In its coverage of the women's marches on Saturday, the New York Times drew attention to the suburban men of Montclair, NJ, who were forced to feed their kids and take them to appointments while their wives were on a mission. "Routines were radically altered" as women were noticeably absent from home, Starbucks, and yoga studios, Filip Bondy wrote. One sports writer even missed a basketball game to care for his kids, and when the women returned, "many fathers exhaled in relief." A reader tells Slate she was "just flabbergasted that this was an actual article in the New York Times and not an Onion piece"—and she's not alone. Some reaction:
- "Breaking news: Fathers care for their kids!" Emily Peck sums it up at the Huffington Post, noting the article suggested "men can't handle parenting tasks" and those who try "are exceptional and worthy of a news story."
- Christina Cauterucci at Slate notes Bondy essentially praised dads "for doing something that mothers and single parents of any gender do without public acclaim every single day." The result was a "frustratingly retrograde envisioning of the American heterosexual home" in an article that could have been written in the 1910s.
- Indeed, a Twitter user points out that many posters opposing women's suffrage during that time depicted the menace of a messy home and a man forced to look after his own kids.
- "There is pretty much nothing about this piece that I think was wisely considered," says the Times' Public Editor Liz Spayd. She's shared reactions from readers, who describe the article as "tone deaf and misogynist."
- "How is it a hardship that wealthy men in a privileged community are taking care of their own offspring for less than 24 hours?" adds a woman from Houston, while a father jokes that he "endured this hardship. I fed my son Tevin dog food and accidentally set fire to my daughter, whatshername."
editor Wendell Jamieson has since said the article "was conceived with the best intentions, but it fell flat. And I regret it." "Sorry, sorry, sorry," Bondy tells the Huffington Post. Of the criticism, he adds, "I deserved it."