because they felt attacked by you post. The response may have been nuclear, but you fired the first shot.

And simultaneously you seem to be saying, I made a controversial post and I know that brings out the worst in people, and I made a mistake and I don't understand why people acted so negatively.

If it was a mistake then you could have gotten ahead of this. When you saw the negative comments come rolling in you could have apologized and changed the language to be less inclusive. But then you wouldn't have continued to get the page views.

If it was just a matter of creating link bait, then the response is exactly what you would expect.

I am sure you are a nice enough guy, but I am having a hard time understanding which you believe it to be.

*This section has been removed because I attributed something to Cody that had actually been written by Cody's wife. My apologies to Cody.


Jimmy said...

This is Cody. Your "not a gotcha moment" is a quote from my wife, mooshinindy. My wife hates controversy, which is why she wrote what she wrote. I don't write on my wife's blog--I don't even have a personal blog. Anyway, I wrote the piece knowing it had a controversial title as link bait (a term I hadn't even heard of until two days ago), tweaked additional language to match the title (it's a lawyer thing believe it or not), and had absolutely no idea people would be offended, perturbed maybe, but not offended (it's just not common knowledge among non-blogger fathers that we're supposed to be offended by that stuff--I can honestly say I've never been offended as a father). It wasn't a serious article and no part of it was written in a serious tone, but many took it seriously. I have no problem with people being upset and stating why they are upset--I can work with those people. I honestly don't care if anyone likes me--I'm a lawyer, everyone already hates me--but it goes too far when people seek out my family members because attacking me is not enough. The other problem I have is with the commenters who pretended to stand on some pedestal while flinging mud--to me it looks like you're just putting on a show. Finally, I called out the commenters and asked them to ignore the controversial posts if they don't want them promoted and to pay attention to the posts with meaning--and not just my posts with meaning. People are assuming I only get to see the traffic from my own posts, which isn't true--it's a universal problem, not just a problem with my posts.

Chad said...

Thank you Cody for your reply. And my apologizes for thinking what your wife wrote was yours. My mistake and I will change that in the post.

I think offended is the wrong word. Maybe not for everyone but at least for a lot of us. Some of us are just so tired of the stereotypes that parenting is somehow gender based. As an at-home dad I run into these assumptions ALL THE TIME. Sometimes subtly, some times not.

I think these is a change going on and you and your post got caught up in the middle of it. The way women fought for access and respect in the workplace, I think men are fighting for that in the home. And so right now men are much more vocal about fighting those stereotypes that men cannot parent because of their gender.

Let me say, I have no problem that you and your wife have found a family structure that works for you. I don't expect, nor do I want every dad to be an at-home dad. I just want them to realize that the reason they are not experts at changing a diaper is because they aren't the ones doing it everyday. If they were they would more than likely be as good as their wives.

Babble did you no favors in the way they promoted this article on Facebook, which is where I first say it. And if you read my original post about your article it focuses mainly on the Facebook response.

I hope, even if you don't agree, you see where some of us are coming from. I am not defending eve commentator on the site, and I apologize if I overstepped any lines.

And like I said, maybe some good can come out of this. I have had some pleasant conversations about it in other places like on DADCAMPs section of Babble and I have gone back and read some of your non-controversial post, which I probably wouldn't have found otherwise.

I appreciate you responding here. I hope this makes sense to you.

Wishing you and your family all the best.

Chad said...

Cody, I have changed my blog and taken out the incorrect section. Which is the one thing I still don't understand. When you started to realize it had caused a controversy, why you didn't change the title and/or content?

It may be the way Babble works you cannot edit your post, I don't know. Maybe you thought it was too late. Maybe you just didn't think of a blog as something you change. I am legitimately interested in what went into that decision.

And let me make on confession. If you look at my blog I am a periodic blogger. I may do 2 in a week if something hits me, I may do none for months. I had never heard of the link bait term before this either. I think DADCAMPs use of the term was the first time I had heard of it.

Chad said...

Crap, 3rd comment from my today. Maybe I should gather all my thoughts together before I post.

I just wanted to say that I think it is great that you got hooked up with Matt Peregoy (real matt daddy)

He is a good guy, level headed and has been at this blogging thing more than you and me combined.

Even if I think of something else I am just going to keep it to my self.

Jimmy said...

I didn't change the title of the article or the content inside because I was never asked to change either by Babble. I work for Babble and my job is to get pageviews for Babble. Ultimately, Babble is a business and its job is to make money. It sounds impersonal, but that's its purpose. Babble promoted the article the way it was written and I didn't want me, the independent contractor employee, to undercut Babble, the general contractor employer. Had Babble asked me to edit the post, I would have. I also don't blame Babble for not asking me to edit the post. I wrote the article the way it is and I should get to deal with the response, which I'm fine doing so long as the response is directed at me. I would also hesitate to edit the article now because I would view the act as me trying to take the easy way out--and that's just not who I am. Hope that clears up some of your questions.

Chad said...

Thank you. That does help me understand the reasoning behind your decision. I appreciate the time you took to express your reasoning.