For­get it, I’m not a nov­elty fa­ther

The Fa­ther’s Day gift in­dus­try per­pet­u­ates the myth that men are all beer-swill­ing fools, says Jake Wal­lis Si­mons

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Life Lifestyle -

I’m dread­ing Fa­ther’s Day. Not be­cause of how my own fam­ily will be­have, I has­ten to add. If pre­vi­ous years are any­thing to go by, I’ll get some very sweet, hand­made cards from my kids, a lie-in and per­haps a to­ken present. Bliss. What I dread is the del­uge of prod­ucts that are de­signed as Fa­ther’s Day “gifts”, all of which are un­der­pinned by one mes­sage: dads are idiots. It is a lit­tle-ac­knowl­edged fact that so­ci­ety is sat­u­rated by stereo­types of men as beer­swill­ing, boobs-ob­sessed, bar­be­cue-burn­ing, ho­mo­erotic, foot­ball-crazy, emo­tion­ally il­lit­er­ate, sin­gle-task­ing, hypochon­dri­a­cal, belly-slap­ping, belch­ing Black ’n’ Decker air­heads, with stiff up­per lips and stiff lower mem­bers. No sit­com is com­plete with­out a char­ac­ter con­form­ing to this stereo­type. Ra­dio or tele­vi­sion de­bates about the bat­tle of the sexes must in­clude com­ments that sup­port it, con­trib­uted ei­ther by the fe­male par­tic­i­pants or the ux­o­ri­ous male him­self. And Fa­ther’s Day rep­re­sents open sea­son, at least so far as the commercial world is con­cerned. In a his­tor­i­cal con­text, per­haps it is un­der­stand­able that the sex that has been dom­i­nant for so long will ex­pe­ri­ence a back­lash when the bal­ance be­gins to be re­dressed. But this does not make it any less galling. Here, there­fore, is a list of ar­che­typ­i­cal Fa­ther’s Day prod­ucts that no de­cent man wants to re­ceive. Be­fore you ask: yes, they are all real. Any­thing that can be de­scribed us­ing the words “nov­elty” and “beer”, in­clud­ing beer glasses in the shape of a woman’s body; beer glasses in the shape of as­sault ri­fles; beer “hel­mets” com­plete with drink­ing straws; beer gog­gles; and beer bells, which you are sup­posed to ring when you fancy a pint. Be­cause you re­ally are that stupid. Any­thing in­volv­ing the naked fe­male form. This in­cludes Give men a break: beer gog­gles and jokey slo­gans are rarely wel­come naked lady mugs, naked lady cig­a­rette lighters, naked lady beer bot­tle open­ers, naked lady golf tees (yes, they re­ally do ex­ist) and – most ir­ri­tat­ing of all – those. Ghastly. Aprons. You know what I’m talk­ing about. Any­thing to which has been at­tached the pre­fix “man”. Man-tins (con­tain­ing screws and things), man wine bot­tle stop­pers, man-pants etc. Be­cause he is man. And he no use gram­mar right. Any Fa­ther’s Day mes­sage based upon the fa­mous war­time slo­gan, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Men do not need to be re­minded that we are ex­pected to be emo­tion­ally dead, al­co­holic and ob­sessed with pop cul­ture. We do not need to be told “keep calm, we found the re­mote” or “keep calm drink beer watch footie”. Be­cause we are not fools. Any­thing that en­cour­ages a grown man to dress up in fancy dress and – lit­er­ally, in some cases – make a tit of him­self. Jake Wal­lis Si­mons writes for Tele­graph Men

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.