Huggies: Even Dads Can Use Them

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About Al Watts

Al Watts is an 11-year veteran stay-at-home dad to four children ages 11 to 5. He is the President of the National At-Home Dad Network when he is not driving his kids to soccer, hockey, theater or the emergency room. For this Father’s Day, he is releasing his first and favorite book, Dads Behaving DADLY: Real Stories of the New Fatherhood Culture, with Motivational Press.

Comments

  1. tearspawn says:

    Thanks for this! What an insulting ad campaign. (Added to the host of ads for cleaning products called into the line of duty by sons and fathers who are all elbows with the smoothie blenders and salsa bowls but nary to be seen with a wipe, mop, or stain remover – egad!)

  2. Wow. I haven’t seen these ads but just reading about them makes me furious. Once again the fathers of the world are getting the short end of the stick for no reason whatsoever…sidelined, minimized, and emasculated by an industry that thinks only women are parents. Fuck that. I can take care of my 3 boys perfectly fine by myself WITHOUT Huggies.

  3. I wonder if they would’ve laughed as I learned to put diapers on my preemie while she was in the NICU with tubes and wires hooked up all over her body. This offends me more than I can say. I am a very involved father in a world of SAHDs and 21st Century Dads who are actively crushing the stereotypes this campaign is supporting.

  4. Next should be the TIDE campaign where the couple is folding laundry together and then she suddenly says to dad: “You suck at folding!”

    Really bothers me. What is the purpose of that put-down? Until then, it was a very nice commercial.

    • I know right. Makes me wonder how much “progress” has been made when it comes to gender roles sometimes.

      Next Craftsman will run an ad where they put their tools to the Ultimate Test. A woman, alone at night, broken down on the freeway, with no cell signal. Because it won’t be her own automotive skills that see her through no it will be her choice to buy Craftsman tools…

  5. The reality of the situation is, if anyone knows the real data on which gender buys and uses which products and which gender does which child and home-related chores, it’s consumer products organizations. They spend millions and millions researching this and although it’s privileged information and they’re not going to share it with the public, you can get an idea of who they’re talking to. However, don’t take the ads on face value because as we all know, advertising is manipulative.

    This ad certainly got your attention and got you to repeat the brand name “Huggies” several times, didn’t it?

    They used men in a diaper commercial, which shows that men are doing some of the labor and they want to “sell” them their product, although the ad generally speaks to women who mostly probably buy it.

    But the fact is, women are still doing most of the child care and home care in the US and that is why most child product and care ads are targeted to women.

  6. Yes, women still do most of the child care even though 32% of fathers now are the primary care giver according to the Census. And yes, women probably still do most of the grocery shopping, even though an article in Advertising Age last year found one survey from Yahoo showing 51% of fathers are the primary grocery shopper.

    So dads should be told they can’t be alone with their babies because they don’t do most of the child care or shopping? I guess then the NFL are a bunch of idiots for marketing clothing specifically tailored to women then since the majority of their fans are men?

    My wife works for a Consumer Packaging Company (CPG) and I am aware of their research. Men are a HUGE untapped market for CPGs. Huggies research has to say the same thing. They wanted to tap into it by including dads in their ads. Good idea! Not only does it have the potential to relate to new consumers (men) it also makes their core consumers (women) feel good about their product because nothing is sexier than a man holding a baby.

    The problem is that Huggies misses the mark by making the campaign about putting DADS TO THE TEST with their product. As I said, they assume dads can’t handle being alone with their babies. My point is, they can. Dads doing child care is not the majority but it is a rapidly rising minority. Why piss them off?

  7. Jennifer J. says:

    When my daughter was born almost fifteen years ago, I had a slow recovery due to a difficult delivery followed a week later by a horrendous bout of kidney stones. My husband changed every diaper for the first month. When we took our daughter for her first well-baby visit, the nurse kept asking me questions about our daughter’s habits and ignoring my husband. I finally said, “Look, ask him. I haven’t even changed a diaper yet.” She was appalled.

    We can’t ask men to do their share of childcare while simultaneously ridiculing them for doing it. Shame on Huggies.

  8. “Nothing is sexier than a man holding a baby?” I have never heard this.

    I don’t buy those census stats one bit. Not going to argue about methodology, but it’s way off. The Yahoo one could indicate that single men shop for their own groceries now or correlate with the large number of broken homes. For every survey/study that says one thing, there’s another funded by another source using a different population, different methodology saying something completely different. Just because an independent org produces a study, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t commissioned by a client with vested interests.

    There are a lot of dads committed 100% to doing 50% when baby is born, but both those numbers taper off quickly. “My wife handles all that.” My wife is better at that than me.” “I can’t stand listening to the kids cry, fight, whine, etc.” “I really can’t stand doing that kind of work.” “I get too pissed off at my kid, I shouldn’t be around him.” “My kid doesn’t do what I tell him.”

    These are the kinds of things dads of my students and dads who are friends tell me. The moms and students repeatedly confirm that mom does most of the work around the house.

    • Katie, you and I live in different worlds.

      I don’t doubt you hear these things about dads. I hear them too. The difference is, I know so many dads who don’t fit the comments you hear.

