Kevin DeYoung is a prominent conservative Presbyterian pastor in North Carolina. He’s plugged in with the elite New Calvinism crowd through organizations like the Gospel Coalition.
DeYoung is basically a good guy. He’s willing to part ways with his crowd in order to stake out his own takes, which is unusual in today’s tribal world. He’s written some things that have caused a lot of blowback, including arguing that the new culture war strategy for conservatives should be having more kids (he has nine), and a framework about tribal divisions within evangelicalism over social justice.
So DeYoung is typically seen as a solid guy.
Here’s what he recently tweeted about his laundry skills:
Hey husbands and dads trying to help out with the laundry: turns out “fabric softener” is not just another name for “laundry detergent.” Who knew? Crazy times we live in.
— Kevin DeYoung (@RevKevDeYoung) March 26, 2023
I interpret this as a joke. There’s no way a guy with nine kids doesn’t know how to do laundry or what fabric softener is.
But it’s revealing once again of the way that even conservative pastors engage in put downs of dads. DeYoung is portraying himself as a sitcom like doofus dad who doesn’t know how to do even basic things at home (and thus is presumably totally dependent on his wife’s competence in these matters).
Self-deprecation is not wrong per se. The more self-evidently high status you are, like DeYoung, the more you can get away with it.
But this is part of a pattern of how men and dads are disparaged, and even their basic competence at parenting is questioned.
By reinforcing the doofus dad stereotype, DeYoung isn’t just making a joke at his own expense, he’s also saying something about dads in general.
These guys just need to stop this stuff, period. Stop with the public self-deprecation. And stop with the negative portrayals of men and dads. If you can’t show honor to husbands and fathers, at least stop with the gratuitous put downs.