Both “I Want a Wife” and “Not all Men Are Sly Foxes” discuss the concept of portraying the mother as the primary parental figure in a young child’s life. It is undeniable that mothers play a crucial role in providing love and care for their young children. In Judy Brady’s essay, “I Want a Wife,” she expresses her longing for a wife who can take care of their children when they are sick and be there for them when they require special attention because, as the husband, she cannot skip school due to her responsibilities. However, one might question whether it is possible for a father to tend to an unwell child after coming home late at night from work.
Two essays offer different viewpoints on whether fathers should assume child care duties or if it is acceptable for mothers to have the primary role. “I Want a Wife” discusses the perspective of a mother and wife, highlighting the immense responsibility that comes with raising children. In contrast, “Not All Men Are Sly Foxes” presents a father’s standpoint, expressing dissatisfaction with stereotypes portrayed in children’s literature.
The author Armin Brott argues that fathers are unfairly seen as weaker and less lovable parents. A passage from “Not All Men Are Sly Foxes” reveals that out of twenty popular contemporary picture books, seven do not mention any parent, and of the remaining thirteen, four portray fathers as less loving and caring than mothers. This serves as concrete evidence of the discrimination fathers face in children’s literature.
The essay “I Want a Wife” utilizes imagery and personal experience to depict the daily responsibilities faced by wives and mothers. This technique immerses the reader in the perspective of a wife, offering vivid details that highlight the dependence of children and fathers on their mothers and wives. Judy Brady’s essay is explicitly aimed at husbands worldwide, occasionally criticizing them throughout her writing.
The essay includes an exert that claims the author desires the freedom to replace their current wife with a more suitable one, similar to replacing a job. Throughout the essay, the author implies that if wives are not deemed adequate, they will be replaced with someone new.
The text highlights a negative stereotype of father figures in relationships, which supports the author’s argument in another essay that men face discrimination. The author indirectly compares fathers to bosses at work using a simile. However, in the opposing essay “Not All Men Are Sly Foxes,” the author points out that language has shifted to more gender-neutral terms like “carriers” and “firefighters.” This simile presents a positive portrayal of fathers and emphasizes their additional concerns about work and finances.