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Mom vs Dad

Growing media popularity, especially social media, which most of us consume for hours on an average per day, is subconsciously adding to our ideas about how we perceive the world and relationships.



I came across this particular Instagram reel and it made me think about how double standards exist even in parenting and media platforms have instilled them in us almost so innately that many of us may fail to recognize it.


Motherhood has been portrayed as a powerful emotion that can transform a sweet, gentle, caring mother whose entire life's purpose is to raise her children into an evil witch even after she dies in order to exact revenge for them. The same characteristics are used depending on the genre for any mother depicted, whether it is an advertisement for

household products where the mother is cooking, cleaning, or teaching her children, or in horror films like Mama, where she returns to take someone else's child away to be a mother once more. A mother is expected to be sweet when her child is young, but as soon as he reaches his rebellious age, the same mother becomes overly sensitive to her child and experiences separation issues. Many Pakistani TV serials are based on the same concept of a mother who transforms into an evil, overpowering mother-in-law. In other media like Young Sheldon, mothers are often seen as not allowing their children to go off to college to keep them close.


Meanwhile, the father remains calm and collected, thinking with his mind rather than his heart, allowing the child to be free, and believing that his wife has lost her mind over the child's development. The father also has a life outside of the house where he works and has a social network, and he is being pressured by his wife at home to help her out or give her time, which causes him to start drinking or cheating. When he spends time at home, he is portrayed as a superhero father, but the same is true of a mother's daily responsibilities.


You may have come across numerous stories that follow this same pattern. Actresses who prioritize their careers after marriage or having children are often criticized and labeled as bad mothers. However, in recent years, more attention has been paid to these double standards in parenting, encouraging mothers to pursue a career while also normalizing their own lives outside the home. Beating gender norms is not the only issue with these media depictions; the idea that a perfect home is one in which chores are evenly distributed among a heterosexual couple undermines the efforts of single and same-sex parents who provide their children with an arguably better life.


Such topics are increasingly being discussed on social media platforms, and they are

central to many feminist movements around the world. I was overjoyed to have discovered people creating such content; however, it is worth noting that it was created by a woman. There is still a long way to go before the message is widely accepted by more people, and perhaps popular media depictions on the subject can lead us down that path.

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I found your post quite thought-provoking! The double standards you've mentioned, particularly in how motherhood is portrayed against fatherhood, are obvious, but they're frequently so firmly established that we don't recognize them right away. Working women confront major challenges when navigating these expectations. Despite contributing equally at work, ladies are frequently overburdened with the responsibilities of motherhood and household administration. The "second shift," in which women return home from work only to continue with household duties and childcare, is unfortunately still a reality for many.


While trying to eradicate gender stereotypes is critical, it is as important to recognize individual decisions. If a woman decides for a career or stay at home with her family, she should do so free of…


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I totally agree with you. Whatever one may choose it should be completely their decision, free from any bias of judgement by the society or anyone else. I like how you mention the importance of social media depictions. I hope in the future that these portrayals will be more and more inclusive and help form a new norm, in the favor of everyone.

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It's a great initiative you took to open and discuss this sensitive issue, which limits the role of a mother to just a one-dimensional portrait. However, there is one thing I don't agree with. While you talked about beating these societal gender norms or having a house with evenly distributed responsibilities, I personally believe that the best approach to lessen women's portrayal is to give them "freedom of choice." They should be allowed to have their own voice whether they want to focus on their career, their family, or both. I understand these double societal norms are presented all around us, but just focusing on saying that they should be allowed to focus on their careers or do other work…

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I totally agree with your point about freedom of choice. While it is important to consider every individual's choices, i specially mentioned working women or brought up women's careers because it is the responsibility of the house and kids that keeps a woman from working. A man would never think before taking a job that he needs to help take care of his family or that who would prepare the meals for his family but a woman does. If a woman decides to work a 9-5 job, she is expected to come back home, clean, cook, serve, etc. The man on the other hand comes home to rest, and gets served. This is the double standard! Whoever decides to be…

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Your analysis of social media dynamics and cultural references weaves a powerful critique that compels us to reconsider gender norms and parenting expectations more deeply. The way that moms are portrayed in the media—as either saints or evil, depending on the narrative context—clearly illustrates the widespread discrimination that mothers face. I like how you incorporate intersectionality by bringing up same-sex and single parents, whose perspectives are frequently ignored in conventional media narratives. What actions do you think media producers can take in the future to provide more diverse depictions of parenthood in order to overcome these clichés?

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Thank you! I think that simple representations of different scenarios like same sex parents, single parents, foster or birth parents, etc. should be used, and not to corner or single them out to reinforce stereotypes rather than break them, but a representation that is so normalized in the background almost that it does not feel unnatural. This can help feel such parents and kids feel recognized and that they can relate to something personally.

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I think you've made some really important points in your article and the reel you chose is a great way to start the conversation on this topic. Our society truly does discriminate against mothers, forcing them to shoulder most of the burden of nurturing children. It's really high time that we put an end to the double standards in parenting responsibilities. I like that you pointed out that men see their responsibilities as an option and caring for their child as "babysitting". This harmful stereotype of the "great dad" who is pushing the baby stroller vs the regular mom that's just doing her job has negative consequences because it creates unhealthy and unrealistic expectations for women whereby the majority of…


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To change the narrative I think we need to begin with getting all women aboard. Even if the mom is a stay at home work, the dad needs to come home and help her with chores or the kids as much as he can because that is a 24/7 job with no day off. I think if women as moms, sisters, or any figure in a boy's life were to teach him these things around the house as something normal, they are likely to grow up and take on these responsibilities of the house or children naturally with their partners. Media representation like this Instagram reel as daily dosage into their minds will also help identify the mistake and double…

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I find your insights into the double standards of parenthood both insightful and commendable, especially your reference to using Instagram to spread awareness on such critical issues. The double standards in regards to parenthood have been there for a very long time, therefore they are so internalised in our culture and upbringing that most people even find it hard to denote them as a problem. Fatherhood is so separated from active child-rearing and limited to just doing jobs and earning money, often leaving children without a present father figure, which can lead to troubling personality traits later in life.  While there has been a recent shift in trend and fathers are now encouraged to be more involved, its interesting to…

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These are some interesting additions that you have made to the discussion. This topic indeed can be expanded to so many more problems for the parents and the kid as well. Even at playtime, fathers are expected to be fun while moms are portrayed as strict and refusing to do fun stuff for safety, leading to playing good cop bad cop among the parents. This leaves the moms feeling unrewarded for doing all the work for the kid but not being able to play with them.

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