      I am currently working on a book project tentatively titled “Dads Behaving Dadly: Chronicles of the Fatherhood Revolution” which tells the stories of many good dads in their own words. When it is released, I’ll make sure you get a few copies to pass out to the parents of your students. They will learn from these stories that most dads can and want to be active, involved parents. Follow our progress at http://www.dadsbehavingdadly.com.

      • I have no doubt that most dads want to be active, involved parents and that many of them put a lot of work into it when their children are babies, but it falls off dramatically as the children grow. I don’t think – in this country – men are raised with the mentality and skills to do the work of child care.

        My students often say that some of the chores dads do are grocery shopping and sometimes cooking. And of the cooking responses, the majority of those kids are children or grandchildren of immigrants. And the dad’s cooking doesn’t seem to be “a chore,” it seems to be a regular event and fierce hobby of the dad and the men have a lot of expertise, flair and ownership in making ethnic dishes and taking over the kitchen. This seems like a cultural thing, handed down through generations.

        • Mark Neil says:

          “I have no doubt that most dads want to be active, involved parents and that many of them put a lot of work into it when their children are babies, but it falls off dramatically as the children grow. I don’t think – in this country – men are raised with the mentality and skills to do the work of child care.”

          And it never comes to mind that the reason it may tapper off isn’t because of the dads? I don’t know how many of my friends, when their first kids were born, would just start doing what needed to be done, then get pushed aside by their wives and told “you’re doing it wrong, let me do it”. One can only take that for so long before hitting a limit, where ether a fight ensues (and we all know “a woman is always right” and it’s men sent to the dog house. so this never ends well for the dad) or the man acquiesces and leaves that task to the mother all the time (and of course, gets blamed for it by people like you, who suggest dads don’t have the mentality for child care).

          The reason you find a lot of dads doing cooking is because, there is no way to claim there is only one right way to cook, so a woman saying “you’re not doing it right” has no leg to stand on.

          • Everybody does things wrong sometimes. Being told you’ve done something wrong is no excuse for not sharing in the workload. This sounds like your ego was hurt. Welcome to motherhood and fatherhood, it’s not about you anymore. Masculine egos and the need to control are reasons why men have a harder time taking care of children then women.

            Just do it right next time.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “Being told you’ve done something wrong is no excuse for not sharing in the workload. ”

              I’m not talking about being told you’ve done something wrong (just because you don’t do it their way, doesn’t mean it’s wrong FYI.)… I’m talking about being told you CAN’T do something right.

              “This sounds like your ego was hurt. ”

              Shaming language won’t work on me. Are you even capable of addressing someones point without trying to undermine their argument by claiming to some personal fault?

              “Welcome to motherhood and fatherhood, it’s not about you anymore”

              Thanks, who’s the mother? Cause I have no children I’ve been told of. My experience comes from watching a man who loves his son, who had taken care of him for several weeks (without issue) while the mother was trapped in the UK during that Iceland volcano problem, getting told by the mother that she will not go out to her hour long hobby class (only away for 2 hours including travel) because she does not trust leaving her child with the father while the child is asleep with a fever.

              “Masculine egos and the need to control are reasons why men have a harder time taking care of children then women.”

              So, you think men have the exagerated ego’s and control issues because I point out that women often tell men they are doing something wrong (but they aren’t really doing it wrong, just different from the mother) and take control of the action…repeated…for everything…and men have the control issues… Seems a pretty misandric view to take on a website designed for helping men, sounds more like denigrating men to me.

              “Just do it right next time.”

              Who are you to tell me what’s right or not? If you can’t give a reason for why my way is wrong, other than “that’s not how I do it”, don’t tell me I’m wrong. There are many ways to do many things.

              And overall, you completely missed my point in that, you are placing the blame 100% on men, when women hold as much responsibility for it (after all, things need to get done, if women didn’t do it, the man eventually would). I find it amusing that you accuse us of ego while playing the women are more capable defense to justify your (misandric) opinion.

            • Mark, look at it this way. Say you have an office where you work, conduct your business, file your documents. Your wife wants to help out, be a part of your life, make sure things are running properly and she comes into the office, rearranges files, leaves stuff out and walks into a meeting where you’re conducting business and starts sharing her opinion about things she’s not familiar with and trying to cut non-sensical deals.

              This is a bit what a stay at home mom feels like when her husband who isn’t (time %-wise) that involved with childcare. Little details are very important in both cases although they may not superficially seem so.

              You say – “But it’s my child! ” She says, “But it’s my livelihood!”

              In both cases, it’s best to ask first and then take directions, not try to take over or do your own thing in someone else’s workplace.

              Regarding the “hurt ego” issue – nobody likes their feelings hurt, but you just can’t quit. It’s humbling yes, but being a mom or dad is very humbling business.

            • Mark Neil says:

              Are you implying that when a couple has their first child together, the mother is somehow endowed with the knowledge and experience as if she had been doing it as a professional career for some time, while the father is not only not familiar, but actually inept and damaging, based on nothing more then their gender?

