Huggies Listened to Dads – Why It Matters

Caring Father

After a week of harsh criticism, Huggies makes changes to its ad campaign, so are the voices of dads finally being heard?

Huggies found out the hard way that dads are quite good at changing diapers and no longer afraid to admit it.

In an ad campaign that was supposed to “celebrate fatherhood,” Huggies ran commercials saying “To prove Huggies diapers and wipes can stand up to anything, we put them to the toughest test imaginable: Dads, alone with their babies…”

This unleashed a firestorm of criticism on their Facebook wall from moms and dads. Blogs from the Good Men Project by me and Jim Higley blasted Huggies for treating dads as inept parents and were quoted extensively throughout the blogosphere. An online petition started by DaddyDoctrines blogger Chris Routly quickly gained over 1,200 signatures. CNN Headline News invited me on to explain how Huggies did not accurately portray fathers of today.

Then, last Thursday, Erik Seidel, VP of Huggies Brand, issued a statement on Huggies Facebook page that said in part, “I recognize that we need to do a better job of communicating the campaign’s message…we’re learning and listening, and, because of your response, are making changes to ensure that the true spirit of the campaign comes through in the strongest way possible.”

By Friday, Huggies had changed their campaign from “Put our diapers to the ultimate test: Dad” to say “Have a Dad put Huggies to the test.”

Diapers are now the test, not the dads.

It would seem this would be the end of the controversy. It isn’t. Many now have begun to criticize those of us who demanded Huggies change their ad campaign. Moms, such as one who commented on Huggies’s Facebook wall, wrote “it shows a majority of dads basically… so why pull it over some whiny men.” Dads, such as one who commented on my blog last week, wrote “Time to grow up fellas. Like you all I believe I’m good at being a stay at home (dad). Because of that belief why would I give a crap about a diaper ad?”

After all the commentary, it seems there are still a lot of people who don’t understand why it was so important for dads to stand up and so significant that Huggies finally listened.

For decades, dads have been ridiculed for their lack of parenting skills. It is something so ingrained in our culture that Huggies didn’t even consider it as being offensive.

Dads, however, have begun to change, and, I believe, are engaged in a “Fatherhood Revolution.”

From 2005 to 2010 the number of fathers who are primary caregivers jumped from 26% to 32%. A  2010 study by the Boston College Center for Work and Family found that fathers “were deeply committed to care-giving and sharing the work as evenly as possible with their spouses.”

Moms who claim the Huggies ad showed the “majority of dads” are wrong. And they are not “whiny men.” They are dads who are great parents and love being involved fathers but are tired of people assuming they are not capable of being good caregivers. In fact, because of these “whiny men,” most men’s restrooms now have baby changing stations in them. Maybe, if people stopped laughing at dads, they’d use these changing stations more often.

A lot of dads didn’t find the merit in speaking out against Huggies either. They say they are already great dads and don’t need a commercial to tell them.

It is true, I do not need validation from Huggies to feel like I am a great dad. I also don’t need Huggies, or anyone else, assuming I can’t diaper my own baby. It’s insulting. But, more importantly, perpetuating the stereotype of dads as inept, makes dads think they are supposed to be inept. It allows dads to hide behind their masculinity instead of become the fathers their children need them to be.

I don’t expect a diaper company to fix all of this. I do, however, expect a diaper company to stop assuming dads can’t diaper their own babies.

They can. They do. And they are no longer willing to be silent when others suggest they shouldn’t.

 

 Photo–cheriejoyful/Flickr

Sponsored Content

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Al Watts

Al Watts is an 11-year veteran stay-at-home dad to four children ages 12 to 6. He is the President of the National At-Home Dad Network when he is not driving kids to soccer, hockey, theater, or the emergency room. His first and favorite book, Dads Behaving DADLY: 67 Truths, Tears and Triumphs of Modern Fatherhood, provides an in-depth look into how fatherhood has changed. He and his family live in the Chicago area. Follow him @BehavingDadly.

Comments

  1. I actually think that the bigger story is the “daddy revolution” that you mention. The fact that dads are organized enough through blogs, social media and dads groups to get 1) Huggies attention and 2) Get them to reverse course is the real story here.

  2. For decades, dads have been ridiculed for their lack of parenting skills. It is something so ingrained in our culture that Huggies didn’t even consider it as being offensive.
    [snip]
    I do, however, expect a diaper company to stop assuming dads can’t diaper their own babies.

    just a couple of the great points in this article
    multiple likes al

  3. Shaughnessy Speirs says:

    Portraying fathers as inept parents is probably overcompensating for women being portrayed as inept in virtually every other sector for so long–doesn’t excuse it, but does provide an explanation.

    • Shaughnessy Speirs: “Portraying fathers as inept parents is probably overcompensating for women being portrayed as inept in virtually every other sector for so long–doesn’t excuse it, but does provide an explanation.”

      And it’s a load of crap, frankly. Same as when a girl hurts a boy, or a woman abuses a man, it’s the old “Eye for eye” for decades of women’s oppression.

      Yeah, doesn’t excuse it. And this line of reasoning should be eradicated.

      • Shaughnessy Speirs says:

        It’s not “an eye for an eye.”

        “Decades” of women’s oppression? Are you serious?

        I was trying to be rational about this, explaining that in my opinion, the sexism is the result of a very old (more than decades) patriarchal structure that says women are good in domestic and child-rearing matters and men are good at everyone else–and that patriarchy hurts everyone, as is clearly seen in this offensive ad. And abuse is abuse–there is, most definitely, an insidious, pervasive idea that only women receive abuse and only men abuse, and I would never deny that or deny the wrong in it.

        But rather than listen to what I was actually saying, you just acted like you have a chip on your shoulder.

    • Except that theory makes no sense. “Women are bad at everything, so men are bad at being dads” appears to be what you’re saying. I certainly don’t see how one follows from the other.

      • Shaughnessy Speirs says:

        I am not saying that is true, not even remotely. What I’m saying is that there has been, historically, a pervasive idea that women were incompetent to handle business, politics, sciences, anything outside the domestic sphere (in ‘domestic sphere’ here, I’m including parenting). The few exceptions over time–women who have succeeded in becoming scientists, or doctors, or lawyers, or whatever, before such a time as that was widely accepted (like, uh, the 1980s)–had to deal with strong resistance before people would even entertain the idea that they could be successful in those fields. After being relegated to the domestic sphere for so long, at the expense of our other capabilities, women claimed it. The home was the woman’s territory, working outside was man’s territory, and the two didn’t cross over. That’s has, thankfully, changed dramatically–but those ideas haven’t gone anywhere. Ask any woman who has ever not been hired because of her employer not wanting to deal with the hassle of her reproducing, or ask any man who has requested and been denied paternity leave. Now, this type of advertisement conveys an idea that hurts everyone, not just men. If women are good in the home and men are inept, it means that’s where women belong, and men belong outside it. It’s residual sexism toward both genders, based primarily on the fundamental assumption that the domestic sphere belongs to women and everything else is a man’s territory. It’s harmful to everyone.

  4. My dad was my and my brother’s primary caregiver when I was a child, and he also worked full time. Dad is the one who read me a bedtime story, dad is the one who made my lunches, dad is the one who picked me up from school if I was sick, and dad is the one who did a million other things parents do for their kids. It was always annoying and offensive when people assumed my mother was the one doing all that work! It was Dad.

  5. In what era were fathers “afraid to admit” that they could change a diaper?

    “From 2005 to 2010 the number of fathers who are primary caregivers jumped from 26% to 32%.”

    That makes sense since so many more men than women became long term unemployed during that time. Let’s face it: they were at home while the wife was working anyway.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      LOL, I’m from an older era and there was nothing to admit to other then my ability to be an active dad that could do the same things my wife (kids mom) could do. We didn’t admit anything, we were simply stereotyped.

  6. wellokaythen says:

    It could be a “majority of dads” are inept at changing diapers, but I doubt it. Where would one get statistics on that, anyway?

    To those mothers who thought the men were “whining,” I wonder how you would feel about a laptop ad campaign that said a computer was so easy to use that even a woman could use it. By their logic, if any women complained we could just say they were just a whining minority.

    • wellokaythen says:

      P.S. If there were not a large number of men buying and/or using diapers, then Huggies would have had nothing to worry about. I bet Huggies has some customer gender demographic data that made them rethink their campaign really quickly after the protest.

      • The “majority of dads” comment comes directly from the stereotype of fathers as inept. Not only is this simply not true, as I explained in my blog, believing it keeps dads from wanting to change diapers. I mean, if your wife is going to giggle at you while you change a diaper, you aren’t going to want to do it very often.

        I saw somewhere that 80% of diapers are purchased by women. I don’t know if that is accurate but, if is, that percentage is probably less than it used to be. Market trends suggest dads will be making more diaper purchasing decisions in the future (one survey by Yahoo said as much as 51% of dads are the primary grocery shopper for the family). It makes sense to jump on this trend and market directly to dads because it is a new and emerging market for their product, especially since dads are no longer willing to be the butt of these kinds of “jokes.”

