We’ve come a long way, baby…

… sort of.  Maybe.  Or maybe not?

Salon’s Broadsheet points out something interesting that happens when you google “bad fathering” — the ever-helpful Googles automatically inquire if you meant to search for “bad mothering“.  I just tried it and got:

bad fathering - Google Search_1256415817004

I’m not suggesting there’s a hidden culture of misogyny on the internet (where it exists, it’s usually right out there in the open), and obviously Google searches have more to do with algorithms, most common searches and assorted mathematical weirdness that’s way over my pretty little head.  But I couldn’t help wondering why there might be 189,000 hits for “bad fathering” and a whopping 845,000 for “bad mothering”.  Hmm.

12 Responses to “We’ve come a long way, baby…”


  1. 1 rww Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Might just be because there is more on the Internet on mothering in general than there is on fathering.

  2. 2 deBeauxOs Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Or that standards are different for “good enough” mothers and “good enough” fathers. Oh, hey – like a double standard perhaps?

  3. 3 JJ Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    rww – I think you’re right. There’s a lot more to “Mothering” than there is to “fathering” (technically), so I shouldn’t have been surprised to see so many more hits.

  4. 4 JJ Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    deBeauxOs – That was what I thought, too. Also that people are a lot harder on “bad mothers” than they are on “bad fathers”, hence the greater interest in finding information about them.

  5. 5 Shade Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    It might also be to do with that generally, women tend to worry more about whether they are looking after their baby right. Some of those sites could also be women listing some mistakes they had made so that other’s don’t repeat them.

    I can’t be sure without checking all the results though.

  6. 6 deBeauxOs Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    When was the last time you heard about the intrinsic imperative of the “paternal instinct” that individual men must obey or else be shunned and condemned by society?

  7. 7 Jasper Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    wow JJ, that is messed up. I got same response…I typed in ‘bad fathering’ and it came back with ‘Did you mean: bad mothering’…

    LOL! poor gals, can’t catch a break.

  8. 8 Cornelius T.Zen Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    Jasper: Those “poor gals” have not been able to catch a break since Eve was dumb enough to own up to biting the apple.
    All three major religions of The Book blame Eve, that is to say, Woman, for the downfall of Adam, that is to say, Man.
    There he was, just kicking back, watching the game, when the wife walks past, munching on something, and he asks, “Wuzzat?”
    “Oh, you don’t want this,” she says.
    “Looks tasty,” he says.
    “Well…okay, but just one bite…”
    Next thing you know, some dude in a long white robe rides in with a flaming sword, and kicks them both out of Paradise. And Adam never got to watch the end of the game. Thus was born mysogyny: it’s the bitch’s fault, I just took one little bite.
    And he never got to see the rest of the game – CTZen

  9. 9 Cornelius T.Zen Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada – Ambrose Bierce.
    WOMAN, n.
    An animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a rudimentary susceptibility to domestication. It is credited by many of the elder zoologists with a certain vestigial docility acquired in a former state of seclusion, but naturalists of the postsusananthony period, having no knowledge of the seclusion, deny the virtue and declare that such as creation’s dawn beheld, it roareth now. The species is the most widely distributed of all beasts of prey, infesting all habitable parts of the globe, from Greeland’s spicy mountains to India’s moral strand. The popular name (wolfman) is incorrect, for the creature is of the cat kind. The woman is lithe and graceful in its movement, especially the American variety (_felis pugnans_), is omnivorous and can be taught not to talk. – Ibid.
    Maybe Bierce was onto something – CTZen

  10. 10 Mandos Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    “Whole habitable earth and Canada.” Hah.

    But anyway, there are a LOT of mommyblogs and mommyforums, with a heavy heavy focus on PINK borders and schlock, and where fathers are relegated to the lone dad section on the web site.

  11. 11 Cornelius T.Zen Monday, October 26, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Scenario:
    Adam: You’re getting fat.
    Eve: I’m pregnant.
    Adam: How did that happen?
    Eve: We gotta talk.
    Adam: Last time we did that, I missed the game. What’s for supper?
    Any wonder it’s Mama’s baby and Daddy’s maybe? – CTZen

  12. 12 flex Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    “Any wonder it’s Mama’s baby and Daddy’s maybe?”

    Old blog, just stumbled on it accidentally.
    Love that phrase and will use it in the future.


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