              “This is a bit what a stay at home mom”

              Who said anything about stay at home moms? Or are you making the assumption that all mothers are stay at home moms? You never even brought up stay at home moms. your initial assertion was that father commit to putting in 100% effort 50% of the time (a rather dishonest assertion, but 50% of the time would imply that mom gets the other 50%… no stay at home mom there), but that falls off (to which you then blame it entirely on dads, based solely on your miandric opinion of men)

              “when her husband who isn’t (time %-wise) that involved with childcare”

              In that case, there is a different arrangement than what’s being discussed. Division of labour has been assigned differently. It then becomes unfair for people like you to start bemoaning the father for not doing his share when the division of labour was agreed upon. Furthermore, it still doesn’t mean what he’s doing is wrong just because it’s different from moms, and it doesn’t mean he’s as inept and damaging as an assistant walking into a business meeting and providing her opinions unbidden, just because he’s a man.

              You are demonstrating here that your opinion on this issue has less to do with what’s in the ad campaign and more to do with your own personal female chauvinism and misandry. A man should ask first and take directions from a woman, doesn’t matter his own experience (perhaps helping to raise siblings, or if he’s the stay at home parent) , or how inept the mother may actually turn out to be. He is a man, he should be subservient to a woman.

            • If you don’t like women, don’t hang around with them.

            • Mark Neil says:

              Oh no! You’ve managed to challenge all my arguments with but a single phrase. I am beaten.

              I’m not the one claiming men are less capable than women. I’m not the one telling others men should do what they’re told. Yet I’m the one accused of not liking the other gender.

            • Mark, you exaggerated my comments regarding custody situations where the woman has done all the childcare over a ten-year period and then generalized them across the entire male gender in all situations.

              I stand by what I said regarding those situations, but please don’t misrepresent my words just to vent rage at me and women in general.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “my comments regarding custody situations where the woman has done all the childcare over a ten-year period ”

              This is the first of your posts that mentions anything about a custody agreement over a ten year period. Up until recently, we were discussing fathers being involved… period… full stop. Your assertion was that fathers top being involved. there was no mention of custody agreements, or timeframes, or stay at home parenting.

            • Mark, ??? There was no mention of a custody agreement over a ten-year period. The situation was a woman raising her children till they were ten and the father took no responsibilities for raising the children although his work did not prevent him from this. Mom did everything from medical to school to music lessons and practice to meals to shopping to house cleaning and maintenance to sports (she coached) to boy scouts (she led projects) to Sunday school (where she taught) to dance to art to gardening to holiday and birthday celebrations. Yes, she should get full custody.

              No, this doesn’t mean dad is shut out of the kids lives. Dad has visitation every other weekend and every Wednesday and nightly phone calls and half the vacations. More time than he ever spent with them before.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “The situation was a woman raising her children till they were ten and the father took no responsibilities for raising the children although his work did not prevent him from this”

              Where is this stipulated? This is the first time any such criteria has been stipulated as part of the conversation. At no point in the conversation has this been limited to ” a woman raising her children till they were ten and the father took no responsibilities for raising the children”.

              It seems to me you are thinking of a very specific anecdotal scenario, but left me out of the loop. Read the conversation from the first post again with this in mind and tell me if my responses weren’t to what was said vs the imagined scenario I was not made aware of.

              http://goodmenproject.com/dadsgood-2/huggies-even-dads-can-use-them/comment-page-1/#comment-120638

              ” Yes, she should get full custody.

              No, this doesn’t mean dad is shut out of the kids lives. Dad has visitation every other weekend and every Wednesday and nightly phone calls and half the vacations.”

              Umm… when did this become a custody discussion? Are you having a conversation with someone else?

            • Sorry Mark, I did get this thread of comments confused with another. Apologies, no wonder you were confused.

              But yes, women have certain instincts about raising babies and children that men don’t have. This is not to say that men don’t get new feelings too, but when a woman has a baby, she is really changed in a physical way. She gets a certain alertness and wariness and wakes up at a pin drop, can tell what a baby needs at a glance. Sacrifices everything for the baby. The female of most species is like this. If you’ve ever watched a female cat or dog have babies and care for their young it’s the same thing and it happens almost instantly. It’s wonderful to watch.

              I don’t understand why you’re so opposed to something that’s so natural and beautiful. Men are different than women.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “I don’t understand why you’re so opposed to something that’s so natural and beautiful. Men are different than women.”

              I’m not sure what you are accusing me of being opposed to. What I am opposed to is the claim woman are inherently better than men due solely to their gender. Such as via comments such as:

              “women have certain instincts about raising babies and children that men don’t have.”

              Those instincts are developed out of a need and concern. Both parents are equally capable of developing those instincts.

              ” she is really changed in a physical way”

              being changed in a physical way does not in any way suggest she is somehow better than a man. Are you aware that a man who goes through pregnancy with a loved one ALSO has significant hormonal changes during the process?

              “She gets a certain alertness and wariness and wakes up at a pin drop”

              So do men in the special forces. This is an adaptation to meets the needs of the environment/circumstances your in.

              “can tell what a baby needs at a glance.”

              That’s not universally true, nor is it an immediate skill. It is learned through practice and experience. All first time new mothers panic and usually end up calling their own mothers for help and advice, I’ve seen it often.

              “Sacrifices everything for the baby.”

              95%+ of workplace deaths…Do you think these men are doing these dangerous, dirty jobs just for fun? Men sacrifice everything for their children too, and sometimes, that includes an opportunity to be with that child. But they do it, to make sure that child is safe and provided for.

              “Men are different than women.”

