Tag Archives: Sexism against men

paedophiles on a plane

Should Male Airline Passengers Be Subjected To This Sort of Treatment?

This post was pretty easy to write because for the most part, I didn’t have to write it. This morning I was tagged into a stranger’s status update’s comment by a mutual friend. I clicked on the link provided which brought me to another status update by this stranger which was an open letter to Tracy Spicer in response to her “I don’t want my kids sitting next to a man on a plane” article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.

The stranger goes by the name of Craig Mack. I sent him a private message through Facebook asking if I could publish his open letter here and he expressed to me that I was more than welcome. If you haven’t already, please click on the link and read Tracy’s article first. Then I want you to read Craig’s response below. At the end of this post I will chime in with my own tale as I can relate to this story personally.

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Warren_Farrell_leads_a_group_of_men_protesting,_1972

Are Fathers The New Minority Group?

My most popular (well, my most read post) so far is the one entitled Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands, followed by What’s The Definition of Parenting? Has The Dictionary Has Got It Wrong? in third spot and the relatively new one 11 Sexist Onesies to Offend a New Dad (and 2 That Are Okay) in sixth place.

When I look at categories that I have chosen for all my posts, Active Fathers is on top of the list with Sexism Against Dads in third spot. I have recently discussed with my writer’s group that my humorous posts get very few hits whilst my activist posts seem to get lots.

And to top it off, the posts with the most comments are the same two that are in the most read as mentioned above. I know why this is the case;

Fathers are the new minority group. Let me explain.

Parents Magazine

Last year Parents Magazine (USA) released 12 issues and 25% of them had mothers on them, with none having fathers on them. Traditionally one might think that a Father’s Day special would show a happy father on the cover, but no, not a single issue showcased dads.

Parents 2013 01 January Parents 2013 02 February Parents 2013 03 March
Parents 2013 04 April Parents 2013 05 May Parents 2013 06 June
Parents 2013 07 July Parents 2013 08 August Parents 2013 09 September
Parents 2013 10 October Parents 2013 11 November Parents 2013 12 December

 

On the magazine’s Facebook page I saw this;

parents magazine facebook 12 signs you're a momNow it says parent in the preamble but mom in the title. And the post itself only has mothers’ comments. Of those “12 signs you’re a mom,” most of them if not all are signs that you could be a dad as much as you could be a mum so the title “12 signs you’re a parent” could easily have been used.

Mamamia Parents

The Australian women’s online magazine, media website, blog post aggregator, and gossip central Mamamia set up individual Facebook pages last year to promote different aspects of their website including the tab they call Parenting. Whilst you can hover your mouse over the Parenting section on the menu and see a Fatherhood sub-header, the display of mums only is rampant on this page.

Take a look at the header of the Facebook page. All writers for Mamamia (and Mamamia Parents) and all mothers. Surely there is a dad amongst their writers who could have been represented here. Even if the page is aimed solely at mothers (but then you have to question why the non-gender specific Parents gets used), the absence of fathers promotes the mindset that dads are not really that important a parent to include, and that their absence is okay.

Mamamia Parents mothers only

iVillage Australia

I have been published twice by iVillage Australia and am very active on their website and Facebook page discussions. Possibly I am the only dad who is a regular reader/commenter, and that might be because of the perceived exclusion of dads on websites and Facebook pages like this.

Take a look at their Facebook page’s header. Recognise anyone in that montage? You should. Some of the photos used for the iVillage Australia are the exact same as the ones used in the Mamamia Parents Facebook page’s header. In fact, most of the writers write for both publications seeing they are sister publications (or should that be non-gender specific sibling publications?)

ivillage australia mothers only

I have brought it to the attention of those who post the updates and memes (like these sexist ones) on both the Mamamia Parents page and the iVillage Australia page that if they are supposed to be for parents, then they need to stop with the (how good am I?) mum only memes and start sharing parenting ones that both mums and dads can enjoy.

One of the pages, I can’t remember which (but I will find it) tagged me in a response and apologised and said that they would be more mindful in the future, and more inclusive of fathers. A pro-dad meme was shared later that evening followed by another a day or two later, but it wasn’t long before they started resorting back to addressing mothers only.

