Everyone breathe a sigh of relief, because George Clooney has proved he’s a “hands-on dad” and a “happy family man” after he was spotted carrying his son. We can all relax now, safe in the knowledge that a 57-year-old grown man would prefer to carry his infant child rather than allow them to crawl across an Italian airfield. What a hero! What a gentleman! What a mighty good man!
The report of this incredible feat of parenting comes – somewhat unsurprisingly – from The Daily Mail, which described Clooney as having a “deep Mediterranean tan” as he came off his private plane, holding his one-year-old son, Alexander. According to The Mail, Clooney looked “very attentive” while walking off the jet, baby on one arm, picture book (complete with musical sidebar) in the other. Again, I want to extol just how amazing and, frankly, brave Clooney is for so boldly displaying this side of fatherhood.
Picking up your one-year-old is something more of a necessity than a selfless act of love – since they literally cannot walk
I am, of course, joking. As pointed out by Hannah Williams on Twitter, the bar for being deemed a hands-on dad has well and truly been set at a new low. Picking up your one-year-old is something more of a necessity than a selfless act of love – since they literally cannot walk.
It’s notable that Amal Clooney, mother of Alexander and his twin sister, who she was carrying, isn’t branded a “hands-on mother”. In fact, The Mail didn’t have much to say about his wife, Amal Clooney – for once – except that she was “beautiful” and “nicely glammed”. But there was no reference to her ability as a mother. What we’re meant to understand from this is that, since she is a mother, she’s meant to be carrying her child. When a woman looks after her child, it’s not exactly newsworthy – rather, it’s not worth mentioning.
But when a dad makes time out of his busy schedule of being a man to spend a few moments carrying his toddler across an airfield, it’s something to be celebrated. I’m sure Clooney is in fact a good dad, but this everyday act of parenting doesn’t prove that. All it shows is the sexist, rigid roles the media affords not only mums and dads, but men and women as a whole.