              Yes, they are. But different does not mean better. (and somehow, this is only deemed to be true when it’s of benefit to women. for example, should the dean of a highly respected university suggest that it’s a possibility that gender differences may play a part in why women don’t show interest in the STEMS fields, he’s attacked, but say a woman IS better than a man, in pretty much anything, and you will be lauded a hero. Why is that?)

            • Mark, women care for babies and children better than men. That is why women, and not men, have babies.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “women care for babies and children better than men. ”

              Your repeating it over and over again doesn’t prove it as true. Women have always held that role, while men were given the breadwinner role. I find it odd that you’re trying to enforce gender roles by claiming they are inherent, despite all the complaints from feminist how women are forced to take all the childcare responsibilities. your attitude shows there is no forcing of it on women, it is a choice to horde it.

              “That is why women, and not men, have babies.”

              Actually, women have uterus’, that’s why women have babies and men don’t.

            • Mark, women are completely different critters. In full disclosure, I used to buy in to the “we’re pregnant, we’re co-raising our children” but it really was just wishful thinking on my part.

              He would be overwhelmed by the smallest thing, hit the kids, scream at me. He went to counseling and they told us when the kids were challenging or if he was losing control he should leave or let me handle it. Other men friends have told me they can’t stand it when a kids mouths off or has a tantrum and they leave too so they don’t hurt the child. Which is probably best but it leaves mom all alone in the hard times. Then husband returns and wants sympathy and understanding. You just feel like collapsing from exhaustion.

          • Mark, the men I’m talking about who cook genuinely enjoy it. They’re lord of the kitchen and connoisseur of cuisine and very particular about ingredients and methodology. From my students I find that men who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants are cooking. I don’t think it’s an American male thing, except for maybe the Saturday night steak on the grill, in which case mom is often in the kitchen making side dishes and cleaning up.

      • Al, you said, “I’ll make sure you get a few copies to pass out to the parents of your students. They will learn from these stories that most dads can and want to be active, involved parents.”

        Seriously? Do you think it’s a teacher’s place to hand out politically motivated literature to students’ parents telling them how to parent? Do you think parents appreciate teachers telling them how to raise their kids? Do you have any contact with your public school system at all?

        There are very strict regulations about what teachers can pass out to students and parents and consequences are severe, including termination. You’d probably be outraged if your child’s teacher handed you literature on how to be a better parent, why mothers should stay home with children, why children should be taught abstinence and why your child should have a certain diet.

        Seriously, how are you not aware of school policies if you’re so involved with your children?

        • Katie, you have posted several comments here. To me, they illustrate that you have very strongly formed opinions, and are not receptive to other perspectives. That’s too bad. However, it is a certainty that if my kids were in your class, and I had the same impression of you in person as I do on line, I would pull my kids from your class. Honestly, I’m not telling you this to be mean. I’m telling you so that you might re-read your comments and understand what drives my conclusion. Whatever has destroyed your faith in men is a shame, and I sincerely hope you reach a point in your life/family/relationships that restores at least some faith in men, especially dads.

          • Jim, you’d pull your middle or high school or elementary school child from classes because the teachers believe that mothers are more suited to raising children and do most of the work in the home?

            You’re going to have a really, really hard time finding teachers for your child.

            • I did not say I would pull my kids because of the teacher’s beliefs. I made no direct statement of why I would pull them. You presume too much. If you honestly care what I think, read my post again. Then read all of yours. The reason is implied, all you have to do is read with an open mind.

              On the contrary, I find excellent teachers throughout our school system, both public and private schools. They are not all perfect, but neither am I.

          • Mark Neil says:

            Well, she didn’t deny the loss of faith in men, so you at least got some things right.

    • Sometimes these responses are defenses to being told they don’t hold the baby right or feed the baby right or do something else right. Many women say they want help but then criticize if it isn’t done their way. Men are perfectly capable of raising their children and I, too, find these ads condescending.

    • I apparently live in your world too Katie. from my experience the most parenting coming from fathers is when the kid gets old enough to “play ball”. Isn’t there an organization that does this?? umm.. isn’t it called Big Brother/Big Sister.

      I’m sure there are fathers out there who do put in the unpaid unappreciated grunt work of child rearing. but I’ve seen a lot more of the former than the latter unfortunately.

      • Mark Neil says:

        It never ceases to amaze me how those who whine and whinge about gender stereotypes and the harm of negative portrayals of women so easily buy into those same stereotypes and negative portrayals of men. The fact that katie is a teacher (meaning she has far more flexible hours, and thereby can do more for her kids (who are in the same school?) without impacting her job, not to mention not having any details about her childrens father, or even if he’s in the picture, or yours for that matter (can we really blame him for spending less time with the kids if he only gets every second weekend?)

        And of course, when guys try to stand up to those negative portrayals, the same people who moan about female objectification and sexualization, and the same people who cry men’s don’t help out, will inevitably defend the men can’t be fathers portrayal in the media, and then whine men say things like “My wife is better at that than me.”.

  9. “I don’t think – in this country – men are raised with the mentality and skills to do the work of child care.”

    Even if that is true we have living proof that men can overcome that. We know men can be the primary care givers of their children.

    And that is why, to me, this Huggies ad is so bad.

    I don’t think I can say it any better than Jennifer did above, “We can’t ask men to do their share of childcare while simultaneously ridiculing them for doing it.”

