Here's something that is extremely not cute: to see or hear a grown adult of the human variety struggle with even the simplest tasks. Like, say, for example, off the top of my mind, a man who acts like he can't look after himself or his children.
This is why Russell Brand's recent admission that he has never spent a full day looking after his children sat so uncomfortably with so many, who slammed him as "sexist".
He tried to pass his lack of competence off as a compliment to his wife, who he says does everything much better than he ever could - and I have no trouble believing that, indeed, she does.
The 43-year-old grownup man is the father of Mabel, two, and Peggy, six months, but says he's too "sensitive" to change nappies and that he has never looked after his daughters on his own for 24 hours as his wife "respects and cares for their safety too much".
He tried, but many argued he failed, to make his comments about his ineptitude as a parent sound funny: "When I looked after Mabel on her own, she dropped two social classes in an hour. In no time at all we're in a coffee shop, she's just got a nappy on and she's covered in stuff because I'm not willing to fight any of the battles," he told The Sunday Times in the UK.
"Laura's able to sustain and maintain domesticity in a way that's astonishing. I didn't have much experience of how to organise domesticity. I do whatever I'm told."
To be clear: "sustain and maintain domesticity" is just man-child code for "being a responsible adult".
Seeing one parent forego his/her responsibilities and arguing they don't do it because the other parent does it better, when in reality they don't do it because they don't want to, is not just sexist: it's manipulative. It's putting the onus and the responsibility on the other parent to ensure the care and safety of the children. Its the type of "but, darling, you're so much better than me at it" rethoric that people have been using since the dawn of time to get out of doing things they don't want to do. Except, when you're a parent, you shouldn't be able to get out of parenting.
The sad reality is that it happens a lot. All those memes about the mental load of housework and childcare on women exist for a reason. The "I'd do it but my wife is so much better at it" rethoric is alive and well, and it's being perpetuated by people like Brand, who mask their laziness and incompetence behind this thin veneer of adoration for their much more talented partner who - #blessed - changes nappies so well and is nothing if not a master in handling baby vomit.
Let's make something super crystal clear: your partner or wife does not like changing nappies any more than you do. If you gag, get some barf bags handy. You don't get to give up your responsibilities as a parent just because it's yucky. It's not cute to act like a man-child and get your wife to pick up the slack because she's better than you at being an adult.
Any variation of the "oh but, darling, you're so much better at it than I am" argument automatically makes you an inept parent. Is that really the type of person you want to be?
Women, stop enabling this behaviour. If you let your partner or husband get away with it, you are enabling and contributing towards the perpetuation of that behaviour.
If your partner says he doesn't like changing nappies because it makes him gag, remind him that the time to think about that was before going all in on the idea of generating offspring. Then pass him the nappies and the bum rash cream and wish him well on his endeavour.
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