        • Nothing against fathers changing diapers. I changed hundred of them myself but this Huggeis diaper thing is way, way overblown. Nobody should expect a medal for changing a diaper. A 10 year old can do it as well as a stay at home parent. It’s not a big deal.

          The reason this is truly unimportant is because kids don’t remember who changed their diaper anyway. They DO remember who read to them, played with them, taught them to ride a bike and to swim, helped with their homework, disciplined them, hugged them, watched silly shows with them, made sure that they know for a 100% certainty that they are loved more than life itself.

          You do that and it won’t matter if you changed one or a thousand diapers when they kid gets to be an adolescent or teenager and needs to talk about a problem.

        • wellokaythen says:

          My impression as an outsider (no kids myself) is that the vast majority of mothers would not make fun of a man or belittle him for changing diapers but would be very appreciative of him for doing so. Okay, maybe a little giggle before you get the hang of it, but in most cases the gratitude would far outweigh the teasing.

          But, please, people, men, women, and other: Don’t change a diaper on a restaurant table! I saw that a few weeks ago. That is over the line.

        • Tom Brechlin says:

          Buying and using are two different things. My wife likes shopping, I don’t …. But I sure as heck used enough of them. By the way … thank you for your efforts and getting Huggies to change things.

  7. Just because a father doesn’t keep his baby sitting in poop until his wife returns doesn’t mean there’s a revolution going on. It’s really hard to ignore a baby with a dirty diaper – baby usually cries and there’s a bad smell.

    If you ask grandfathers, old men if they changed diapers I bet they’re going to say yes. It’s like if the dog poops in the house you clean it up. Big deal.

    You guys want stickers on your foreheads or something?

    • Katie, the Revolution is dads being more involved in their kids life. In the day to day childcare or their own children. 1 in 3 at home parents are dads. Not a majority, but that is a major shift. And even dads who work, a lot more of them are a lot more involved in the caring of their kids (including but not limited to changing diapers.)

      No one is after a special reward or “stickers.” What we are after is recognition as equal parents. The same way women afre after equal pay in the workplace.

      • Chad, I’m a teacher, coach and parent and I don’t buy those 1 in 3 numbers one bit or even 1 in 10. We can all agree that there are a lot of unemployed people out there and fathers may be at home when they’re unemployed but that doesn’t equal the commitment and skill of stay at home moms and dads by choice who have committed 100% to the job.

        In fact, among non-immigrant parents, I see American fathers less and less involved with their children, torn between two cultures and neither financially or emotionally fit for one role or the other. There is a new small segment of American fathers who are very, very involved and prepared to equally raise their children, but after infancy, most fathers pass the majority of childcare onto mothers, who are overburdened like never before.

        • No matter what your profession, your anecdotal evidence does not make an adequate sample size on which to make broad statements.

          • When you deal with thousands of kids and their parents and regularly consult with colleagues and leadership, you get a pretty clear picture of who is doing what.

            Recently it was established that the majority of mothers under 30 aren’t even married. There are reasons for that. How do those numbers fit into your 1 in 3 nonsense? They don’t. Women are raising the majority of children in this country without men. It’s a huge problem. Ignoring the facts and parading the minority of really good dads around or “celebrating” mediocre dads doesn’t change that.

            • You deal with thousands of kids and you know in each family who is cooking dinner and who is doing the laundry? I have kids in school and I don’t think their teachers have that information.

              It is 1 in 3 AT HOME PARENTS are dads. If moms are single it is doubtful they are at home moms. Maybe they are, then they would be included in that number.

              http://www.census.gov/hhes/childcare/data/sipp/2010/tables.html

              Once again, even if you do know that information about 1000 families that is a small sample size.

            • Please don’t be personally offended if you are one of the dads doing the work of childcare (8 hrs per day) over a period of years. But the majority of men aren’t doing it. Diapering is such a tiny, tiny, tiny, amount of time, labor and responsibility that men making a big deal out of it is embarrassing.

            • I totally agree that a majority of men are not doing that. And I am not personally offended.

              But I am amazed that you can take your experience and try to use that as the gage for what is happening across the country. I put out a specific stat and linked to the specific information that you are free to go through and pick apart. You just out of hand reject that and then from your experience glean what is happening across the entire country.

              Yes, that is frustrating. Not personally, but you are still working on anecdotal evidence. If you have other studies, reports, etc. you want to share I am happy to compare those. But you must understand as a teacher that your experience isn’t a good measure of what is happening across the entire nation.

              You also seem to be setting up straw men. Did I ever say that the majority of men are providing 8 hrs per day of childcare? No. But to deny that there is a sea change in the way a lot of men are involved in raising there kids is ignoring the evidence in light of your experiences.

              If I based it solely on my experience. The people I know. Then I would think that the majority of men are doing that, because I know a lot of at-home dads. But I know my experience does not substitute for studies of a much larger population.

            • Chad, it may be a genuine sea change for individual men who have children and relationships with women for the entirety of the children’s 18 years, but when you consider the urban, rural, suburban, ethnic, educational, and financial diversity of this vast country for the entire male 16-55 population, we’re not talking about a hell of a lot of people in that particular demographic.

              How about the committed dad till age 3, who then finds a new job, interest or woman and disappears. Did he ever belong in the 1-3 stats? I think not. That’s a diversion, a romance, unemployment. To more accurately quantify care taking, a certain number of consecutive years – 5? 10? 16? – of 8 hours per day care-taking probably should be necessary for inclusion.

            • Once again, if you have any actual statistics or facts we can talk. But if this is all based on your experience and your feelings, well then there really isn’t much we can discuss.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Katie

              “For the first time, families do not have to depend solely on the earning potential of a man.”

              “– This is inaccurate. For many years, both parents have been contributing to income.”

              To paraphrase

              “Diapering is such a tiny, tiny, tiny, amount of time, labor and responsibility that men making a big deal out of it is embarrassing.”

              Working a part time, temporary or seasonal work is a tiny, tiny, tiny, amount of time, labor and responsibility that women making a big deal out of it is embarrassing.

            • John, seriously, you’re comparing diapering alone to a part-time job? This what happens when men start doing traditional women’s work and discovering the labor involved. John, you’re just scratching the surface of what a mom has to do.

            • John, seriously, you’re comparing diapering alone to a part-time job? This what happens when men start doing traditional women’s work and discovering the labor involved. John, you’re just scratching the surface of what a mom has to do.

            • “Recently it was established that the majority of mothers under 30 aren’t even married.”

              I think this may be part of your problem. Not only are people waiting longer to get married, but educated women are more likely to be married (see CNN “College-educated more likely to marry, study says”.).

              And it makes sense that highly educated women are more likely to have husbands that stay home because they are more likely to have a career that can support a family on a single income.

              So perhaps the population from which you are drawing your conclusions.

              It would be great to get some source data on your information. And for the record, those are not “my” numbers, they come from the Census. Unlike you I’m not making up the data based on my personal experience. You are free to look at the source data and see exactly what is measured, etc.

              http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/10/06/Pew.reversal.college.marriage.gap/index.html

            • Sorry, hit the post button too soon.

              The 4th line should read: “So perhaps the population from which you are drawing your conclusions is less educated and thus you are seeing that reflected in your experience which doesn’t take into account the spectrum of society..”

            • Chad, I live in an affluent town where many mothers often are stay at home mothers and many dad do very little, including when mom goes back to work.

              I’ve taught in affluent and lower middle income towns. In the lower income towns, that represent the majority of America today, it’s common to see my recently former students, still teenagers, pushing strollers. These teenage mothers are often living with their parents or sisters or on their own and often there’s no father at all. Boys and girls have a lot of casual sex from a very young age these days and the result, like always, is babies. The relationship broke up or never was and the boy doesn’t want the responsibility of a child.

            • So you are basing this primarily on teen mothers. That explains a lot.

            • No, I am not. I live and have worked mostly in affluent towns, and the women are exhausted by the work and the men largely wash their hands of it, or consider picking up kid at soccer child care – it’s actually “driving.” There a world of difference between getting three children ready for and at their after school activities than stopping by a park and having a waiting kid hop in the car.

              The majority of families in this country are now lower middle class and the urban and rural poor are even a worse situation for women. So, you stand corrected.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Katie

              “The majority of families in this country are now lower middle class and the urban and rural poor are even a worse situation for women. So, you stand corrected.”

              A know a family where the two older boys were raised by their grandfather then raised their younger brother while their parents were both working. I know of another family where the single mom works two jobs and the children are being raised by their grandmother. I know of about a dozen families where the primary caregiver is the grandparent.

              I know what happens when people are poor or middle class and the mom has to take on the role traditionally associated with fathers, the child care is either completely ignore or Is pushed on to someone else. The woman is no worse off than a man, married or single. It’s the children who are worse off. So you stand corrected again.

            • John, if you’re trying to say that full time work and full time child care is too much work for one person to bear, we agree.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Katie

              “Recently it was established that the majority of mothers under 30 aren’t even married.”