    If men are bombarded with the messages that you cannot do it, whether they be nature or nurture arguments and they are made the butt of the joke when they try a lot of men won’t want to even attempt that.

    But, like I said, we have men doing it. And I don’t think it is a population raised in some unique fashion or who dreamed of staying home since they were 5 years old. But in family situations where it made more sense for the dad to stay home. And they have stepped up to the task of not only raising their own kids, but doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning and other chores that are commonly associated with staying at home.

    • Chad, women are constantly derided, ridiculed and insulted for being mothers, housewives and taking care of their children. “Mother” is very often a term of derision in this country – someone who’s boring, inane, overly moral, unattractive etc. It’s very difficult for middle aged mothers returning to work to find gainful employment in this country, whatever their credentials. It’s almost a stigma.

      Other countries have much more respect for the role and work of mothers – from pregnancy till grandmotherhood. In this country, women seem to be regarded as men with vaginas and after they deliver a baby they become the same as men again.

      • Sorry, but why are you going off on me about this? I stay at home for heavens sake, you don’t think I respect women who do the same?

        I have been out of the work force for 12 years. You don’t think there is going to be a stigma attached to me if I try to return to the workforce after leaving to stay home full time with my kids?

        • Chad, apologies, I did go off on you a bit. Yes, there probably will be a stigma when you return to the workplace. You’ll probably be positioned in a rock bottom, go-nowhere job with impossibly low pay and it will really get to you.

          Our country is not family friendly. As we go through life stages, we buy into demographics – HS, college, working single, young couple with baby, divorced parents of teenagers and each time we’re conditioned to socialize only within our groups and if you buy the products manufactured for that demographic you feel like you have some kind of success.

          In each group, we pretty much feel like we’re the most important and smartest people in the world and each time we advance to another life stage, we’re shocked, throw out the old products and buy new ones to revolve our lives around. The responsibilities and exhaustion of parenting come as shock to so many women and men. I feel like you understand it, but I take issue with parents of toddlers writing books on how to be great dad and moms saying their husband is awesome because he diapers the baby. (Raises hand). These people have no idea what’s ahead of them yet they’re counseling others.

          Bring on the old people.

          • “You’ll probably be positioned in a rock bottom, go-nowhere job with impossibly low pay and it will really get to you.”

            Are you still taking shots at me? I know I was arguing a point of view but did I do something to personally offend you?

            • Chad, no I’m not. I really don’t know much about stay home dads getting back into the work force, but for a lot of former professional women their greatly reduced opportunities come as a grim awakening.

      • Mark Neil says:

        The only ones I see who use mother in a negative way are radical feminists, like the ones who attacked Palin and/or see stay and home mothering as a degrading and unfulfilling position that makes a woman a slave to her husband..

  10. Great article, Al! This kind of stereotype does mothers NO favors, either. Most the mothers I know do not want to do all of the child care just so they can get points for being the better caretaker… we appreciate having partners who do their fair share. And seeing our kids bond with their dads!

    My husband not only does diaper changes, he does cloth diaper changes and cloth diaper laundry. Since he travels for work, he is happy to step up and do most of the diaper changes when he’s home so I can get a break. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I wouldn’t find it very funny if he didn’t know how to change a diaper!

  11. I was going to post something similar to Erin. My husband sent me a link to this joking, “Should I be offended?” Both of us work outside the home, both of us change diapers, both of us do cloth diaper laundry. We take turns getting up with her in the morning. He does baths. I do naps. It’s a pretty even split. He’s spent plenty of time alone with her during waking and nap/sleeping hours. So, I’m kind of offended by these ads on his behalf, but he’s shrugging it off because he knows who he is as a father.

  12. I have read a few of these post and people are really ticked off. I’ve been a stay at home Dad, (during the day and working most nights) for eight years. I’ve got the diaper change thing down to a science and I thought it was funny. What the heck happened to the world where nothing is funny anymore? People need to just lighten up. It’s not like the people that came up with the ad idea were saying, “I’m going to really show the world that men suck at taking care of children.” Then insert maniacal laugh. They weren’t being mean spirited. This is just my opinion.

    • Thank you Todd. Finally a voice of reason.

      I’m a retired military member and stay at home dad taking care of a 2yr old and newborn twins. So y’all take this next statement for what it’s worth. Time to grow up fellas.

      Like you all I believe I’m good at being a stay at home. Because of that belief why would I give a crap about a diaper ad?

      • Mark Neil says:

        Because it perpetuates a myth that mothers are inherently superior to fathers. Just look at the discussion between Katie and myself to see that myth in action. And should you ever get divorced, you can believe the judge will hold to that myth as well, and strip your kids from you like they do most other fathers. All you can hope for is that your wife is able to ignore the lawyers and gives you a fair deal (or she’s so clinically insane you can get her locked up for a few years)… and it’s all made possible by the belief women are the loving, nurturing and competent parent that men can never be, as you see in this commercial.

        • First of all citing Katie as proof lends no credibility to the discussion. One un-informed man hater does not speak for the entire group. Most of the women I used to work with in the military and the women at our church had and have no doubt that I was the better choice to stay home with the kids. Ironically that doesn’t make them right. Only time will tell.

          A few women at church out of a group of several had concerns, so what. Should I burn the church down because 3 or 4 women out of the 40 or 50 didn’t think it was a good idea? No, I’m more secure and have too much to do than worry about the people who don’t agree with me.

