Hi there. Happy Monday.
So on Friday, Jen and I swung through Babies R Us to pick up a car seat base for her Mazda and a copy of The Baby Owner’s Manual for me.
While we were there, I recanted the tale of my first foray into the store and how haughty and dismissive the female employees had been to me and my brother. And it was during this first visit, as we were shopping for strollers, I noticed above each pre-built model there was a little placard with the title, “WHY MOMS LIKE IT” which bullet-pointed the selling points of each strolla’.
Moms. Not dads.
And yet, here stood a dad. One that had spent the better part of an hour trying to find the best stroller possible for his daughter and who, after reading that, started to feel a little excluded. (That said, I’d already been treated with scorn before I got to the stroller section, so it’s possible that I was overly sensitive.)
Then, last week, I saw the infant/newborn section of Amazon, which is called:
“That’s a helluvan idea…” I thought. “I’ll just have all the baby accoutrements shipped directly to the house!” Then I paused. “Wait. What about Amazon Dad?“
So I tried the same URL scheme in the address bar.
Again, this is not a huge deal. But it is another small shot at fatherhood being somehow “lesser.” Turns out I’m not alone in feeling this way. After Googling “Amazon Dad” I found quite a few other guys who weren’t pleased about being ignored, and have petitioned to have Amazon Mom changed to Amazon Family.
And this logo, in turn, reminded me of a conversation that Jen and I recently had about baby books, and that in Every. Single. Book. that she looked at, the hetero-normative family unit was the only one depicted. Meaning there are no “two dads,” “two moms,” or even “single parent” books available at Babies R Us.
Look, I’m not a gender warrior. And I’m not trying to espouse how difficult life is for all of us straight, white males. But I do think that these things could be a bit more egalitarian, and less exclusive.
I mean, that’s what we’re all supposed to be moving toward, right?