First, women fought for the right to leave traditional caretaker roles. Then, we fought for workplace equality. Now, professional moms aren’t revolutionary—they’re the majority.
However, when it comes to working mom appreciation, the patriarchy missed the mark. Because when women wear both hats, it’s expected. But when men wear both hats, they’re heroes.
One TikTok user summed up this phenomenon perfectly: daddy privilege.
What Is Daddy Privilege?
TikTok user and new mom Chloe Sexton shared her experience with daddy privilege in the most fitting way possible: with a baby on her hip.
Sexton owns an e-bakery which requires her to visit a wholesale food market weekly. “Last week, my husband had the day off. So, he decided to do it for me. But he also had the baby,” Sexton said in a TikTok post. “I tell you that this man was treated like a hero.”
“Mind you; those same people see me there every single week. I’m strapped up with a baby or seven months pregnant hauling 100-pound bags of flour in the back of my Subaru. Nothing to see here. Just a woman doing woman things, busting her ass.”
“But my husband,” Sexton continued, “ha! My husband wears the baby, and it’s, ‘oh my god, look at you! Oh my god! You work so hard!’”
Sexton, her baby in tow, leans close to the camera. “He’s not a hero. He’s literally just a father. Just a parent. Doing the same s*** I do every week.”
And that, in essence, is daddy privilege: unequal recognition for equal work.
A Side Effect Of The Patriarchy
Familial dynamics can’t be generalized over an entire population. Some partnerships are truly equal; others are more imbalanced. But Sexton isn’t the only person who’s noticed this trend.
“I just had a C section,” one Tiktok user commented. “And when people call to check-in, everyone asks if my husband is sleeping enough. Not me, though.”
“Men bringing their baby to a meeting: ooh’s and ahh’s all around,” another user wrote. “I brought my baby—got called into the captain’s office and told not to do it again.”
So, not only is this problem common, it’s a logical side effect of patriarchy. “This story really illustrates how reproductive labor has been enforced on and expected of women,” one user commented.
“Not only are you expected to be fine with not getting paid for your labor, but you’re expected to do it with no help. So much so that people are surprised to see a father actually being a parent. The bar is so low for fathers,” they continued.
Of Course, Others Disagree
To no one’s surprise, plenty of men had something to say about daddy privilege. But to give credit where it’s due, there are lots of dads on Sexton’s TikTok supporting her. However, in a follow-up video, Sexton shared some of the angrier comments thrown her way.
“He is a hero. All dads are heroes, and you can’t change my mind,” one user wrote. “He was kind enough to help you out on his day off.”
“With his child. That he had. On purpose. With [me]. Who [I] care for. Every day he works,” Sexton replied.
“Men would think you’re a literal hero too if you paid his bills,” one comment read. Sexton addressed this in another follow-up video. “There are so many holes in the sexist bulls**t that you put here that I feel like I should fill them in for you.”
“This little bitty baking business I have now actually floated my family’s income when my husband lost his job during the pandemic and then helped us buy this house.” Sexton continued, “So, maybe lower your voice. Tell me what you do.”
We Have A Long Way To Go
Several international news publications have since featured Sexton and her story. She has also received what she calls “the most hate mail I’ve ever had in my entire life.”
Some users went so far as to leave reviews on Sexton’s business page. One “customer” claimed Sexton was rude, dramatic, made their daughters cry, and called Sexton a witch.
“Don’t think she likes children,” the review reads. “Thankfully, her husband was there, and he saved the day!”
As if anyone needed proof that this review was a lie, Sexton’s bakery has no storefront. Moreover, her husband does not work there. Sexton’s experience is one larger than herself. It highlights the still-present imbalance between men and women.
This isn’t just a woman’s issue, either. When people act amazed that fathers are doing their job, it suggests that it was unlikely they could do so in the first place. It implies they’ve accomplished a great feat.
Not only is this insulting to women, but it’s also belittling to men. A fight for feminist equality also means fighting for men’s rights to be a father without getting a patronizing participation trophy in the process.
If we want to achieve true gender equality, one of the first steps is doing away with daddy privilege.