'New York Times' Praises Dads For Just Being Parents — And People Are Not Having It

"I hid in the cellar till my wife came back."

The Women's March that took place all over the world on January 21 was international news this past weekend. And for good reason — in America alone, an estimated 2.9 million women, men, and children marched for gender equality in what is being called the biggest protest in U.S. history

One angle The New York Times editorial team decided to pursue as part of its coverage was about fathers in Montclair, New Jersey, who had no choice but to spend the whole day with their kids while their wives went to fight for equal rights. Yes, dads, who are also parents, had to parent this past weekend. It was groundbreaking stuff.

The article can now be found online with the title "How Vital Are Women? This Town Found Out As They Left To March," but it was previously titled, "When 'Mommy Has To March,' Routines Shift." 

"Routines were radically altered, and many fathers tried to meet weekend demands alone for a change," NYT reporter Filip Bondy wrote in the article.

Wondering what kind of radical things these New Jersey fathers had to do? They took their kids to birthday parties, dance performances, and sports practice. Oh, they also fed them because, according to the article, "growling stomachs required filling on a regular basis." 

We're rolling our eyes right there with you. And so are parents, editors, and other people of the Internet who took to Twitter to share just how ridiculous this article read. 





The reaction within Montclair wasn't all that different. 

"The headline alone, 'How vital are women?'—with a question mark—got my hackles up immediately," Christina Onorati, a woman who lives in Montclair, told Slate. "Then, reading the article, I kept shouting lines to my husband, just flabbergasted that this was an actual article in the New York Times and not an Onion piece. I had to check the URL so many times to be sure. … The fact that an article would never be written about moms who take their kids to dance or sports or the playground was so clear to me."

After receiving negative feedback from readers, editors at The New York Times apologized for the article. 

The Metro editor, Wendell Jamieson, whose section produced the piece, told The Huffington Post, "It was a bad idea from the get-go. It was conceived with the best intentions, but it fell flat. And I regret it." 

"Sorry, sorry, sorry," Bondy said. 

And, the deputy editor of the Times' Metro section, Dean Chang, had this to say: 

Such immediate and widespread criticism of the NYT article points to the fact that we are all becoming more aware of the ridiculousness of holding women and men to different standards when it comes to parenting. It shows we are moving in a positive direction where co-parenting is becoming the norm, and that we are more critical of rhetoric describing fathers as heroic simply for doing the things mothers are expected to do every day.  

It's 2017, and we need to continue to do better. 

Cover image via Unsplash