              It doesn’t mean that the moms are the primary caregivers or are even around. I remember reading about a growing number of “latchkey kids”, children who are essentially raising themselves because their moms aren’t. I had a 4 or 5 year old boy ring my doorbell because his mother kicked him out of the house. She was watching an R rated movie with friends and didn’t think it was good for him to watch. Another woman in our development let her son stay outside until about 9:00 at night since he was about 7 years old. Both of these neighbors had custody of the children. Both of them were under 30.

        • Let me clarify. One in three married fathers are the primary caregivers of their children according to the U.S. Census (click the link on my blog above for the source URL). This would mean roughly 7 million of 22 million married fathers. The specific reason these millions of dads are the primary caregivers are not tracked, but from my experience, most of these dads are not forced into this by unemployment or underemployment; they choose to do it.

          And this is something radically different in our culture. For the first time in the U.S., women can be breadwinners (35% earned more than their husbands in 2007 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). For the first time, families do not have to depend solely on the earning potential of a man. The result is that men have more choices than ever before and, increasingly, men are choosing to spend more time with their children or adjusting their careers so they can be primary caregivers. The result is a fatherhood revolution.

          It is not happening everywhere. It is not widely accepted by our culture. But it is changing families and, I believe, our children will benefit from it.

          • “For the first time, families do not have to depend solely on the earning potential of a man.”
            – This is inaccurate. For many years, both parents have been contributing to income.

      • I don’t know how they define “primary caregiver” but there is no question that still far more women than men (definitely more than 1 in 3) stay at home to care for children. On the other hand, more men than women are among the long term unemployed, and probably do more childcare since they’re at home anyway.

    • Actually Katie, not that I want a sticker on my forehead, but I have asked grandfathers and old men if they changed diapers, and many of them did not.
      They also did not take much of a role in childcare, except for maybe throw a baseball around in the backyard every now and again.
      The issue is not that involved dads need medals or stickers, but that there has been a pretty fundamental shift in men’s thinking about father involvement over the last 10-20 years. This shift has, I think, led to some real changes in men’s behaviours. The assumption that men as a gender are inept at diapering and other childcare tasks ignores the reality of many dads. I think it’s great that people out there thought the Huggies folks should know that their opinions needed updating.

      • Wayne, diapering a baby is like .000001 responsibility in a ten year-span of parenting. Maybe not even that.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Katie

          So they should have had a ten year old child in the commercial. What exactly is your issue with Huggies changing their commercial? If it’s not a big deal then why fuss?

          • John, the author of the post was objecting to the commercial and although I disagree with his rationale I don’t consider him “fussing.”

            Women are always portrayed in household cleaning product commercials obsessing about cleanliness and these commercials are not flattering or realistic. I’ve never discussed cleaning products with anybody and I don’t think women do. But that’s not the point of advertising. Almost all advertising is fear-based, trying to make the target market feel less-than, so they’ll think about their deficiencies and hopefully remember the brand name that’s supposed to fix their inferiority. That’s what the Huggies commercial was probably about. I’d say it worked because it got all you guys talking about Huggies, giving them free media time and press and now they’ll max it out and turn it into an “event” and it will probably go down in Huggies history as great marketing.

            • John Anderson says:

              I didn’t mean that he was fussing. I was wondering why you were fussing. You say that changing diapers is no big deal and to make it one is embarrassing, but then say that most men don’t so you’re making the change in the advertisement a big deal. In my mind, if it’s not a big deal then why get offended that Huggies is showing a dad changing diapers instead of a mom. I seems to me that you think it’s a major thing when women do it, but not when men do it.

      • Yeah, it doesn’t matter if a father changes diapers or not. There’s far, far more important things that kids need from their father.

    • Are you really this stupid or are you just being obtuse with that “stickers on the forehead” remark.

      You ignorance is offensive.

    • John Anderson says:

      No, dads just want people to stop assuming they don’t. Is that too much to hope for?

    • Katie writes:
      “Just because a father doesn’t keep his baby sitting in poop until his wife returns doesn’t mean there’s a revolution going on. It’s really hard to ignore a baby with a dirty diaper – baby usually cries and there’s a bad smell.
      You guys want stickers on your foreheads or something?”

      If I thought about women the way you think about men, I would probably be lining up myself for several years on a therapists couch.

  8. Katie: “Just because a father doesn’t keep his baby sitting in poop until his wife returns doesn’t mean there’s a revolution going on. It’s really hard to ignore a baby with a dirty diaper – baby usually cries and there’s a bad smell.

    If you ask grandfathers, old men if they changed diapers I bet they’re going to say yes. It’s like if the dog poops in the house you clean it up. Big deal.

    You guys want stickers on your foreheads or something?”

    No just recognition, that’s all they want.

    Except you’re too blind by your own prejeduices to even bother to notice this desire.

    • Eric, I’d also like to point out anecdotal experience that many other women also experience. Socially, some men now claim to do a lot of housework and child care, when – for a fact – they’re not doing any of it. They also say “we make dinner,” “we do toilet training,” “we change the sheets,” “we’re dealing with his teacher” when it is in fact, entirely and always done by the mother.

      I don’t know if the new emphasis on involved fathers is pressuring these men to lie, but a lot of men do and it creates a lot of tension between the couple when they are alone again. Basically, just like in an office, it’s someone taking credit for your work, looking for some kind of benefit at your expense.

      • Katie: Hopefully you don’t teach statistics because you give way too much weight to anecdotal evidence.

        • Chad, the reason I’m not going the survey or study route because as a teacher we analyze them on professional days and in summer classes we take and these studies are myriad, flawed, and perpetually contradictory depending on methodology or who sponsored or is promoting these studies. (Yes, there are organizations and companies actively funding and promoting certain studies as a matter of self-interest and that information is not always obvious.)

          • Then you can go to the source material and break down why they are flawed.

            But you cannot just assign anecdotal evidence the same weight. You should know that anecdotal evidence is in and of itself flawed because of it’s small sample size and non-representative samples. Plus, they are all filtered by you.

            Fine, show the studies are flawed but do not pretend that what you “believe” is somehow gospel truth.

            • Chad, because I am a professional who works with children and privy to the latest studies and all kinds of confidential information, I try to distinguish between my professional and personal experiences. Personal experiences are credible and lend value to most discussions as long as you identify them as that. If the minority of men who are involved in child care were not sharing their personal, anecdotal experiences, we would not be having this conversation at all. There is value in the personal experience and reflection.

            • Yes, there is value in personal experience. But here is what you cannot do based on personal experience, say “most men” or “most women.” You sample size is way too small to make those assertions.

              You have said how studies can be flawed on all sorts of levels. So you cannot just come here and say my opinion is based on secret studies that you can examine the process, funding, etc. for the study and expect that to be accepted.

            • Are you this bigoted towards half your parents all the time?

              Do you, or anyone else here, really think you are qualified to work with children, given the bigotry you have displayed here?

  9. Eagle 34, and this is one of the big reasons why the majority of women under 30 aren’t getting married. Women have grown up seeing the exhaustion of mothers doing the child raising, working for a living and taking care of their husbands who don’t contribute to the labor but want praise and recognition when they do a tiny, tiny chore, a pebble in an ocean of work.

    A lot of men feel that after coming home from work they’re entitled to a cooked dinner and the sofa and TV/video games for the rest of the night while when the woman comes home from work, she does cooks dinner, cleans up and does chores until long after the children have gone to bed.

    Also contrary to what this website says, a lot of men don’t want the responsibilities of child care, don’t enjoy it and leave when they realize how much round the clock work is required and how much their lifestyles must change. It’s great that some men are taking on more of the hard work of child raising, but that is a small minority.

    • Not wanting to be stereotyped as inept failures is not the same as wanting a pat on the head. I am sure the men protesting this would agree that changing diapers is routine and a small part of raising children. What you do not seem to get is that the people protesting, women and men, were not asking for medals to be given to dads who change diapers, they were asking for fathers not to be treated like second-class parents, as they routinely are.

      • Reese, I don’t want to offend you if you are one of those dads who equally share in the work, but the majority don’t. I don’t want to use the term “second class” or “third class” because they’re not appropriate and inflammatory, but the work most dads do is marginal compared to the moms, not equal or of the same stature.

        • You are still missing the point. Regardless of your opinion regarding the work fathers do in raising children, it is a damaging stereotype. Portraying men as incompetent parents simply because of their gender is inappropriate. I personally have never seen a woman cleaning gutters, but that doesn’t mean I would find it appropriate for there to be commercials for extension ladders that are “so safe even a woman can use them.” Even if women are statistically less likely to clean gutters that doesn’t justify perpetuating a stereotype of them being incompetent at it.

          • Reese, more women home owners are doing work like gutter cleaning although more men were trained to do work like this. But now aside of nature, let’s look at how women are trained to be mothers from a young age.

            1) Dolls. From babyhood to age 10, most girls spend often hours a day playing with and taking care of babydolls and American Girl-type dolls. They diaper, dress, take them on trips, and look after them like mothers, all the while learning how to express their feelings and empathize with others. In times of stress, girls often take care of their dolls the way they want to be taken care of whereas boys either look to be nurtured or work out their stress with traditional boy toys. A lot of young boys have stuffed animals, through which they learn to express their feelings, but it’s not the same caretaking experience girls have with their dolls.

