FoF: Britain Bans the “Bad Dad”

dad2summitFatherhood on Friday, Uncategorized

Ever since we began this thing in March 2012, we’ve been big believers in the idea that “if they see it, they can be it.” One of the major themes of our first conference was portrayals of fathers on TV (that great alternative educator) and how boys couldn’t be expected to amount to much if the grown versions of themselves were always seen as helpless and/or indifferent parents.

You don’t see many Dopey Dads anymore, and this week news broke that will serve to keep them away: in Great Britain, the advertising watchdog Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says it will impose rules that prohibit marketers from using gender stereotypes in their commercials because they “can play their part in driving unfair outcomes for people.”

We think this is great, since these tropes are lazy and outdated, and many of us no longer relate to them, anyway. We concede, though, that this effort opens up a number of fascinating debate points. Who’s to decide which stereotypes are harmful and which aren’t? How diligently will the guidelines be enforced? And why not let the ultimate judgment lie with market reaction?

Ultimately, however, this is an effort we can get behind, because so many people stand to benefit–especially the boys who will grow up with no idea what a Dopey Dad is.


Paid paternity leave has become a huge recruiting topic for employers, and the world has noticed.

Former VP Joe Biden’s forthcoming memoir gets its title from a conversation with his son, Beau, during the last Thanksgiving before he died.

Filmmaker Michael Meredith’s has produced a documentary about his famous quarterback dad, Dandy Don, and how he ties in with Dallas, JFK, and the creation of Cowboy Nation.

A lot of our daughters are really excited that Jodie Whittaker has been chosen as the 13th Doctor …

… conversely, Karen Walsh, a woman and a feminist, says she doesn’t want a female Doctor Who because “boys need an intelligent superhero who uses his brains, not his brawn.”

Maybe boys will take a lesson from Marin Cilic and think it’s OK to show your emotions when your body fails you during the Wimbledon Mens Final.

In Australia, Dads Read encourages dads to their kids for as little as 10 minutes a day. It makes a huge difference, especially for boys.

Letters from camp can be good, bad, or (hilariously) ugly.

After a suicide attempt, this man says the moment he learned he would be a dad changed something. “It’s like night and day.”

Mickey Mouse just helped this family create a Disney memory they’ll never forget.

In the Guardian, Naomi Watts discussed the heartbreak and penury after her father, a sound engineer for Pink Floyd, died of a heroin overdose when she was 7.

In Stand magazine, John Walsh revels in the simple things his young daughter has taught him about life.


Normally we embed a video here, and this week our favorite, of a dad beatboxing with his highchaired son, lives here. It’s just a beautiful thing to play over and over.

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