In his seminal 1969 book about major league baseball, former Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton wrote about his salary negotiation with Seattle Mariners' Manager Barney Schultz.
Bouton came fully armed for the meeting with reams of statistics showing how many games he'd saved, runners he'd stranded, etc. His goal was a modest salary increase for the upcoming season. Schultz, after reviewing Bouton's data, flung the pages back at the pitcher and yelled, 'Tell your statistics to shut up. No raise.'
I was reminded of the Bouton-Schultz saga as I powered through an otherwise extraordinarily superb research paper co-published by Advertising Age and JWT, and called. 'The rise of the real mom.'
It's a lengthy treatise that examines what today's mom really wants and needs, and updates the conventional wisdom that most women aspire to be 'super mom.’ According to the report, the real mom 'wants' four things:
1) To make every dollar count
2) To put her family first
3) Permission to be imperfect (Ladies: permission granted by RepMan, for what that's worth)
4) To be seen as more than just a mom
I was really soaking up the insights until I was stopped in my tracks by what I saw as both negative stereotyping and, frankly, a cheap shot taken at the expense of who else, but men.
In discussing parenting, the report says only men aged 30-44 prioritize parenting as much as women. It goes on to state that, when it comes to parenting, 'men peak at 30 to 44 and dramatically de-prioritize parenting as they age. For men, it's like, I've done my job, I've gone to the baseball games, I've paid for your college education; now you're on your own.' That quote came from Marian Muley, founder of the 85% Niche, a consulting firm dedicated to helping business grow market share among women across ethnic, racial and socioeconomic lines.
Well, Ms, Muley, if your strategy to help businesses grow market share among women includes antagonizing men, then you've succeeded. I can tell you, point blank, that your suggestion that men 'check out' on parenting once the kids are grown, is patently false (and hurtful, to boot).
I have never been more engaged in my kids' lives than I am now. Both Chris, 24, and Catharine, 21, would attest to that. Furthermore, I know countless 'men of a certain age,' who are just like me, including my 89-year-old, dad.
It's a shame to see an otherwise incredibly informative report dragged down by an isolated piece of Feminist propaganda.
So, Ms, Muley: two things:
1) I promise not to stereotype moms if you promise not to stereotype dads, and
2) Tell your statistics to shut up!