Today, Lake Superior State University announced that “Mr. Mom” made the list of banished words for 2014:
“The 30-year anniversary of this hilarious 1983 Michael Keaton movie seems to have released some pent-up emotions. It received nearly as many nominations as “selfie” and “twerk” from coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada, mostly from men.”
Banishing the word “Mr. Mom” was one of the key goals of the National At-Home Dad Network’s advocacy campaign for 2013 to declare “Mr. Mom is Dead.”
The term was a clever word play in 1983 when Michael Keaton starred in the movie as a dad who loses his job and has to take care of his three kids while his wife goes back to work. At that time, nearly all husbands were the primary breadwinners. Today, nearly 40% of wives are the primary breadwinners. In 1983, dads did not typically do much housework or childcare. Today, dads are doing triple the hours per week of childcare than they did 30 years ago and are nearing equality in the number of hours per week that moms take care of the kids. Thirty years ago, there were almost no stay-at-home dads. Today, one-third of dads are primary caregivers and an estimated 1.4 million are stay-at-home dads.
Over the last 30 years, dads have evolved into more involved and passionate parents. Very few are like the character Michael Keaton played. Yet, the term “Mr. Mom” continued to be used to describe a man who was caring for his kids.
It has clearly outlived it’s usefulness.
Today, such a man is simply “Dad.”
A lot of dads and moms nominated “Mr. Mom” to be a banished word:
“It was a funny movie in its time, but the phrase should refer only to the film, not to men in the real world. It is an insult to the millions of dads who are the primary caregivers for their children. Would we tolerate calling working women Mrs. Dad?” wrote Pat Byrne, Chicago.
“I am a stay-at-home dad/parent. And if you call me ‘Mr. Mom,’ I will punch you in the throat,” wrote Zachary, East Providence, RI.
“Society is changing and no longer is it odd for a man to take care of his children,” wrote Chad Welch, St. Peters, Mo.
And now, along with other annoying and overused words such as “selfie,” “twerk,” and “____ on steroids,” “Mr. Mom” has been banished from the lexicon.