            2. Babysitting. Girls are the primary babysitters, particularly of babies, and learn real life skills, independently deal with real life situations and have the express responsibility of nurturing and looking after the well-being of babies and small children. Both older boys and girls work as camp counselors and this is important but doesn’t replace the experience girls get in young childcare.

            3. Early Childhood Development coursework in college. Many college girls are advised to take these classes to fill liberal arts requirements, although this has been protested by feminists and demeaned by both boy and girl college students as “pre-wed.” These classes provide the scientific basis of how babies and children develop, what is nature and what is learned. When I took this class it was exclusively female, no boys enrolled, maybe that’s changed. Perhaps college boys should be advised to take this course also.

            So, these three experiences alone – there are others – prepare women to be mothers and they enter that role with a great deal more knowledge and ability than men becoming fathers. The learning from these experiences are assimilated into their brain from a young age and affect their way of looking at the world and behaving.

            • “more women home owners are doing work like gutter cleaning although more men were trained to do work like this.”

              And more men are involved in child care.

              Despite the things you bring up, we know there are men taking over the primary responsibility of raising their kids and taking care of the home. We can argue about the number, but you cannot argue that it isn’t happening.

              So we know men can overcome these disadvantages. But this is another reason why the Huggies commercial is important. A lot of men are already at a disadvantage on the learning curve. We don’t need a diaper company making fun of them and sending them the message that they cannot do it because they are men. We know men can do it because men are doing it.

            • Yes Chad, after diapering for a little while I’m sure 99% of men quickly become competent. But in the very beginning dads can be very worried because they haven’t done it or thought about it before. It’s also fun for women to watch their husbands trying to express compassion and tender care because a lot of guys work really hard at being tough guys. So their wives see them in a new light and often dads see something new in themselves, and altogether it usually seems to be a nice experience for everyone.

              My thoughts, now that dads need to take on more responsibility in child raising, is that boys need to have more and richer experiences that better prepare them for this role when they become fathers.

              Moderator’s Note: we’ll be moderating for repetition and encouraging new topics in the thread.

            • Katie writes:
              “My thoughts, now that dads need to take on more responsibility in child raising, is that boys need to have more and richer experiences that better prepare them for this role when they become fathers.”

              Apparently, you’ve never heard of maternal gatekeeping. Or the fact that mothers PREFER dad to be the income earner.

              h ttp://www.adelaidenow.com.au/ipad/mothers-hanker-for-husbands-of-wealth/story-fn6t2xlc-1225985339082
              This article on twin studies of mothers in UK and Australia
              state that “if finances permitted, most would choose to be full-time mothers”.

              Jeremy Adam Smith states in his book “Daddy Shift”””Studies consistently show that 80 percent to 90 percent of
              mothers still expect fathers to serve as primary breadwinners (and very few
              will consider supporting a stay-at-home dad). At work, only 7 percent of
              American men have access to paid parental leave, among other structural
              limitations.”

              ht tp://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=7088747&page=1#.T2OnhxF8D2h

              IN this story, a mom who becomes breadwinner, feels
              disrespect for her husband taking on the mother’s role. If the caring role is the LARGER sacrifice in families, then why did she lose respect for her husband? Shouldn’t she be PROUD of him?

              ht tp://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3318366/Wealth-is-key-for-marriage-study-claims.html

              According to this study, women place a premium on men’s
              wealth. In other words either consciously or subconsciously, they want a higher
              earning man than themselves to keep open the option of full-time motherhood.

              There are also several studies on maternal gatekeeping. When mothers are stay-at-home mothers, they feel threatened and insecure when fathers show better ability at mundane caring tasks, or spend lots of time in the caring department.

              It’s quite clear that a great deal of mothers WANT men out of the house bringing home a check, and ARE THREATENED when fathers are better or more caring parents. Even being kept at arms length from the kids by (some) controlling mothers, the evidence shows even with this drastically reduced direct care parenting time dads change kids FOR THE BETTER.

            • In other words a parent (of either gender) who does only 10% of the direct care work, but the majority of paid work does not = an absentee parent as you try to convince everybody.

            • John, you miss my point. In the US. men and boys have been pigeonholed into stereotypical roles that do not develop the whole person or the fatherhood role as other cultures do. What I and other educators endorse, is to develop boys as complete people so tht when they become fathers they are better prepared.

              We’re with you, not against you.

            • Katie,
              You have been summarily trying to depict fathers way of parenting as lesser than mothers. How that is with fathers is beyond comprehension.

              You have also been unjustly depicting fathers (on the whole) as “needing a lot of work” in parenting, or trying to paint fathers as absentee parents simply because they do more of the outside work and less of the direct care of work.

              I’m sorry, that’s not “with us”. It sounds like somebody who has been called out on their bs trying to backpedal.

            • John D, if American men’s roles are changing so that they are required to provide capable care and nurturing for young children, then preparation for that role must change also.

              As I explained earlier, American society provides various experiences for girls over many years to prepare them for motherhood (dolls, babysitting, college coursework, etc.), so our educational system and culture must provide comparable experiences for boys to enable them to properly care and nurture children when they are fathers.

              As I have suggested on this website, college boys should be advised to take early childhood learning development courses. These are science classes, not “how to diaper baby classes.” Many male commenters on this website display an incredible lack of basic knowledge about children and their basic needs probably because they have never taken a basic 101 college course on child development.

              And instead of trying to force young boys to read when their brains are not capable of that, they should be immersed in studies like drama, nature, music, group play, dance, tumbling, cooking, sewing, etc. Boys are very receptive to this kind of learning at this age and it helps them express themselves, care for others and down the road will help them be better fathers.

            • Katie:
              Again, you have no basis for the presumption that fathers need work, but mothers are just fine.

              Again, this is all based on your incredibly biased pet theories of fathers.
              That’s not “with us”, that’s an incredibly arrogant and condescending and supremacist attitude.

              Why is the idea that dads need more training to parent their own children, but not mothers when mothers commit 70% of the parental child abuse and 70% of parental child slayings?

              Again, the more you write the more I see your views as totally divorced from reality and growing out of some really bad experiences with men, fathers or husbands.

            • You aren’t replying to anything I have written, you just listed a bunch of stereotypical activities for girls and young women. There are women who don’t relish the stereotype that they are authorities on childcare simply because they are women. There are many women who didn’t play with dolls, didn’t babysit, and never went to college at all. There are women who aren’t involved with their children or want anything to do with children at all. The unfortunate part of what you’re doing is reinforcing the same stereotype for women that it seemed like you were just railing against. Again, you don’t understand what the people were protesting about. Your experience is that men don’t do enough work in raising children, but instead of fighting against stereotypes that are going to make that worse, you would rather perpetuate them.

            • Chad, you said: “Your experience is that men don’t do enough work in raising children, but instead of fighting against stereotypes that are going to make that worse, you would rather perpetuate them.”

              Just saying men are equal partners in child raising doesn’t make it so or reduce women’s disproportionate share of the work, which would likely keep more marriages together. I’m saying a lot of men really are not mentally or emotionally prepared or have the skill sets to raise children, because our society is not preparing them for that role and that is why they are not doing the actual work.

              The “sea change” that you expressed will happen when young boys routinely engage in more enriching activities that give them the skill sets to be fathers and prepare them emotionally and mentally for that role.

              As I explained above, women usually spend their lifetime, often unknowingly, preparing to be mothers.

            • It wasn’t me that said that.

            • Sorry Chad, it was Reese.

            • Again, you’re not adding anything here and still not responding to anything I have said. I never said “all men are equal partners in raising kids.” Neither did the people who protested the advertising. There is an increasing number of men changing diapers and doing other childcare related activities. Women fought for a long time to eliminate promotion of negative stereotypes regarding their abilities. You want to deny this to men, even though it will lead to exactly what you are talking about: more men doing childcare activities that are more commonly performed by women currently. When you have media consistently putting out a message to men and boys that they cannot care for children in even the most basic ways it hurts any movement towards that.

              And you never responded to what I said about the ladder commercial. All you said was “more women are cleaning gutters.” It still does not make it acceptable to say, “our ladder is so safe even a would could use it!”

            • I see your point and I might be miffed. However, I’m one of those women with limited ladder skills now cleaning out the gutters every year. I don’t mind the job but if they marketed extra-safe ladders I’d probably buy it.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              You mean as an educated, well rounded women of the world, you haven’t seen household ladders that convert into a scaffold or thr high pressure gutter sprayers with extentions? It’s not the ladders, it’s people not securing them properly. I have an old victorian home. As good as I am on a ladder, I have the gutters on the second floor done for me.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              @Katie. Let’s get things straight here. “equal? doesn’t mean the same. That’s what feminists have drilled into you women for years and it’s not true. A dollar bill is equal to four quarters, have equal value but are different. Quit trying to make men women and women men. What children need are active dads in their lives to teach them. My daughter knows how to do quite a few things but ya know what? She has a husband do a lot of things that her dad did when she was growing up. My son and I have changed tires, changed and lubed the car and replaced breaks including break lines.

