Tags: gender, marriage/family, media, fatherhood, parenting, representation, single parents, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: This clip is a promo trailer for the TV show Baby Daddy. In Baby Daddy, Ben, a single man who was living "the bachelor life" is suddenly confronted with the consequences of his lifestyle when his ex leaves a baby on his doorstep. The trailer jokes at how quickly the presumed mother "got away" after leaving the child to Ben. This implies that she is running from her responsibilities to the child by leaving them to Ben. It is presumed that the mother would have been a better parental figure for the baby than Ben will be. This clip illustrates the unique challenges faced by single parents, and it can also be useful for examining gender norms around parenting. After being left with the child, Ben struggles to deal with his new responsibilities. The promo says that it takes a village to raise a child, and Ben does just that. By bringing in everyone from his brother to his next-door neighbor, Ben "kind of" manages. Yet, he is portrayed as rather incompetent and his parenting is seen as something of a joke. It is implied that Ben cannot raise a kid on his own, and needs to bring in his mom to help him. The young group of fellow bachelors that try to help him are portrayed to be so useless that they put a diaper on the baby with duct tape. This show is one of many media examples that enforce gender norms by portraying fathers as incompetent when dealing with children and needing a woman's help to get anything done. These sexist tropes aren't new, as the same themes are present in other media, such as the 1980s movie Three Men And A Baby, which follows almost the exact same storyline as Baby Daddy. These types of cultural messages contribute to unequal divisions of household labor, as men are portrayed as simply not being good at raising children. When a man raises a kid on his own, he is seen as either a hero or a joke, not a parent doing what a parent does.
Submitted By: Abigail Adelsheim-Marshall
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