Being that this is an advertisement for household products, I was skeptical when I clicked play. Then I saw where it was headed: Moms make sacrifices, kids excel, sports happen, medals and glory follow, moms cry, we all buy soap. I have to admit that , despite my fully engaged force-field of cynicism, I was a little moved. This thing was, after all, scientifically formulated to tug heartstrings, which I still have, however frayed they may be. And who among us can resist a good montage? Not me.
But when the last few seconds of the ad rolled around, and the tagline appeared on the screen, my hackles went up. I should have smelled this tired old commonplace coming from around corner: "The hardest job in the world, is the best job in the world. Thank you, Mom."
It wasn't just the superfluous comma that raised my ire, although it certainly didn't make the message any more palatable. No, my more powerful initial reaction was indignation.
Oh. Yeah. Of course. Being a *mom* is the hardest job in the world. And being a dad is...what?...a fucking hobby?
Shortly after that, though, I realized that my indignation wasn't sustainable, because I wasn't really mad about men being treated as the second sex in terms of parenting. I'm increasingly not indignant about that notion because I realize the only place I'm getting that message from is the media. In real life, no one (to my knowledge) is making assumptions about who in my family is the more important or competent parent, and the idea that there is competition for those titles just doesn't come up. Your mileage may vary.
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