              What parents give can’t be found in a book or in a course. My dad had passed away 8 years before we had our first child. What I did as a dad was instictual. Initiation by fire and you know what? It all worked out just fine.

              I may not vacuum much but when the vacuum needs a belt change or a simple fix, my wife leaves it in my den.

            • Katie:

              1) Dolls.
              2. Babysitting.
              3. Early Childhood Development coursework in college.
              ==========
              I think you are mistaken that these translate into practical parenting experience. Baby-sitting might, but not if the baby-sitter was sitting nine-year olds and we’re talking about parenting a newborn.

              You keep trying to make the point that mothers = better than fathers. That is simply not the case.

              Many many studies prove conclusively that fathers are JUST AS ESSENTIAL to parenting as mothers. Fathers are essential specifically BECAUSE they parent in a different way.

              You are also mistaken that the duties of a parent end with proximity to the child. Providing the material needs of the child is just as much parenting as providing the emotional needs of the child.

              You are also mistaken about the genderized workload. The dept of labor time use survey shows that when all work in and out of the home is tabulated, fathers and mothers work essentially equal hours in the week.

              You seem to be heavily invested in proving that providing the material needs of the family = an absentee parent, this is factually wrong.

              The fact that children have evolved to be responsive to fathers different way of parenting shows that fathers have been helping to shape children for the better, even while they have been busy sweating and dying building the infrastructure.

              Study after study shows what happens when our family court system considers fathers optional:

              men raised in fatherless homes are 14 times likelier to be rapists
              80% of men in prison for violence hail from fatherless homes (meaning men from fatherless homes are 12 times as likely to be in prison for violence since fatherless homes are 1/3rd of all families).
              95% of the men on death row are from fatherless homes.

              boys and girls raised in fatherless homes are MANY TIMES likelier to be:
              depressed
              suicidal
              (girls) wind up a pregnant team
              have lower educational outcome
              have problems with drugs or alcholo
              enter into crime
              (girls) wind up in relationships with abusive men

              Study after study proves that your arguments are essentially uninformed bias.

              Dads are real parents even if they only do 10% of direct care. I can’t believe what a dismal view you have of fathers. More importantly, the devastation to our society is widespread and deeply felt by family courts adopting a similar view.

              Far from being from anything profound, the arguments you make are the same arguments made 70 years ago why women couldn’t be judges, ceos, pilots, firefighters.

              It’s 2012 won’t you join us?

            • John D, many of the debates and anxieties on this forum could be settled if more men were educated in early childhood development. Why aren’t more college men and prospective fathers taking these courses? They should be and that is easily corrected.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Screw that early childhood development garbage. Get your head out of your books and start treating kids like individual human beings. I didn’t need a book to tell me when my daughter was sad, what to do. I learned from my PARENTS. Again I ask Katie, do you have kids? I have an intervention specialist in our residential school. A well educated 25 year old female that has no clue how to deal with adolescent males, much less troubled males. She causes more trouble on my unit then help.

              Long and short of it, ya don’t need a freaking book or a collage course to be a good parent. You need an interest and know that the child you hold in your arms is the most important person in your life. You need to know that NOTHING in the world is more important then that child. The rest comes natural …. nature takes its course.

            • Katie writes:
              “John D, many of the debates and anxieties on this forum could be settled if more men were educated in early childhood development.”

              Again you come from a supremacist mentality and paint mothers as intrinsically better than fathers. You have no basis for this except your own pet theories.

              Again: all the evidence points to fathers being equally necessary (without improvement) as mothers.

              Again: supremacist arguments like yours are the same that were used to hold women back. Did you just pop in from 1940?

            • Katie writes:
              “on this forum could be settled if more men were educated in early childhood development. Why aren’t more college men and prospective fathers taking these courses?”

              In other words parents who never took childhood development courses are deficient parents? You do realize this is a group that includes 98% of all mothers and 99.9% of all fathers?

              This is the shakiest leg of your argument yet. I wonder if you realize that you may actually be winning converts to OUR point of view don’t you?

              Your arguments are so dripping with bias and horribly shaky and supremacist that I wouldn’t be surprised if a casual reader who previously thought mothers were innately better parents (but didn’t hold it as a devout belief like you, rather as a casual inclination) may have changed their mind after reading this.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Ya know, people have been making babies and raising them for a long time. Pre-feminist times, people seemed to know what to do and how to do it. Mom’s would stay for a couple weeks with daughters after mom and dad brought the baby home. My mom did that with my wife. Dad’s would do their share but for the most part, he’d be busting his ass at work making a living so that the family had a roof over their heads and meals on the table. OMG, did I just say that? Hell yeah and you won’t ever find me apologizing for saying it.

              Child development courses? Are you kidding? Is that what’s happening these days? Oh wait, it makes sense because kids these days don’t have a clue as to what a family is. Used to be women would take after their moms and learn how to raise a kid but more moms are too busy being career women. Maybe they can learn how to be a mom from teachers? Oh wait, aren’t they supposed to be teaching? Day care …. That’s the ticket. An educated women who had courses on child development! Yeah, that’s the ticket. We can raise our kids to be good parents so that we can find just the right day care for the kids and then maybe, when the kids are old enough they can find a house like the one WE had and hang out and wait for mom and dad to come home.

              So let’s sum this up. We have little girls being raised by outsiders so that they can learn how to become adult / child moms themselves WITHOUT a husband. We have little girls that will have no clue as to what a normal relationship with a man would be simply because women don’t need men. We have little boys who are raised by the same day care center employees with little to no male influence so that they can learn nothing about being a man much less have a normal relationship with a women.

              After writing this, I have to tell ya, we’re screwed as a society.

            • Tom, oddly, we agree here in that daycare is not a good environment for a child to grow up in. Unfortunately in the US, it usually takes two parents to pay the bills so parents just have to believe that daycare is okay and the providers really care for their children. But the more the government gets involved, the more regulations there are, more degrees and requirements are expected from private and public facilities, and the price goes up but not the compensation for the providers. Child care has become institutionalized.

              Parents like to think that they are their child’s role models, but the truth is that their children’s role models are whoever is putting on their jacket or diaper, handing them juice or giving them instructions.

            • Katie writes:
              “Parents like to think that they are their child’s role models, but the truth is that their children’s role models are whoever is putting on their jacket or diaper, handing them juice or giving them instructions.”

              Katie, this hand that rocks the cradle thing really doesn’t seem to have any validity. The #1 indicator of girls self-esteem entering into her teen years is a loving fit father being in her life.

              The proof is conclusive that even dads (or either parent) who only do 10% of the direct care (but the vast majority of the paid work) do have as much beneficial influence on children as the parent who does the 90% of direct care.

              Again, you seem to love positing your personal biased anti-male opinions as some kind of fact.

              You couldn’t be more off base.

        • That’s some non-disclaimer there:

          ‘I don’t want to call dads second or third class parents, not because I don’t think they are, but because it would make me look bad if I did’.

          You’re not entirely wrong, but if you’re going to say something, then say it. Don’t put it out there and then take a step back and thrust your hands into the air like you want no part of it. When you say that people aren’t ‘equal’ or ‘the same stature’, you are in fact saying that they are ‘second class’. That’s what second class means.

          • Soullite, you stand corrected. Reese used the term “second class parents” and I refuted it. However, the work everyone does is not equal, either or both in quantity or skill.

            • Katie: “You stand corrected”

              You didn’t correct him on anything, Katie. All you did was present the same tired arguments while labeling his as inadmissable.

              Seriously, would you please stop with the “You stand corrected” nonsense? You’re coming off as a snob everytime you do this. Not to mention presenting yourself further as a misandric bigot who’s only here to ruffle feathers.

            • All right, all right. I went a little over-the-top in the second paragraph. Still, Katie, you’re not helping matters with your dismissal of people’s experiences here.

            • Eagle34, you misread the comments. Soullite thought I introduced the phrase “second class parents” but I actually refuted it as inaccurate and inflammatory. Reese introduced that phrase.

            • How is it inaccurate and inflammatory? Your conclusory statement that you “refuted it” is backed up by…what?

            • Reese, Soulite misquoted me. I did not say this, he did: ‘I don’t want to call dads second or third class parents, not because I don’t think they are, but because it would make me look bad if I did’. <– I did not say that.

              I said, "I don’t want to use the term “second class” or “third class” because they’re not appropriate and inflammatory"

              You originally started this by saying, "they were asking for fathers not to be treated like second-class parents, as they routinely are."

            • Katie:
              “Soullite, you stand corrected. Reese used the term “second class parents” and I refuted it. However, the work everyone does is not equal, either or both in quantity or skill.”

              No, they are not equal. Neither can one definitely say that either role is inferior. They can’t be judged inferior or superior for the simple fact that they are both so essential.

              Providing for the material needs, or the emotional needs of children are both parenting.

