Idina Menzel: ‘Men don’t have to account for’ time spent parenting like women do

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel covers the December issue of Redbook to promote her Christmas album, Holiday Wishes. She’s had a huge year, professionally. The Frozen song is still stuck in everyone’s heads (it is now — you’re welcome), and she’s starring in If/Then on Broadway. Things have been a little rougher in Idina’s personal life. She separated from Taye Diggs in late 2013 after he acted very single for months. They were married for 10 years. My theory on the divorce is a little unorthodox. Idina must have been mortified after her husband started to follow everyone on Twitter. Yeah, that must be it.

In this interview Idina talks about her split from Taye, which is fitting. He already talked to Redbook about Idina earlier this year. Taye said he believed people would “trip out” when they heard about the divorce. Did they? Idina sounds a lot less self-obsessed than her ex:

On dating after divorce: “I’m open to it. I just don’t have a lot of time. They’d have to meet me at, like, midnight after the show, and that’s kind of slutty, isn’t it?”

Her little free time is spent with son Walker: “The guilt is the thing that we as women all feel, whether we stay at home or we work. There are a lot of double standards with the way the men in our lives see how we make those choices. I think there’s an accounting for how much time I spend with my son, and men don’t have to account for how much time they spend with their child. It hurts to feel that’s a judgment being made. Because we’re already judging ourselves.”

On John Travolta’s “Adele Dazeem” flub: “It’s the best mistake that’s ever happened to me. Just having the kind of success where people might know my name — my real name! It took me a long time to stop chasing it and just embrace it.”

Her new holiday album: “To be honest, my love for Christmas came when I started dating Taye. One of my fondest memories of our relationship was how we celebrated Christmas. He has a big family, so we would reserve Christmas Eve for ourselves. I wanted to be the good shiksa girlfriend.”

[From Redbook]

It sounds like Idina forgave John Travolta for flubbing her name. That was awful and only eclipsed by Gwen Stefani saying “The Colbort Report.”

On a more somber note, Idina is absolutely correct on her parenting discussion. The time women spend parenting is scrutinized much more heavily than the same for men. Some things never change; and yeah, women already scrutinize themselves too much already. Society weighing in on the subject only adds more pressure. Idina was totally kidding about the “slutty” aspect of only having dating time after midnight. She’s funny.

Idina Menzel

Photos courtesy of Redbook, Fame/Flynet & WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

35 Responses to “Idina Menzel: ‘Men don’t have to account for’ time spent parenting like women do”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Maya says:

    She is absolutely correct – men like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon etc spends months away from their children to shoot a movie and people don’t attack them.

    But women like Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett etc gets crusified when they shoot a movie once a year or so.

    Double standard is truly alive and it doesn’t seem to disappear any time soon.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Right, and if the father is seen taking the kids out alone he’s such a big hero, but if the mother is, it’s just taken for granted.

    • Luca76 says:

      Yup and women get crucified for having a nanny but men who say they ‘babysit’ get zero criticism.

  2. starrywonder says:

    Taye Diggs is a moron. I love her and am glad she’s become more widely known since Frozen.

  3. Jess says:

    She seems cool as hell, very down to earth and genuine. I do wonder what happened with Taye, he always spoke so highly of her then he just started acting like a douche, I was very disappointed in him, but who knows.

    I just watched Frozen a few weeks ago and of course I got hooked like everyone else, it quickly took Cinderella’s place as my favorite Disney movie. Anna is my favorite character though, she’s the real star in my opinion. I couldn’t believe how many Elsa’s there were for Halloween, Anna got no love, lol.

    • Moneypenny says:

      I saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago with my toddler. I knew so much about Elsa beforehand, so I was very confused when I saw the movie: Anna is clearly the main character! My husband says everyone just likes Elsa for her superpowers. And her hair.

  4. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I used to think Taye Diggs was ok until i heard the gossip about him being a cheater, and then watching him at the Espys. He was there as a presenter and was with his new girlfriend. When he went up to present he went on and on about how he brought his new hot girlfriend and none of the athletes should even think about flirting with the girlfriend. It was so uncomfortable and I couldn’t tell if it was just a scripted bit that was really not funny, because it really seemed that he was being super douchey and possessive. I already really liked her, but I absolutely became Team Idina for Life right then and there.

    I also 100% agree with what she says (and how she says it) about feeling guilty about the time we as moms spend with our children, and that often there’s not the same expectations of fathers. I am more than okay with being the primary caregiver in our family, but it does seem like fathers get free rein sometimes to have more “me time” or if they work too many hours or don’t go to soccer games or teacher conferences that’s just fine.

  5. Cici says:

    Lily Allen commented on it recently on Jonathan Ross Show. She got photographed leaving Kate Hudson’s Halloween party with Chris Martin and people and the press were questioning why she wasn’t at home with her kids while nobody wrote similar questioning about Martin’s commitment to his kids.

  6. Ag says:

    She’s totally right re time spent with kids. There’s constant judgment from the inside and outside. Sigh.

    Her bit about dating cracked me up. I have a friend who’s a PD and works really long hours. He’s always complained that he’s not dating because by the time he gets off from work, no “decent” girls are up and about and willing to go on a date.

