I read Mommy Man’s blog obsessively. It is hilarious and candid, and yesterday I started (for the first time) to think about his choice of blog title.
I wonder if I am mistaken in seeing “mommy” as female and the suffix of “man” as brave in subverting its immediate gender associations. Could “daddy” in all its variations be better fed so that it can flourish and survive on its own? What is Mahoney trying to tell us with his “Mommy Man” title, but the additive and descriptive subtitle: “adventures of a gay superdad”? Mahoney is “currently a stay-home Dad raising my kids full-time”. So why use the label “mommy” – is it about visibility? As John Hart wrote in Saturday’s Guardian on his role as a home dad -
“…we’re invisible… Dads only take care of children as “hilarious” one-offs. My Mother and Baby card gets me 10% off coffee – Tuesdays and Wednesdays only – but it does nothing for my self-esteem.”
Mahoney is radical, embodying both “mommy” and “daddy” and in so doing he reflects a murkier reality in which there isn’t enough narrative space to be a “dad” if you are performing the role we seem to only understand in the shape of “full time mother“. Alongside the Office of National Statistics’ report in the marked rise in the number of primary male carers, how can we change the language of care to better reflect this reality?