Barbara Kay: Dads are parents, too

Poor, poor, poor Gwen Stefani. The Hollywood star split from her rocker husband Gavin Rossdale in 2015. But that’s not why we must pity her. After all, Stefani’s marriage lasted longer than those of most of her peers.

No, the reason Stefani feels she has a claim on our sympathy is that she discovered, to her horror, that when couples split up, their children – in this case Kingston, 10, Zuma, 7, and Apollo, 2 — don’t usually continue to spend 100 per cent of their time with their mothers. Children have these — ah, what do you call them? Oh yes — fathers. And Stefani’s kids are now spending a lot of time with Rossdale. Stefani finds this outcome flummoxing: “It was so insane because not only did my family break up, but then my kids are taken away like half the time, so that was really like, ‘What?! What did I do?’ ”

The linguistic tropes Stefani has employed here tell a cultural story of “mom privilege.”