Bad Dads Make for Family-Friendly Drama, But Bad Moms Are the Stuff of Nightmares


This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Hollywood seems to have a thing for struggling fathers, running the gamut from hapless or distant to downright sinister. The trope is so common that it permeates every genre of fiction regardless of tone—even family-friendly fare like Mary Poppins Returns centers on a father’s inability to keep his family above water following the death of his wife.

I don’t think these stories are bad by virtue of their very existence—for some, they may even offer some much-needed catharsis—but their ubiquity is a bit troubling, especially when compared to how stories about women who struggle with parenting are often framed.

The number of “bad dads” in fiction really adds up when you attempt a count—even just sticking to science fiction and fantasy. Nearly every Avenger has a horrible dad or father-figure. Lucius Malfoy does a complete number on his son Draco in his quest to become a key member of Voldemort’s ...

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