            • John, quality of care absolutely can be judged as inferior or superior, but it’s usually somewhere in between. Even parents who are really, really bad at parenting love their children. No one is judging or denying love, but quality of care is measurable.

            • Katie,
              Individual parenting can be judged, but that’s not what we’re discussing or what you are trying to do.

              You are trying to paint fathers on balance as inferior to mothers.
              This is demonstrably proven to not be the case when you look at statistics nationally.

              Mothers commit 70% of all child parental abuse and 70% of all parental child slayings.

              What’s worse, this prevailing mentality that fathers are inferior and mothers can do no harm white-washes a lot of harm and abuse to children.

              Look at this story in which a mother seems to be another party girl like Casey Anthony and neglect her daughter:

              ht tp://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2012/03/16/book-review-part-2-the-silence-of-the-mockingbirds/
              She hooks up with a bad boy who abuses her daughter, and the mother WILLFULLY covers the abuse, even smearing the dad as the culprit of the abuse her bf is doing.

              The default judgement that dads don’t deserve custody gets us:
              abused and dead children.

              You’re right we can judge individual parents as inferior, and that *IS* what we should be doing.

              Instead fathers are being painted as defaulty inferior, and as a result custody is being handed over to neglectful and abusive mothers.

              Let’s stop judging parents by what is hanging between their legs and start judging them by what they sacrifice for their kids.

              Providing for the material needs of the kids is just as important (and just as much parenting) as providing the nurturing.

              Again, despite your HEAVILY biased claims, the evidence is in:
              Dads are just as great as moms.

    • Katie: “Eagle 34, and this is one of the big reasons why the majority of women under 30 aren’t getting married. Women have grown up seeing the exhaustion of mothers doing the child raising, working for a living and taking care of their husbands who don’t contribute to the labor but want praise and recognition when they do a tiny, tiny chore, a pebble in an ocean of work. ”

      Well then it sucks to be them. They refuse to bother looking at what fathers do, make assumptions on them, then that’s their problem.

      And being recognized as a good father is not something to be dismissed, Katie. Again, this is your blind prejeduce speaking.

      Katie: “A lot of men feel that after coming home from work they’re entitled to a cooked dinner and the sofa and TV/video games for the rest of the night while when the woman comes home from work, she does cooks dinner, cleans up and does chores until long after the children have gone to bed.”

      While it’s true that there are men like this out there, it’s unfair of you to ascribe this to ALL men out there then dismiss any evidence to the contrary as a minority or an anomoly.

      Katie: “Also contrary to what this website says, a lot of men don’t want the responsibilities of child care, don’t enjoy it and leave when they realize how much round the clock work is required and how much their lifestyles must change. It’s great that some men are taking on more of the hard work of child raising, but that is a small minority.”

      Then why are you commenting here, then, if you have such a low faith in men? Unless you want to spread your misandric views. And I’m calling them misandric due to the comment you made about men and their lack of ability to express basic human emotions you listed in another thread.

      So you basically have your mind made up and believe most men don’t want the responsibilities of fatherhood. Many have presented evidence and experiences of their own, and you call them a minority. So why are you here? Can’t be to change your mind because all you ever do is argue against the men here and try to twist it around to women and mothers having it worse.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Problem solved … a stay at home parent! Wow, what an amazing concept? That would mean that maybe they would have to give some things up like the more expensive car, vacations, the boat and mega screen TV’s. But aren’t the kids worth it? I made a great income but not as much as my neighbors who had two incomes. But then again their kids hung out at our house … you know, the “latch key” kids that both parents worked so they could have all the cool things? It’s one thing when both parents have to work due to economic issues, it’s all together something else when both parents work because “career” is important or material things are more important. What is it the feminists used to say? It’s not the quantity of time you spend with your kids, it’s the quality of time. What a load of crap women were and have been fed. When I was growing up, it wasn’t the hours on end my mom spent with us, it was the fact that she was there after school, when we were sick and the dinner on the table when we all ate together.

        Not to long ago after my kids were out of the house and on their own, a new house was built next door. All we had was a simple cape cod. Their house was at least 10 rooms including a oak paneled study and a 4 car garage. Every morning I would wake up hearing their kids crying as they were put in their car seats to be taken to day care because mom and dad had their professional careers (attorneys). What great memories they’ll have? But then again there was “Doc” across the street. They had 5 kids and Mrs. Doc, who was also a doctor, stayed home. Although they had a great house, with two doctor incomes they could have easily been living in a neighboring suburb, Oak Brook where the true affluent live. Did I mention that Doc had a 10 year old car and he did most of the work on his house himself (and I helped).

        Yup, IMO, one parent staying at home would solve a lot of the grief people claim to have. In a time where birth control is so easily obtained (abstinence as well), why are so many women pissing and moaning about the burden of motherhood? Use BC, don’t have sex, wait until you can afford a parent being home …. Not too hard to figure out, is it?

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Katie

      “why the majority of women under 30 aren’t getting married. Women have grown up seeing the exhaustion of mothers doing the child raising, working for a living and taking care of their husbands who don’t contribute to the labor”

      Yet amazingly men still survive. I never had a problem with pizza and you can make one while doing laundry and playing a video games. That pause button is great. There are other reasons why women aren’t married. They agree to premarital sex. Masturbation has lost its taboo and porn is easier to come by. Guys have other diversions like video games and social media and they don’t have a woman nagging them all the time.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        And don’t forget, even with continued feminist influences, the many men who have survived marriage. Wanna make your wife nervous? Show her that you’re self sufficient! I love my wife with all my heart but the truth is, logistically, I could easily survive without her.

        Guys? When was the last time your female counterpart changed the breaks on the car or routed out the sewer. Let’s see … a soiled diaper or routing out the sewer? Give me the diaper any time.

  10. “It is true, I do not need validation from Huggies to feel like I am a great dad. I also don’t need Huggies, or anyone else, assuming I can’t diaper my own baby. It’s insulting. But, more importantly, perpetuating the stereotype of dads as inept, makes dads think they are supposed to be inept. It allows dads to hide behind their masculinity instead of become the fathers their children need them to be.”

    Al, that part is true of course, but there are even more important reasons to oppose this kind of stereotyping. The big reason is that these stereotypes are dangerous. Look at Katie’s comments above to see the harm they can do.

    And if Katie were just one lone bigot, it would be no big deal, but as we know this bigotry permeates law and policy. In family courts, in school policies as to which parent gets notified, in a range of areas it hangs over fathers and imposes limits and poses threats.

    It is exactly the same as with homphobic comments. They reinforce a climate of homphobia and that makes them dangerous.

  11. John Anderson says:

    I don’t want to dampen the feeling that Huggies is starting to change its opinion of dads, but did they actually listen to the dads or the moms who had negative comments? Unless this is a typo “By Friday, Huggies had changed their campaign from “Put our diapers to the ultimate test: Dad” to say “Have a Dad put Huggies to the test.”, why would they put a in front of dad and not say have dad put Huggies to the test? Isn’t that kind of implying that dad isn’t around, but if you can find one, you can have him put Huggies to the test? I’m still not sure why it requires dad to put Huggies to the test. Shouldn’t the ad instead say Dad, put Huggies to the test? It seems to me that Huggies is still trying to imply that dad is somehow less compotent or more brutal than mom.

    • John Anderson says:

      I just looked at Huggies facebook page and it is a typo. The slogan is have dad put Huggies to the test.

  12. Tom Brechlin says:

    Ya know what really sucks? Men in this forum are having to justify who they are as dad’s. All because a feminist has done what feminists do and that is to throw BS on the table. You appear to want to continue to co-sign the untruths about men and fathers … continue to push the feminist agenda and show men as bad.

    Note to “stay at home moms” who have issues with dad’s not doing enough … get a grip, enjoy that which you have and raise your kids and not worry about what he is or isn’t doing. There are a heck of a lot of women out there that would give their eye teeth to be able to quit their jobs and go back to parenting as a full time career. To the feminists like Katie, quit pushing your agenda, it’s beginning to grumble.

    Out of curiosity Katie, are you married? Do you have kids? If you know so much about your students and their families, STOP interfering and start teaching, that’s what we pay you for.  rude, sorry.

    • Tom, once again, for a man who claims to know so much about children, you don’t know much at all about the public school system. Contradictory.

      Teachers are prohibited from sharing religious, political, educational or social opinions in school and it’s been like that for a long time. We hear a lot from students – kids love to talk and they share a lot about their families in school. Quite frequently, we have to ask them to be more discrete about what they share publicly.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Overtly share your beliefs, absolutely you can’t. But theycan and do share through opinion and guidance. Teacher says to the student “There are programs that can teach contraception and you do know the most affective contraception is abstinance, right? Duh, I wonder what this teachers beliefs are, can ya guess?

        I do know about children, in particular troubled children and more specific, male adolescents in a residential setting. All colors, shapes and sized. Intact families, disfunctional families and everything in between. I also know about differnt cultures and how things work within those cultures. I know what confidentiality is and I know that I am also a mandated reporter. How many times have you stood in front of a judge to fight so that a kid isn’t put in the DOCs? How many funerals of kids have you gone to because the kid was killed because of a bad drug deal, gang activity or an over dose with a needle in the kids arm? So don’t preach to me and question my knowing kids.

