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parenting double standards, moms and sexism, momlife_comics

"Fun" dad versus "lazy" mom.

This story originally appeared on 02.01.22


Last November, Upworthy published a popular story about Chloe Sexton, a mother who went viral on TikTok for a video she made explaining “daddy privilege” or the idea that fathers are applauded for doing things that mothers are supposed to do.

"In my opinion, 'daddy privilege' is that subtle upper hand men sidestep into as parents that allows them to gain praise for simply…being a parent," she said. "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."

Sadly, the post resonated with a lot of mothers, because it's true. Expectations for fathers are so low that men are commended for handling basic parenting tasks. But if a mother falls short of perfection, she faces harsh criticism.

Mary Catherine Starr, a mother living in Cape Cod who owns a design studio and teaches yoga, is getting a lot of love on Instagram for her cartoon series that perfectly explains daddy privilege.


In "An Illustrated Guide to the Double Standards of Parenting," Starr shares this concept by showing that when a man comes home with fast food for his kids he's the "fun dad." But if a mom comes back with a bag from McDonald's she is seen as a "lazy mom."

In the comics, the same double standards apply whether it's how they handle technology or parent at the park.

(Note: Click the arrow on the right-hand side of the image to see the slideshow.)

Starr was quick to point out in the comments that the target of her comics isn’t fathers, but society at large. “This is not a dig at dads, it's a dig at our society—a society that applauds dads for handling the most basic of parenting duties + expects nothing short of perfection from mothers (or even worse, shames them for every decision and/or move they make!),” she wrote.

The comics resonated with a lot of women.

"This hit a nerve with so many women! I was a single mom living in an apartment,” an Instagram user named Saturdayfarm wrote in the comments. “Next door - a single dad. Neighbors felt so bad for him that they helped him with his laundry, brought over food, and babysat. For nothing. I just shakily carried on somehow. And I had so much less money and opportunities.”

"This is exactly part of the why I feel like being ‘just’ a mom isn’t as valuable. Being so run of the mill. But if my husband has the baby in a sling, the toddler in the pram and is out walking the dog, he’s superman for letting me have one hour for zoom work," rebecca_lee-close_yoga wrote.

A father who understands his privilege completely supports Starr’s message.

"It actually annoys me when I get those types of comments / ‘compliments’ knowing it’s totally a double standard," JonaJooey wrote.

Starr’s comics and Sexton’s TikTok videos won't stop the double standards when it comes to parenting, but they do a great job at holding a mirror up to the problem. Where do we go from here? We can start by having greater expectations for fathers and holding them up to a higher standard. Then, we should take the energy we put into praising dads for doing the bare minimum and heap it on mothers who thanklessly go about the most important job in the world.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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When I was younger I used to think I was dying or that I would get kidnapped by a random stranger, but I kept it to myself because I thought something was wrong with me. I thought that telling people would confirm this fear, so I kept it inside my entire life until I was an adult and learned it was part of ADHD and other disorders, such as OCD and PTSD. But it doesn't have to be part of a disorder at all—a vast amount of people just have intrusive thoughts, and a Twitter user, Laura Gastón, is trying to normalize them for others.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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