          I guess I’m in the minority but I just don’t agree with you Mark. I think people are reading way too much into a playful jab by a company that collects baby poop.

          • Mark Neil says:

            “First of all citing Katie as proof lends no credibility to the discussion. One un-informed man hater does not speak for the entire group.”

            Never suggested she does speak for the whole group, I was merely pointing to her as an example that the myth does in fact live.

            “Most of the women I used to work with in the military and the women at our church had and have no doubt that I was the better choice to stay home with the kids.”

            Just as one un-informed man hater does not speak for the entire group, one exemplary example does not likewise speak for the other side. I can not point to you as an example the myth does not live because all those who said you were the better choice may have simply saw you and your wife as exceptions to the myth’s standard.

            “A few women at church out of a group of several had concerns, so what. Should I burn the church down”

            Do you generally take such extreme measures? Huggies promoting a campaign against all fathers (intentional or not) is a far cry from a few women in a church talking about one man. And nobodies burning any church’s or supporting any kind of violence, so the hyperbole is a little childish. Simple fact is, we’re raising concerns for the perpetuation of the myth, a myth you were also subjected to (by those few ladies at church. because of your personal nature with them, you were able to prove them wrong through action. people are taking a different action to prove huggies wrong. why do YOU have a problem with that? Does telling huggies their perpetuation of the myth is harmful to fathers somehow hurt you? does it make life more difficult for you? does it in any way affect you negatively?)

            • and if you had read the last sentence of the first paragraph you would have seen that I clearly said their agreement does not make them right.

              I misunderstood. I thought you wanted hyperbole when you mentioned having to get you wife committed for insanity for any chance at getting your kids.

              I don’t have a problem with anything but whining and people telling implying I should not be allowed to comment because I’m not in lock step with what they think. . You want to tell huggies they stepped in doo doo, go buy pampers.

              But the, “what an outrage”, “I’m Offended”, “I’m furious”, “what an Insult”, posts were silly and I said so. Uou have a problem with that, too bad, grow up and get over it.

            • Mark Neil says:

              Odd that you feel others complaining is silly and makes them need to grow up and “get over it”, but you complaining of others complaining says nothing of yourself… except that for someone telling others to grow up, you sure have some childish double standards. I simply answered the question you put to us…

              “Because of that belief why would I give a crap about a diaper ad?”

              Don’t get pissy at me because you don’t like the answer, boy.

            • Hahahaha. Just what the internet needs another keyboard cowboy. Oh you called me boy. I’m furiously, outrageously offended. You going to beat me up now Mark? Hahahah.

              I never responded to any of your posts. i agreed with someone else and you felt the need to jump in.

              A couple things about the “don’t give a crap about a diaper ad” comment:

              First it was a rhetorical statement – look it up it will take too long to explain.

              Second, can you really not see the irony/humor in the crap – diaper combination? You are taking this too seriously.

              Lastly if you think that’s getting pissy than you really need to toughen up.

              No need to respond. I didn’t realize you were the tzar of right and wrong on the internet.

              Now that I’m aware, I’ll move along and you may go back to your regularly scheduled hissy fit or correcting everyone else that strays from your opinion, or seeking out error laden posts, or whatever it is you’re doing.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “I never responded to any of your posts. i agreed with someone else and you felt the need to jump in.”

              I never claimed you did. I said you asked a question and I answered it. I also provided a direct quote of the specific question you asked. Again, just because you don’t like my answer, don’t get pissy with me.

              “First it was a rhetorical statement”

              It was a question none-the-less, and one I felt had an answer you were not considering. In all our back and forth, you haven’t actually challenged any of the points I made in response to that question, except to assert my pointing out the myth can be viewed on this very paged didn’t prove everyone thought that (an assertion I never made), and then pointing out your own annecdotal evidence (which included pointing to yet more examples of the myth being perpetuated) proving the myth isn’t actually true, and then calling people silly and in need of growing up for challenging that myth.

              You’re the one to levy insults at those who felt the need to challenge these assertions when you said “Time to grow up fellas.” in your first post. You asked a question then have failed to counter a single point in my response. You complain you have a problem with people telling you you shouldn’t be allowed to comment, then in the same post tell me you have a problem with people complaining in comments. And worst, in doing so, you imply an accusation that I in fact told you you can’t comment, when in fact all I did was answer your question in a way that got you all offended, you know, in that silly way you think others shouldn’t do.

              “Second, can you really not see the irony/humor in the crap – diaper combination? You are taking this too seriously.”

              Perhaps had you not started off by insulting me with “Time to grow up fellas.”, just because I find this add offensive.

              “Lastly if you think that’s getting pissy than you really need to toughen up.”

              Coming from the man who’s “furiously, outrageously offended” at me for doing precisely what he did from the start by telling me to grow up. Suck it up hypocrite.

              “No need to respond. I didn’t realize you were the tzar of right and wrong on the internet.”

              If you don’t like the conversation, you’re welcome to walk away, boy. if you do want to continue, perhaps actually responding to the points raised in my first post would go a long way.

            • “Furiously, outrageously, insulted.” Oh my god dude, those are lifted right from the posts on this board. I was using them to make fun of you, laughing at your fake internet muscles. Ok so sarcasm not big on your list either I see. No problem, it’s not for everyone.