        And BTW, I coach seasonal sports.

    • Reese, John D, Eagle 34 and Tom,

      Reese, previously, American women weren’t only stereotyped, they weren’t provided with the skill sets or cultural experiences that would allow them to be successful in the work place. So if you put a 1950s housewife in a corporate mgmt position, no, she wouldn’t be able to do the job. Yes, there were individual women raised by progressive families that helped a woman succeed professionally, but this was the minority. Women were raised to be wives and mothers.

      Over decades, women took more challenging coursework and learned to compete through sports. They climbed the ladder in occupations while continuing traditional activities that prepare them for motherhood.

      How boys are raised must also be changed if they are to undertake the high stress, humbling and 24/7 work of being the nurturing, primary caretaker of children, which requires different skills and temperament than traditional male occupations.

      American boys have been culturally shut out of most education and activities that help them become nurturing, domestic fathers. Most men in this country have been raised with an unhealthy obsession with competition and a mandate to be tough and unemotional, and they foist it onto boys regarding grades and sports and demeanor. The degree to which male commenters on this site see women as their competition is pretty close to insanity and it’s specific to our culture.

      Some parents have developed their sons’ domestic, nurturing side so they can be house-husbands and provide nurturing childcare, but this is a minority. American boys need to be immersed in more of these traditionally female activities, coursework and responsibilities that will prepare them for the new role of childcare, which is very different than a father’s role in previous generations.

      • The problem is that you summarily judge fathers parenting (on balance) as inferior to mother parenting (on balance). You arrive at this conclusion from bizarro pet theories and (what I would claim is) you seeking only evidence that backs up your view and ignoring any evidence to the contrary so that your life examples match your attitude towards fathers.

        The studies factually prove you wrong. The absolute truth of the matter is that (on balance) dads are just as necessary and critical to child development (as is with no bettering necessary) as mothers are.

        The fact that children have evolved to respond positively to dad involvement means that all through history fathers have been shaping their kids for the better even while most fathers have been busy sweating, bleeding and dying building the infrastructure or fighting in wars due to massive socialization of men to do so (or outright conscription when the shaming fails). If humans have evolved to positively respond to father involvement, then it directly leads to the conclusion that a parent (of any gender) CAN be a VERY powerful and positive influence on their children’s lives even when they only do 10% of the direct care.

        Nothing you have said has factually proven any of your points.

  13. Tom Brechlin says:

    I will always have McD’s as my favorite fast food … why? First fast food chain to put changing tables in the men’s room.

  14. The role of a dad in parenting is not to replace the role of the mother. It’s to be a positive male influence, and to nurture the child towards being a healthy member of the community. Things like domestic chores and care for a child are choices that each family makes, dividing the tasks according to life’s circumstances. It’s insulting to assuming that any task requires little more than a bit of practice and attention.

    The difference, of course, is the attitude. Men are just as nurturing and compassionate—though differently—as women, and some men are taking (or sharing) a leading role in care for our children. Yet many men still don’t get this permission from their families, friends and their community—people who hold them back with teasing, innuendo, insults and mockery. So for them, it’s easier to play the stereotype. These men need the strength and support of other men (and their community) to do what they know is right.

    Katie, your perspective on dads is exactly why some of us—more than ever before—are working hard to change the stereotype. One way we do it is to call out major advertisers when they insult our capacity to do something as simple and minor as changing a diaper. It’s not going to change the world, but it’s a start.

    It’s small step to getting more dads comfortable talking with teachers; helping with homework; being present for tough conversations; teaching and coaching life’s skills; guiding and supporting our child through life. You know, parenting.

    Since we’re throwing anecdotes into the mix, you should know that I talk to my child’s teachers all the time. A few times a week. After five years at the school, some of the teachers—the women, I should add—still remind me to tell my wife to pack something different in his backpack. So no, I don’t want a sticker on my head. I just don’t need to be insulted by a diaper company, too.

    • Stephen, if a couple decide to have the father be the primary caretaker of children, he’s taking over the role of the mother and needs to fulfill those duties – from playing with dolls, to dancing, to playing dress-up. These just aren’t games and trivial matters, these things are how children learn. Children’s play is their work.

      You might be misinterpreting women’s “mockery” and suggestions. Mothers constantly joke with each other as a way of relieving the stress. As you know, there are so many things to remember simultaneously and kids are forgetful and (usually) mom constantly has to compensate. We offer suggestions to each other, things we’ve learned the hard way or little helpful stuff that saves time. Even if it is sometimes annoying, it’s usually helpful. If you’re leaving the school and someone says, “Did you forget lunch money again!” it’s probably because they have done that too and they’re trying to sympathize, make a joke, show you they understand. It’s a way moms bond. They’re probably just trying to include and support you.

      Dads meeting with children’s teachers is not new. It’s only annoying when they haven’t been involved with their child’s schoolwork and suddenly pretend they are. They’re not fooling anyone – teachers, moms, or kids. Stay on top of it nightly.

      Advertisers are definitely not in the business of improving people’s self-esteem or promoting social justice. If they’ve discovered that silly dad imagery really gets some men’s attention, they and other advertisers are going to exploit that for all it’s worth. Even a follow-up commercial – “Huggies listened!” type of thing will likely find some way to reinforce the image you found so offensive, because it’s now planted in your memory, exactly where they want it.

      • Katie writes:
        “Stephen, if a couple decide to have the father be the primary caretaker of children, he’s taking over the role of the mother and needs to fulfill those duties – from playing with dolls, to dancing, to playing dress-up. These just aren’t games and trivial matters, these things are how children learn. Children’s play is their work.”

        Katie: Again with the presumption that mothers parenting is better, and dads SHOULD copy the mothers way of parenting to “do it right”.

        You’re just a one string banjo of delight aren’t you?
        The studies show that dads are just as critical to parenting specifically because their parenting is different. Dads parenting typically centers around horse-play, exploration, setting goals and achieving.

        When moms say: I’m proud of you regardless of the merit of the achievement it may feel good to the kid/s, but you’re not pushing them to greater heights. When a dad says “I think you could have done a little better” it may crush a child’s spirit for a short time but when the child truly earns the praise it means a lot more.

        The #1 indicator of girls having high self-esteem entering their teen years is if they have a loving fit dad.

        You keep plucking that one string on your banjo that dads parenting is inferior and needs fixing, but there is SIMPLY NOTHING THERE THAT NEEDS BETTERING.

        Of course there are SOME bad dads (just as there are bad moms who routinely get custody over loving fit dads due to courts sharing your bias that mothers=better), but on balance dads are just as good, necessary, and critical to well-adjustment for children as mothers are AS IS.

        • If dads had the exact same parenting style as mothers, then they truly would be redundant.
          If you have two carbon copy parents that do everything in exactly the same way, then one is un-necessary.

          The fact of the matter the fact that children have evolved to respond to dads different way of parenting factually proves inaccurate the idea that you need to be doing 50% of the direct care to be a real parent.

          Providing for the material needs of children is just as much parenting as providing the emotional needs.

          • If the mother is working full time she will not have the ability to provide the same level of care and it is the responsibility of the full-time father childcare provider to assume that role.

            When women undertake traditional male jobs, they do not selected the parts of that job that are in sync with their sexuality, they undertake and are responsible and accountable for the whole job.

            • And you have failed to prove that dads (on balance) aren’t also embracing what needs to be embraced.

              In essence you seem to think that father care = worse than mother care.
              You point to child development classes as necessary for both mothers and fathers.

              You do realize that you are painting mothers and fathers with the same brush that they aren’t suitable to parent their own children?

              Fathers who don’t take child development or parenting classes may be around 99%, but 90% of mothers also take no such classes.

              Also, this devoutly held belief that before fathers ARE SAFE to parent their own children they need training is demonstrably proven false, by the low levels (on balance) children sink to in development when father’s parenting is removed.

              If fathers need so much training to parent, then why do kids raised in fatherless homes turn out so poorly (on balance) compared to children with loving fit fathers (the vast majority of which never took parenting or child development classes)?

              I would really like to see you answer this question. The factual evidence runs totally counter to your claims.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Good points John …. I don’t think Katie is answering questions any more. I had a few and are still left unanswered.

        • Katie: If a couple decides to have the father be the primary caregiver, he is likely fulfilling duties and activities like the ones you suggested, plus countless others. However, he is not taking over the role of the mother. Those duties aren’t the “role of the mother”; that’s kind of the point of all this.

          I didn’t say that the mockery was only from women, yet you assumed that’s what I meant. Your insinuation that I can’t tell the difference between the supportive, playful banter and cultural teasing reveals a lot about your position on this subject. There are plenty of moms that include me in their conversations, share parent challenges, look for my support and offer support back to me. We laugh and tease each other, too. They include me because they want my perspective (male, dad) and I honour theirs (female, mom). It’s called respect. The moments of mockery that I speak of occurs in all aspects of society, not just at school, and it is occurs from men, women, and yes, even children. Sometimes it also comes from advertisers.

