Maybe you don't know the term 'daddy privilege,' but you absolutely know what daddy privilege is. It's when your husband does the same parenting stuff you do day in and day out, but because he's a man doing it, everyone falls all over themselves to congratulate him for it.
We've all experienced it in one form or another, and it feels pretty crappy when we do. In a now-viral TikTok, one mom gives a brilliant takedown of "daddy privilege" by sharing the extremely insulting yet extremely common example of this phenomenon in her own life.
Chloe Sexton owns and operates her own bakery in Tennessee. She's also mom to a 6-month-old baby and stepmom to a 7-year-old—so yeah, she's busy. Part of being a restaurant owner is going to Restaurant Depot every week to stock up on ingredients and supplies. While she usually does this herself—with her kids in to—her husband took care of it recently during his day off.
Enter: daddy privilege. Her story will make you seethe on her behalf.
"You've seen me do videos of it before where I'm, like, wearing him (her baby) or was massively pregnant and buying 400 pounds of flour and 100 pounds of butter. And that's a weekly thing. The list goes on and on, like—it's a lot."
She says anytime she's had to haul things herself, no one bats an eye or offers to help. Which, fine. That's life sometimes. But when her husband did the weekly haul while wearing their baby, well, it was all "make way for the conquering hero."
"So, last week, on the day I usually do it, my husband had the day off and he decided to go do it for me, but he also had the baby that day," Sexton says. "When I tell you, the way that this man was treated like a hero—A HERO. Mind you, those same people see me there every single week."
She says while she's been treated as a "woman doing woman things" in those scenarios, her husband has a completely different experience. (For what it's worth, she says her husband is truly embarrassed by this insane double standard, so he's a winner.)
"But my husband, my husband wears the baby and he goes to Restaurant Depot for mommy's business and it's, 'Oh my god, look at you! Oh my god, you work so hard,'" she says. "Somebody walked past him and said, 'Oh my god, that's a whole-a** baby!' Yeah, it's his...he's literally not a hero. He's just a father, just a parent, doing the same sh*t I do every week."
There likely isn't a mom out there who can't relate to this story in some form. My own husband is 6'5", built like an NFL linebacker, and is covered in tattoos. Because of toxic masculinity and patriarchal stereotypes, when our daughters were babies and he'd be out and bout while wearing them, pushing them in strollers, or just taking them along on errands—well, I'm surprised no one has actually fainted over it. Or that my own eyeballs didn't roll entirely out of my head during these "daddy privilege" interactions.
Setting the bar to the floor for dads when it comes to fully present, 50/50 parenting not only does moms and kids a disservice—it's insulting to dads, too. The more we normalize normal parenting tasks regardless of a parent's gender, the shorter the path is to true equality.
“In my opinion, ‘daddy privilege’ is that subtle upper hand men side-step into as parents that allows them to gain praise for simply…being a parent,” Sexton tells Buzzfeed. “You fed the baby? What a great dad! You held the baby while mommy bathed? So considerate of you! You picked up something for dinner? What would your family do without you?! It’s all the little ways mothers do exactly what the world expects of them without a second thought and then watch fathers get praised for simply showing up.”
You don't need us to tell you that you're strong, mama. But a little reminder is always nice. 😉