              I said I was moving along to let you have the place all to your hysterical hissy fit self. Yet here you are, working out your tough guy fantasies.

              To be honest I don’t know what point you were making because I never read any of your posts before you responded to me. It’s a big internet Mark. This may come as a shock but it’s not all about you. My point was people are taking this way too seriously and you prove my point every time you challenge me to fight.

              I was making a generalization about getting upset over a commercial. If you took that personally, well I can’t help that. It wasn’t aimed at you, it was an overarching comment on the whole dust up.

              You keep calling me boy as if that insults me and you are some tough guy yet you’re pissing your pants because a diaper commercial made you feel like a bad dad to your kids? Really? And I’m supposed to respond to whatever you said before as if it has some credibility. Now go slow and note the difference here. I don’t care if you think what I said is credible. I’m not concerned with making everyone on the internet think I’m right.

              I’m not even sure why you responded to my post, as I was only agreeing with another post.

              If I say, YOU WIN MARK! MARK IS THE WINNER OF THE INTERNET, will you STFU? Sorry I can’t make balloons or confetti appear, my computer skills are limited, but congratulations anyway, it’s a moment you should cherish.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “Ok so sarcasm not big on your list either I see.”

              Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text, especially from someone who’s complaining because others are complaining.

              ” because I never read any of your posts before you responded to me.”

              My first post to you should be all you need to know my point. but instead you tried to attack me for daring to answer your question in a manner that didn’t meet with your own expectations. You still can’t address my point, only attack me and act condescending, calling me an internet tough guy. You’re projecting, boy.

              ” It wasn’t aimed at you”

              Yet, it was a generalization that included me. And it included an insult against the generalized group (which includes me).

              “You keep calling me boy as if that insults me”

              And yet, you dedicated your longest paragraph in this post and the first in the last to my doing so. Perhaps I hit a nerve you don’t want to admit to?

              “I’m not even sure why you responded to my post, as I was only agreeing with another post.”

              Because it asked a question I had an answer to. An answer you STILL haven’t acknowledged.

              ” I’m not concerned with making everyone on the internet think I’m right.”

              And yet you keep replying to me. And you’ll do it again. but I won’t.

          • Francis, I regret that my comments led you to think I’m an “un-informed manhater.” I’m very, very informed, educated and credentialed with lots of varied social and professional experiences with men and women, as well as personal parenting experiences. I am well-respected and liked in my community, particularly by men, and have a good sense of humor.

            1) I am not a frequent commenter on this site and I got this thread mixed up with the one under “When will parenting be gender neutral.” Apologies. If you want more background on my comments look there, but I won’t bore you with redundancy here.

            2) My comments were not treated respectfully or with consideration (that this might be outside the reader’s personal experience) and I was insulted, labeled and smeared with slogans and dogma and I responded to that head-on. This may not be your reality or your stage in life but it pertains to many.

            3) Commenters seemed to think that my impressions were solely developed from opinions of women. Not so, those comments were also based on the experiences and personal sharing of fathers who are close friends. It’s not easy or glamorous being a dedicated dad, not nearly as many “romping in the meadow and getting your picture taken” moments as negotiating with an uncooperative kid, cleaning stuff, and getting kids in and out of car seats and getting stuck in traffic trying to get three kids to three different places to face adults who will not be pleased if you’re late and to do this on a daily basis for years.

            4) As a teacher, my colleagues and I are always supportive of all parents, and we deal with all kinds, way beyond your imagination. Primarily, we are there to develop the students and we probably talk to a lot of these kids way more than they talk to their own parents.

            5) Dads don’t communicate as much with other parents as mothers do and although they may feel awkward, that’s something they need to do more of. They need to ask questions and share experiences and self-doubt just like moms. It’s unlikely moms will approach an unknown stay at home dad and start the “mom dialogue” because there’s reasonable apprehension about approaching another woman’s husband about personal matters. But after a dad taken that first step, it’s very likely he’ll be accepted and find those relationships very valuable. It’s a huge relief to discuss the challenges of child raising, the weird things kids do, and your successes and failure with others having similar experiences.

            • Katie

              You say you’re informed but then toss out, in my opinion, a very large generalization. I’m speaking of item #5. In my area, Knoxville TN, that is simply not the case. You know how many women approach me and my son when we go to Little Gym, the grocery store, the doctor, pre-school, church? Countless women approach me and ask what I think are really good questions about how I came to be at home and how it’s going.

              Likewise, I’m always talking to other moms. I know every kid and situation is different but I believe I can always modify some of the ideas I get from the moms to fit my particular situation. So why not get as many as possible. I also know I’m not the only stay at home dad who does this.

              I just don’t understand how you can take the information from your close circle of friends, as you say in item 3, and then presuppose that’s the way things are across the entire spectrum. My close circle thinks I’m perfectly suited for this and they could be perfectly wrong.

              So manhater was not the right thing to say and I apologize for that.

              I still stand by the comment that your belief that women are predisposed to being a better parent is uninformed. Again that’s strictly this stay at home dad’s opinion. If I just mischaracterized or generalized what you were saying, feel free to correct me.

