We talk a lot about how femininity is packaged and sold to little girls. We talk about how beauty and self-value through it is packaged and sold to women. These days we might even be talking more about how we sell manhood to little boys (more than we used to anyway).
But as Father’s Day comes upon us, I am a bit alarmed about what kind of dad we are being sold. Glancing through ‘Gifts for Father’s Day’ recommendations on different site, I am cringing just as much as when I pursue wedding greeting cards. Despite the emerging modern acceptance of the ‘domestic dad’ who takes care of the kids, loves to cook, does laundry, has emotions (or you know does an equal part of the house work, treats his spouse like a partner and not like a subordinate, and is generally human), despite dad who may even be ‘stay-at-home’ parents . . . despite this what emerges from what industries are selling us (and what we are presumably buying) is a very narrow snapshot of what dads do and what they care about.
According to what I have seen, whether aggregated through user data or curated by industry experts, this is what dads want:
- leather (as in wallets, because dads = money?)
- wooden hammers and wooden-handled knives (possibly engraved)
- guns and gun-ified things that have nothing to do with combat (such as pens and pillows)
- novelty mugs
- grilling meat
- machines of all kinds
Are there dads that really want all these things?
My Dad wouldn’t be interested in any of them.