          I wasn’t commenting that dads meeting teachers was new. My comment showed that even though I’ve been meeting teachers since the beginning, some still assume I am merely babysitting; mom is the only real parent. Sorry, but that’s offensive.

          Men lying about their involvement with school work (or anything, for that matter) isn’t a ‘men thing’, it’s a ‘lying thing’. I would bet that parents of both genders drop the ball on school work (and other things, too) and aren’t quite honest about it. Sometimes because they are busy, sometimes because they are lazy. It’s okay to not do something; lying is a different issue.

          You’re right. Advertisers have no responsibility to promote social issues. They can choose their position on all kinds of topics. But advertisers have a responsibility to shareholders. Consumers get to act with their wallets, and if a group of people—a group significant enough to impact sales—has an issue with how the company portrays them, then advertisers have a responsibility to respond.

          This is the beauty of advertising creative. Huggies gets to decide if this campaign appeals to enough men or women to justify any lost sales to a different set of men or women. One group spoke up, and I would bet that the research didn’t justify frustrating men. Because, you know, men actually matter as their customer base.

          So yes, you can rest inside your anecdotes and special research data and form all sorts of opinions of this world. Have fun with that. Huggies did, too, and they know that men are getting more and more involved. I find it comforting.

          I don’t understand why you complained against this effort. Asking companies to reinforce images of competent, caring and involved fathers will only support the cultural swing of having fathers more involved; the very thing you accuse them of not being.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Katie, something you said really stood out with me. Was “from playing with dolls, to dancing, to playing dress-up. These just aren’t games and trivial matters, these things are how children learn. Children’s play is their work.” …. You mentioned all the things that little girls generally want to do. And the boys? It appears you favor female children. One of the first toys I bought my son was a toy carpenters belt. Then there were the GI Joe’s, cars and trucks and later, he and I built a model train set. My daughter on the other hand worked with me on building a doll house which BTW, she has displayed in her house. Mom did the dress up stuff, and I did the rough and tough stuff. Perfect balance.

        You comment “Dads meeting with children’s teachers is not new. It’s only annoying when they haven’t been involved with their child’s schoolwork and suddenly pretend they are. They’re not fooling anyone – teachers, moms, or kids. Stay on top of it nightly” is highly insulting. You have no clue, unless you’re too much into the students household, what those family dynamics are. How dare you judge anyone to the level that you would say “ ….not fooling anyone.” Parent teacher conferences that I have attended addressed their school work and in my house, my wife was better equipped to help them. She’s brilliant and why shouldn’t she take that role. Nonetheless, I attended the conferences. But I can see how teachers would view dads in these conferences. They judge them and assume that they aren’t involved. Katie, that’s how you see it and you take it a step further and mandate how the dad is supposed to be involved.

        Here’s something that hasn’t been brought up, the reality that in most families where dads are involved, he’s usually used as the disciplinarian. How often have kids heard “wait until your dad get’s home.” Mommy has all the play time but when dad comes home, he receives a list of the kids behaviors and a follow up line, “you have to do something with these kids, they don’t listen to me.” Yup, I was more of a disciplinarian then my wife. The harsh punishments came from me and I have no problem with it. That was the role given to me and I accepted it.

        Katie, then you wrote “We offer suggestions to each other, things we’ve learned the hard way or little helpful stuff that saves time. Even if it is sometimes annoying, it’s usually helpful. If you’re leaving the school and someone says, “Did you forget lunch money again!” it’s probably because they have done that too and they’re trying to sympathize, make a joke, show you they understand. It’s a way moms bond. They’re probably just trying to include and support you.” I don’t need a comment from anyone. My parenting skills was different from my wife. Where she was more of enabler and tended to accommodate the kids “not thinking” I am the one that set clear expectations. My son missed his ride to school one time. My kids had to take responsibility and that meant that the driver (me) left the house at a certain hour. We woke the kids in plenty of time to be ready. One day, I left without him. When I got home he came running down the stairs saying he was late. I said, “I guess you’re going to have to take the detention then.” He had to walk to school. It was the last time he was late. (this in middle school) My wife on the other hand would run her ass off to accommodate. My “skill set” was to educate my kids on what’s expected in life.

  15. Tom Brechlin says:

    “Reese, previously, American women weren’t only stereotyped, they weren’t provided with the skill sets or cultural experiences that would allow them to be successful in the work place. So if you put a 1950s housewife in a corporate mgmt position, no, she wouldn’t be able to do the job. Yes, there were individual women raised by progressive families that helped a woman succeed professionally, but this was the minority. Women were raised to be wives and mothers.”

    Women of the 50’s were raised by parents who endured WWI and WWII and the Great Depression. These women were true women who stepped up to the plate and did what needed to be done to survive. The 50’s rolled around and it was seen as a new life that they could have. A new life that would allow them the luxuries that they lacked for so long. The men, who went to ward and survived the great depression came out of it seeing the potential of providing his family with things that they lacked. The men came out of the wars and depression and worked. Contrary to what the feminists wanted to portray men as in the 40’s and 50’s, we were an industrial nation where most men worked in factories and labor jobs. MOST men were never given the so called skill sets either and if you took MOST men from the 50’s and put them in management positions, they too would not be able to perform the job. As there were individual women who could, there were individual men but the difference is that many of the successful men made their fortunes on their own and the women of that era also reaped the benefits of those fortunes.

    “Over decades, women took more challenging coursework and learned to compete through sports. They climbed the ladder in occupations while continuing traditional activities that prepare them for motherhood.”

    Over the decades, we lost the status of being an industrial nation forcing millions of men to move into other positions in which they were totally unfamiliar. Look at the “Pullman District” in Chicago which was a development of housing built to accommodate employees. Manufacturing and the jobs have left this country leaving many unskilled men to struggle. But the feminists, for what ever reason, sold a bill of goods making claim that men had it soooo good. I saw nothing providing for re-educating men so as to adapt to the changes happening in their world. Instead, affirmative action comes into play and bingo bongo, we have to hire women simply to be fair. Maybe you could shed some light about why the feminist movement was so off where it came to the men of the 50’s who were for the most part laborers?

    How boys are raised must also be changed if they are to undertake the high stress, humbling and 24/7 work of being the nurturing, primary caretaker of children, which requires different skills and temperament than traditional male occupations.

    So I guess you have to go to all these single moms and tell them that they have to change things. Why aren’t these mothers showing these boys how to do things? I’m wondering , with all your talk of the “stressed” mothers, if they aren’t doing this education simply because the poor things are too tired. Even the married women with the sloth as a husband, if maybe they’re purposely screwing over the boys with the attitude that they’ll just turn out like their dads?

    “American boys have been culturally shut out of most education and activities that help them become nurturing, domestic fathers. Most men in this country have been raised with an unhealthy obsession with competition and a mandate to be tough and unemotional, and they foist it onto boys regarding grades and sports and demeanor. The degree to which male commenters on this site see women as their competition is pretty close to insanity and it’s specific to our culture.”

    Insanity or reality. I want my kids to be competitive and that includes my daughter. Girls have added the competitive edge to their upbringing. Female sports are increasing and accordingly, they are being allowed that added so called “skill set.” I wanted my son to be competitive and I also wanted him to be rough and tough too …. He’s a guy. I don’t see it as unhealthy at all. What I do see unhealthy is that so many programs have lowered the bar. In some cases, no one looses .. everyone is a winner is an attitude that takes goal to win away from them. In so far as “unemotional,” we can thank the feminists for painting men with that brush.

    “Some parents have developed their sons’ domestic, nurturing side so they can be house-husbands and provide nurturing childcare, but this is a minority. American boys need to be immersed in more of these traditionally female activities, coursework and responsibilities that will prepare them for the new role of childcare, which is very different than a father’s role in previous generations.”

    So why are you telling us guys this? For one thing, work toward our gaining access to these kids, let the dads that don’t have custody have more time with the kids. When a dad has two days a week, if he’s lucky, have more time rather then squeezing 7 days into maybe two. Tell these women that and intentionally are single moms to do something about this.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] they ran a campaign insinuating that dads were clumsy or rough with diapers. You can read about it here on the Good Men Project, as well as some of the nasty comments from both sides of the issue. [...]

  2. [...] its latest ad campaign that brought a firestorm of protest from fathers’ rights advocates.  Here’s one article on the switch (The Good Men Project, 3/14/12).  And here’s another (8bitdad, [...]

  3. [...] goofball Mr. Moms. In the most notable example, some of GMP’s most prominent Dad Bloggers stood up to Huggies, who responded by apologizing and creating a whole new set of advertisements featuring competent, [...]

  4. [...] And quite often, they do. Here was one example: Huggies Listened to Dads – Why It Mattered. [...]

  5. […] they don’t like and they make a fuss. Men have successfully done this too. For example, getting a sexist Huggies commercial campaign pulled. My question is, are men actively looking around to see what other representations of men they […]

Speak Your Mind