              As for item 2. Welcome to the blogosphere. I have found you are in for a bumpy ride if you disagree with the main thrust of any thread. I spend my most of my time on the political blogs. What happened/is happening on this thread is an Easter Parade compared to that.

              Francis

            • Francis, thank you for your articulate response. It’s great that moms are so friendly and sharing with you. Some of my dad friends have shared with me that they feel like outsiders around groups of moms or even somewhat shunned. But maybe part of that is because you live in the South, Tennessee, where I have found people to be friendlier and more polite (and better drivers) than in New England, where I am. Maybe you’re just a friendly guy with a good attitude (although my friends are too), or a little of both.

              Per the second part of generalizing information from a small circle of friends, I’m combining my professional experience dealing with thousands of kids and their parents in various towns and with my personal parenting experience dealing with other parents. You have little tykes now, but by the time their teenagers you’ll be traversing cities and states and sharing with a vast and amazing array of parents. So my information isn’t coming from 10 or 12 families in my particular town.

              Per your third point about innate characteristics, we must agree to disagree. I will acknowledge that some men are far more nurturing dads than others and generally provide the level of care as moms. But as to blanketly say dads have the same capacity as moms, no. A lot has to do with how individual men were raised and in what kind of culture. To some extent, the U.S. still has very macho culture of raising boys.

              The comments I’ve read here by men that claim that babies just pop out easily and women instantly become like men “again” and that child care is the equivalent of house cleaning service shows a high level of ignorance about what moms or good stay home dads like you do all day.

            • Katie

              You have hit on an odd mix really. I was born and raised in Jersey, in an Italian family, but have lived in the south for some 11 years now. I agree it is much friendlier here and surprisingly very accepting of stay at home dads. At least half of the kids at the school or the doctors office are with their fathers. It’s one of the reasons I chose to retire here. I expected to run into the things you talk about but I have not.

              But growing up, my father did the cleaning and cooking. He taught me how to cook ands clean, do laundry, It was my mom who taught me the “man” type responsibilities like how to handle the money, run a checkbook, pay bills, etc.. My father is from Salerno, the gender roles there, as we understand them here, appear slightly reversed, but somehow the man is still generally considered the head of the family. A concept that confuses all of us in the following two generations to be sure.

              I have no way of knowing if it’s innate, but you are right, we were all taught those skills. So when I stayed home with our first child, I already had house maintenance issues secured, and could focus more on feeding, burping, and diapering. That made it easier and “appear” natural but I guess not necessarily innate.

              I may have rambled my way to making your point. Time to make dinner.

  13. blackmtns says:

    Grow up, Daddyboys. If this is going to offend you, then you have a long road ahead. When your kids are teenagers, they will be way more offensive than this silly Huggies promotion, and hopefully you will learn by then not to be offended by every little thing. Clearly, the bloggers on this site don’t have a sense of humor, take themselves too seriously, and are about as emotionally developed as their children.

  14. You might find this article of interest. It’s gotten tons of views at examiner.com:

    http://www.examiner.com/advertising-in-richmond/angry-dads-outrage-gets-huggies-ad-campaign-pulled-from-television

  15. Do you get offended by the poop there it is luvs commercial? how about the naked M&M commercial is that offensive to you? ITS A COMMERCIAL TO SELL DIAPERS. Lighten up. People spend way too much time complaining over stupid trivial things. If your a good father and can change a diaper like a pro then you should be glad huggies is trying to make diapers that are trying to make less leakage and therefore less laundry for whomever does the laundry in your home. Cant you find something better to complain about then a commercial. And no where in the commercial did it say men are morons and cant change a diaper if their lives depended on it. Now that comment would be offensive

    • Do you think there is any line that shouldn’t be crossed? Would a commercial making racial jokes, for example, be acceptable to you?

  16. Fantastic! The only thing holding back our society is harmful steryotypes like this, and BOTH genders are to blame! How can we expect to further advance society when people portray men as fools and women as domestic superheros. It is 2012, not 1950.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] out there raking Huggies over the coals — from DaddyYo Dude’s Open Letter to Huggies to The Good Men Project are right on.  If I had to guess, the campaign was most likely created by a room of marketing data [...]

  2. brandchannel says:

    Huggies Makes Amends with Dads After Flunking Facebook ‘Test’…

    Huggies Makes Amends with Dads After Flunking Facebook ‘Test’…

  3. [...] being the butt of the joke?  The Huggies Facebook page exploded in a storm of negative comments, Dad bloggers spoke out and even a Change.org petition was launched proclaiming “We’re Dads, Huggies. [...]

  4. [...] called ‘We’re Dads, Huggies. Not Dummies,’ and another expressed his dismay on The Good Men Project, saying, “It is not an ultimate test to leave dads alone with their babies. Shocker alert: [...]

  5. [...] online protest called ‘We’re Dads, Huggies. Not Dummies,’ and another expressed his dismay on The Good Men Project, saying, “It is not an ultimate test to leave dads alone with their babies. Shocker alert: most [...]

  6. Family says:

    [...] response was that the ads were designed to “celebrate fatherhood.” I countered on a piece on The Good Men Project, “This is not how to ‘celebrate fatherhood…’ This is how you perpetuate the [...]

  7. [...] who weren’t paying attention to their kids because they were watching sports, we had posts up on our site, the commercials was pulled and Huggies representatives flew down to the Dad 2.0 conference that [...]

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