  7. jferber says:

    On another note, the woman is hot as hell in a non-Hollywood type way. What I mean is that she seems like a real-life woman you’d see walking down the street in NYC and your jaw would drop because she was so gorgeous. I wish her continuing success and happiness.

  8. Sara says:

    i dont see it as clear cut. celeb mothers get asked way more often about children, most female magazines focus on that. only natural that you see those women more as a mom than a working actress. i know that Jennifer Garner works, but her image is mainly a mom.
    i dont know how hard it is to say no to all those mags and if any female artist can do it, but as long as you spend a good portion of your public time speaking about children people will wonder about the children.
    another thing: pick a man that will spend time with the children. Mr. CEO probably wont. you cant pick the most professionally ambitions man and then wonder that he focuses on his job.

  9. Renee says:

    How can she be the good shiksa girlfriend? Is she making fun of herself for not being black? Does shiksa just mean outsider?? I thought that shiksa was a (somewhat) derogatory term used to describe non-Jewish (mainly white) women who dated Jewish men? Please help me out here people with knowledge of these things!!!!!

    • Ellen says:

      Menzel is Jewish. I think she saying that when she joined the family, she wanted to do Christmas the way a Christian girl would do, not as an outsider/observer. She’s kind of turning shiksa around.

      • Penguen says:

        Yep, I agree with Ellen (and I’m Jewish). She was joking with the shiksa comment, saying she was excited to participate.

        I’m the same way. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but when my Christian friends invite me to join them in their holiday celebrations, I am ALL IN. Eggnog? DELICIOUS. Decorate the tree? Pass the tinsel, baby! You’re inviting me to share something important to you and be part of your family’s tradition. That’s an honor, and it feels really nice to be included.

        I’m guessing that’s the general sentiment behind what Idina said.

  10. wow says:

    She is absolutely correct. Women do get criticised more than men when it comes to spending time raising their kid and career choices. I see it a lot with the parenting criticism of Kate Middleton as oppose to Prince William.

    If they chose to be stay at home mothers, then they are criticised for doing so. If they don’t, then they get the same but from a different group of people.

  11. Jayna says:

    Women judge other women on that. Just sit around in a neighborhood and listen to the stay-at-homes talk about the career women, and then hear the career women talk about the stay-at-homes. Not all women now. There are many supportive women. I’m talking about how often it does happen, though. I think women are the worst critics of all of other women and their parenting.

    • Betty says:

      Do the career women really talk about stay-at-home moms as much as the stay-at-homes dog professional women? It doesn’t seem like it to me.

      • Ag says:

        it doesn’t seem like that to me either, but that’s just my personal experience, of course. i’ve never heard one of my co-workers with kids talk negatively about stay-at home moms. if anything, they give stay-at-home moms huge props, since you don’t get any “breaks” from your kids when you’re home with them.

      • Christina says:

        That’s a hard question to answer b/c it’s implying that stay-at-homes regularly slam working moms. If that’s the case in your world, I hope you can find better friends/neighbors! As to if working moms slam stay-at-homes, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, “So, what do you DO all day?” … with a nice side sneer on their face!! … I’d be rich. What was hilarious to me is that about a year later, not one but TWO of those women decided to stay home with their kids. I had to snicker to myself when I heard one going on and on about how difficult it is to anything in the house. Yes, yes it is!

    • Jess says:

      Agree, women can really tear each other to pieces on this topic, especially behind a computer screen. There are very supportive women but it’s usually the others who are louder.

  12. GingerCrunch says:

    And which one of us doesn’t know this before we had kids??? It’s not FAIR! Too bad, suck it up and get your kid grown, then go nuts. Sheesh.

  13. lucy2 says:

    The only male celebrity I’ve ever seen criticized for that was Tom Cruise, and that was an extreme case since he hadn’t seen his kid in months.
    I like Idina a lot, she seems like a lovely person.

  14. sam says:

    I’m sure this has been brought up before but man she and Lea Michelle look so alike. Very good casting on Glee as her birth mom. I haven’t watched that show in years but wow its crazy how similar they look.

  15. stacat1 says:

    YES..YES…YES….please someone send this article to Gwyneth ASAP. SHE GETS IT.

  16. Anony says:

    The Adele Dazeem flub makes me laugh to this day. Com’on it was HILARIOUS!!!!!! What was Travolta on? BWAHAHAHAHA! Plus, I would have NEVER EVER remembered her real name if it wasn’t for that because she really isn’t that noteworthy. Because of that incident I (and the rest of world) know her name. She totally owes him!

    • Bridget says:

      I agree! It still cracks me up. How did he make that mistake?!?

    • Gypsy says:

      I don’t get it because she’s always been famous to people who pay attention to theatre/musicals and to formal musical settings, even before the musical “Rent”, she was famous for her musical voice, in the upper middle class theatre goers so I was really surprised that Travolta stumbled that much on her name. – I personally loved her Concerts and could listen to her for days, what a voice!

  17. Gypsy says:

    She’s right, but it is a lot of women who attack other women that they are ignoring their child/children and want to put a meter on how much time they see a mother with their child/children in ONE single photo, THEN men see that and feel free to condemn all women as unfit mothers if they ever leave the home or go to the bathroom without their child – Women have made it hard for women.