Piers Morgan: television personality, professional antagonist — and, as he likes reminding us, proud winner of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice over a decade ago — has sent a contoversial tweet about Daniel Craig and a baby papoose.
It’s true: Morgan — who told a whole country to “man up” on mental health, who insists the existence of the transgender community means he should be able to identify as an elephant, who demanded details of Caitlyn Jenner sex organs live on air, who must surely now win the BAFTA for most embarrassing barbeque grandad without actually having any grandkids — has typed 54 characters onto a website and pressed send.
It’s among the 62 other posts he released into the ether between Monday night and Tuesday lunchtime — with a singular, unrelenting focus: a spotted, black papoose.
Specifically, it’s about a baby holder worn by James Bond actor Daniel Craig in New York to carry his one-month old daughter — and what Morgan perceives as a slight on modern manhood.
“Oh 007.. not you as well?!!!” Morgan wrote on Monday with the hashtags #papoose and #emasculatedBond.
Morgan expanded his position on papooses (papoosi?) in further tweets, describing them as “ridiculous instruments of emasculation”, “embarrassing”, and “unnecessary”, arguing that “they’re only doing it because their wives/girlfriends told them to.”
The debate over how men should carry their children then seeped into Good Morning Britain — the television show he co-hosts every weekday morning with Susanna Reid — and, after Morgan brought US President Donald Trump into the scuffle, the conversation went global.
And fathers all over the world lurched into a heartwarming coupe d'etat.
“When my son was born, I intentionally removed my shirt and laid down with him, cradling him against my skin,” said one tweet. “It was one of the best and most magical moments of my life. Secure, strong fathers actually bond to their children and don’t succumb to ancient gender roles.”
It seems the papoose is going nowhere — and the solidarity was beautiful, hilarious, and quite the mic drop.
I loved wearing my baby. Fancy a dad enjoying being close to his child! pic.twitter.com/vajH5Flrpw— Seán Ó Domhnaill 🕊️ (@joapostrophed) October 15, 2018
this is the most I’ll ever look like Daniel Craig pic.twitter.com/ydTjkuZDkV— Scream Thielmaxe (@samthielman) October 15, 2018
taken mere moments before the Man Police confiscated my Man Card pic.twitter.com/VuXSGB3c7Q— what if Scott Dai, but too much? (@scoi007) October 15, 2018
how will I live down the ignominy pic.twitter.com/cvxGf56F9p— Eric Mersmann (@presenteric) October 15, 2018
And, no, it’s not a sign of the times.
In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that the papoose goes as far back as Timothy Dalton and The Living Daylights.
It even popped up in Sex and the City.
This is some 1987 manliness right here pic.twitter.com/yUF6mct73d— lyndsor_torte (@lyndsor_torte) October 15, 2018
Some kangaroo time from 6 years ago pic.twitter.com/VuLZq8uTHj— Jordy McKever (@itsjordylive) October 15, 2018
That moment in SATC where Carrie sees Aidan again, and he's sporting short hair, double denim, and a chubby cheeked baby..... pic.twitter.com/ZWWjyg1Wtb— Baills (@sarahbaillie18) October 15, 2018
And if you thought dads were superheroes, well, you’d be right — but also: Captain America joined the fray! Or rather, Chris Evans, the feminist hunk who wears his shield.
“You really have to be so uncertain of your own masculinity to concern yourself with how another man carries his child,” Evans tweeted. “Any man who wastes time quantifying masculinity is terrified on the inside.”
You really have to be so uncertain of your own masculinity to concern yourself with how another man carries his child. Any man who wastes time quantifying masculinity is terrified on the inside. https://t.co/9jsHZ3WKRn— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 16, 2018
In case you missed the memo, the world is intrinsically patriarchal — almost every aspect of life has in some way been shaped by prehistoric notions of men as the omni-dominant sex. It touches everything: from long queues to the ladies toilets to sexual abuse, child marriage, and systematic economic disempowerment.
Feminism really does just mean gender equality, and everybody needs to join the fight to benefit both women and men. Especially when it comes to having kids, and the archetypal characters of Man the Provider and Woman the Carer.
So when those tropes are reinforced in mass-culture, it’s fair to challenge it right at the source — and to support each other while we do it. And, oh boy, did women get involved.
i'm not engaging with Piers Morgan but imagine being so insecure that you think a man carrying his own child in public is being emasculated— In Nicoled Blood (@Nicole_Cliffe) October 15, 2018
No woman has an issue with a man carrying a baby in a papoose.— Susanna Reid (@susannareid100) October 15, 2018
This is YOUR issue. https://t.co/bAaItvVizP
Imagine believing carrying your own baby in public is emasculating https://t.co/DE30dCj8vb— Kate Irby (@kateirby) October 15, 2018
Piers Morgan comes out in strong opposition towards… (checks notes) parents caring for their children— Evilshai ✡ Frankensteinberger (@avishaiw) October 15, 2018
Dads who step up during the tough early months, where babies typically “need” mom, are the real #Heroes— Jody Vance (@jodyvance) October 15, 2018
I agree with Piers Morgan. What kind of father carries his own baby? When handed his baby a real man will SWAT IT TO THE GROUND and then do 50 push-ups THE NON GIRLY KIND to show that baby what a REAL DAD IS— Leslie Grossman (@MissLeslieG) October 15, 2018
“The irony is that Piers’ comments are the most emasculating factor here,” said Nevill. “Piers’ appetite to prescribe, deprive, and make men less effective at parenting ultimately demonstrates how isolated and out of touch he is with modern parenting.”
Luckily, Dictionary.com offered an olive branch. It never was about parenting, was it?