Dad Shaming Is Not A Thing, And Mum Shaming Shouldn't Be Either

Let's discuss parental double standards

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Dad Shaming (verb) 'The act of emasculating a capable father by creating paradoxes like stating that he is never home when he is at work supporting the family'

Practicing my dad jokes

A photo posted by John Legend (@johnlegend) on

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New dad John Legend made the news a few weeks back when he highlighted the dark and shady world of parental double standards.

After seeing the torrent of online abuse his wife Chrissy Teigen received for – pause to be shocked – going out for dinner just after their baby Luna had been born, he spoke out on Twitter.

The singer tweeted 'Funny there's no dad-shaming. When both of us go out to dinner, shame both of us so Chrissy doesn't have to take it all. We'll split it.'

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What an actual legend he is.

Depressingly, our differing treatment of opposite sex parents doesn't end there, it happens every single day; there's our common use of the term 'maternity leave' rather than 'parental leave'. And basic statistics show the wage gap increases between a hetrosexual couple after they have kids.

One study showed that for every child a woman has her wages will decrease by about four per cent, but when a man has a child, his earnings increase by up to six per cent.

A colleague at ELLE, who also happens to be a mum, often tells me how frustrated she is with the inequal attitudes her husband and her recieve as parents.

'One of the most annoying questions I get asked,' she explains, 'since having my daughter, is when I'm out without her and someone will say, "Oh, is your husband babysitting?" My (somewhat petulant) response? "Er no, but he is at home looking after his child." And I'm always hearing about 'hands on dads' but I've never heard of a hands on mum. Have you?'

Now, I'm never one to encourage any type of shaming, but my first ever stab at journalism was a piece for The Guardian about how, during football season, my dad would regularly ignored me in favour of his love of the reds, also known as Liverpool FC.

I'm a "football orphan", I wrote back in 2007, and went on to regale a tale of how I'd been replaced by the 11-man team.

Yes, I publicly dad-shamed my own father. Shame on me.

But maybe, even aged just 21-years-old, I already knew - we really needed to level the parental playing field. 

As John said, let's split it.

What do you think we can do to celebrate the joint act of parenting? Let us know on Twitter @ELLEUK!

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