Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland dads fume over 'men have no talent for parenting' Nolan show comments

Stephen Nolan described the comments as sexist saying a man would not get away with expressing a similar sentiment.
Stephen Nolan described the comments as sexist saying a man would not get away with expressing a similar sentiment.

Northern Ireland dads have vented their fury after a commentator on the Stephen Nolan show said men had "no talent" for raising children and it was a woman's domain.

During a debate on the rights or wrongs of smacking with the head of the NSPCC Neil Anderson, writer and broadcaster Lynette Burrows said: "What is so funny, you think a chap like you has any experience of being at home all the day with children - it is something women do.

"On the whole it is women's responsibility and they do it. It's like a woman telling a man how he is running an army all wrong. It's not your province.

"I am a sexist and think anyone who is not a sexist is mad. Women know much more about young children than men because they do it. They have the child all the time.

"Men don't have a talent for it."

She said there was a "tiny percentage" of stay-at-home dads and most were furthering their own career while their wives were out at work.

Many stay at home dads called into the programme to say they felt they had the talent to raise their kids.

"I'm sure men can do it as well as woman," Lynette continued. "But I am not talking about exceptions, we are talking about the general rule. It's not a fashionable thing to say, but these fashions pass in five minutes.

"Men do look after their children, they enjoy it and do it well. It's just not common."

She continued: "I didn't say women make better parents. Can men breastfeed children as well as a woman can?

"I live in the real world. Men don't do it as well as women because they don't choose to do it. Of course there are jobs that are inter-changeable but women always have the children attached to them."

Numerous men called in to vent their anger at the comments. Sean from Belfast said that the bond he had built with his children was "phenomenal" after he chose to become a stay-at-home dad.

"Her comments are ridiculous... but I have to go," he said, "There are nappies to be changed but I'll probably need to find a woman to help me."

Asked if she felt two gay men could raise a child as well without the influence of a woman, Lynette said: "There is no chance.

"Children are created by men and women and they need the influence of a man and woman throughout their lives. I don't think two men or two women can give a child what they need."

She added: "We do denigrate fathers by this business that any fool can do the job a mother can do. The truth is we denigrate parenthood and the contribution, vital and absolutely irreplaceable of the slightly different male input and female input - that's the way God designed it and if it is unfashionable to say that, tough luck."

Peter from the Men and Boys' Initiative - which helps and advises fathers on getting access to their children - contacted the programme to voice his outrage.

"The comments are disgraceful," he said.

"Children do far better when they have two parents. Education is improved, involvement in crime for young boys is much less when their father was involved."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph