Feminist writer Clementine Ford has called out former Bachelor star Matty ‘J’ Johnson over his videos parodying taking care of his children while his wife is away.
Johnson has made the usual leap from reality television star to online content creator alongside his wife, Laura Byrne.
The pair have built a social media empire together, share two young daughters, and frequently post and poke fun of the perils of modern parenting together.
Recently, Johnson posted a satirical video of him shifting the care of his children to his mum when his wife is not there.
In the video, he can be seen wandering around in a robe and relaxing while his mum pics up all the household chores and child-rearing slack in the background.
“When your partner’s away from work and you have to single parent,” he captioned the reel and then posted it to his 300,000 social media followers.
The video attempted to parody a stereotype of fathers struggling to take care of their children without a woman’s help.
While Johnson was poking fun at this trope, it did cause some division among his followers.
There were many who saw the humorous side of the video and defended the dad-of-two in the comment section.
“I’m a single mum of four and this is still hilarious … it is clear for entertainment and it worked,” someone praised.
“Gosh some people commenting have no sense of humour. This was clearly a joke, and I thought it was funny!” another said.
One added: “This is hilarious and obviously tongue in cheek.”
However, there were others who weren’t as impressed.
“Weaponised incompetence how hysterically funny” someone commented.
“Yuck,” another complained.
“You are just reinforcing shticks to those complacent in the patriarchy you profit from,” another argued.
Ford re-posted Johnson’s clip on her Instagram story, saying and she was “embarrassed” for anyone involved in making this content.
The famous feminist often uses pop culture examples to highlight points about the patriarchy and she said that she found this kind of comedy “retro sexist.”
She argued that men use this kind of humour to hide their “incompetency in plain sight,” and said she’d written about it in her upcoming anti-marriage book I Don’t.
She followed up on social media when she received hate for attacking the former Bachelor star and said she found it “depressing” how many women were willing to defend Johnson
“How does being a great hands-on dad somehow give you the license to firstly play into a really boring sexist comedy trope,” she asked.
She claimed this kind of trope plays out in “households” all over Australia daily and that it was ultimately fair to criticise someone like Johnson, who is in a position of power.
Ford described Johnson as a “beige” reality television star that lives in a “two million dollar house” and reiterated that it wasn’t unfair for her to critique the “content” that he chose to make.
Johnson didn’t respond directly to Ford’s criticism, but he did re-share a satire apology video he had previously made in response to some of the comments he had received.
“I made fun of the fact that my mum was doing the bulk of the domestic work in his house while Laura is away. I take pride in being a hands-on dad,” he says before his mum interrupts him, carrying a load of washing in the background and listing all the chores she had completed.
Byrne, however, offered a more direct response, taking to Instagram to add some context to the heated situation.
She said that Johnson wasn’t some “misogynistic prick” but was instead using “satire” to reflect what is currently happening in the world.
She explained that Johnson is actually the “primary caregiver” for their two young children, and their situation is nothing like what the video reflected.
“He does more than 70 per cent of the parenting because I do more than 70 per cent of the work,” she said.
The former reality star said that this topic is “heated” but that the outrage surrounding his video needed the correct context.