Just in time for Father's Day, CNN.com has published a groundbreaking exposé declaring that not all dads are the blundering, inept morons they are portrayed to be on comedy programs and in television commercials.
According to correspondent Josh Levs, a man who has somehow gained sentience and the ability to communicate complex concepts via the written word despite his crippling handicap of being a father, dads across the country are becoming "fed up — and rising up against the stereotype of the inept, clueless father."
America's courageous average or above-average competence level dads will suffer in silence no more.
Levs' piece opens with a discussion of the backlash that resulted when Huggies ran a series of advertisements depicting fathers as clownish oafs who eat snacks out of bowls (like animals with dinnerware sets and fine human manners) and make funny faces when changing their babies' diapers.
Some fathers were offended by the commercials' suggestion that being left alone with their children for five days while their wives did lady things like jogging and getting they nails did was "the toughest test imaginable."
The dads wrote up a petition asking Huggies to pull the ads. They demanded the diaper company acknowledge that dads aren't literally the very worst kind of people in the world.
And you know what? Huggies totally caved. Soon thereafter, the company Facebook page displayed a post making the bold claim that moms and dads are both important. They even rolled out a new commercial that showed dads managing to coexist with their children without inadvertently maiming or killing them.
A victory for dads, and a hard-won one too, since, as Levs notes, the concept of the dummy dad has roots in American culture that are gnarled and deep and, honestly, probably too complex for some DUMB DAD to wrap his mind around.
The image of the hapless dad has long roots in American pop culture. A study of comics as far back as the 1940s found "incompetent" fathers and other mocking portrayals resurging at times across the decades.
"Been getting' no respect since the 1940s," said everyone's dads, tugging at their collars in a hilarious and spot-on impression of comedian Rodney Dangerfield.
By far, the best moment of the article occurs near the end, when Levs interviews Chris Routly, the dad who was the brains behind that aforementioned Huggies petition:
He's also concerned that boys and men "see the bumbling dad ... and think that's what's expected of them," the stay-at-home father of two told me by phone while baking chips for his kids out of kale from his garden.
You just know Routly then got distracted by The Big Game and accidentally set those chips on fire.