Mamamia (main website/Facebook page)

When the news broke about that mother driving her kids into the ocean in Florida back on the 6th March 2014, Mamamia gave a brief discription of the incident as they normally do on their “news in under 5 minutes” post of the day.

pregnant mum mom florida beach

Fathers killing kids often get caught on these pages before all the details are known. Husbands killing wives are there too. Random men killing random women (that’s not intended in the pejorative way) are headlined too.

But as soon as more details are known, there are endless stories about how we need to end this senseless killing by men. And then we are all tarred with the same brush. All of us men. But not this Florida mum. The fact that a mother was trying to kill her kids is swept under the carpet. It is forgotten about.

Constantly talking about violence against women, especially talking about dads killing mums, without promoting all those balanced stories where modern dads are evolving to be just as active in their children’s lives as how mothers traditionally have been is the driving force behind keeping those dads who are not active in the online community of parenting away.

How can we change this? How can we get dads more active online in parenting communities? Well we could start showing them on the covers of parenting magazines. And not just the one issue every five years.

We can include dads in montages used for headers of parenting websites. We can include dads in discussions and conversations. Instead of parenting pages starting a discussion with “can any mums help with this dilemma?” they could ask if any parents can help, or leave out the salutation altogether and simply ask “can you help with this dilemma?”

Then dads will start to help out with solving problems. Dads will be part of the community of parents, and dads can rejoice in the fact that society is taking them seriously with their relationship and their interaction with their children. After all, Dads Are Parents Too.

To find out more about the featured image, click here…

Good On Ya Mum Tip Top's The One

Is It Time For This Company To Change Their Advertising Slogan?

With our eldest son starting big school this year I have really taken notice of all the back to school marketing. The other day I saw this advertisement and whilst I grew up singing the jingle, I’m now wondering whether, in these modern times when there are many stay-at-home-dads, widowed fathers, single dads and proactive dads who look after their kids just as much as any mother would, should Tip Top Bakeries should change this slogan.

Tip Tip Bakeries have been using the “Good on ya Mum, Tip Top’s the one” slogan and jingle for as long as I can remember, and he’s an example that goes back to 1987.

Today was day five of our first born son’s life at school, and out of the five days he has attended, I have made his sandwiches three of those days, and fully packed his lunch-box on two of those occasions. So maybe a “Good on ya Dad, Tip Top ain’t bad” slogan is well overdue.

Back in 2010 they dropped this slogan in favour of Australia’s Favourite Bread. I’m not going to argue with that because I haven’t seen the figures, but I am sure they have the data to support that. But it only took them about a year for them to bring this back when they launched this cute “favourable to mothers” advert which had a surprise twist at the end.

But that’s all we got. And that’s all it seem we’ll ever get because the Facebook page and website plays solely on the “Good on ya Mum” motif and there’s little to no mention of dads except for that now distant memory of “…and dads” being added at the end of that one advert.

As I mentioned in my recent article “Would You Like Sexism With That?” about McCain’s Mum’s Cut Fries, I shop regularly for our family’s groceries and have input into what our family will buy and consume. So how does a display bin at the end of a supermarket aisle with “Good on ya Mum” supposed to entice a dad to want to buy that brand. I don’t feel like they want me to buy it.

I am not calling for a boycott of this product because they don’t work and I have no real issue with the brand as a product. I just hope that brands like these will engage dads in their marketing because it will be good for their business with more and more dads taking an active role, and it will help in the battle that dads like me fight nearly every day when we are promoting dads as something more than the stupid deadbeat dads portrayed in most adverts and television shows.

You can check out some other sexist adverts by clicking here…

Family Violence Partnerhip

Double Standards of Social Media Comments

I met my wife back in August 2007. We met for dinner on a Sunday night after she spent the weekend away with her sister and friends. During her return trip home she asked me if I was on Facebook and up until that day I hadn’t really given it any thought. That morning I set up my profile and uploaded a photo. Later that night, after I dropped her off at her apartment she logged on and invited me to become friends on Facebook. She was my first connection.

Over the next few weeks I was introduced to her friends. We would meet up with some for brunch, others for lunch, and of course many for nights out having a few drinks. As it was heading towards summer in Sydney, we were experiencing many hot days just made for catching up with friends and having a few cold ones on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Family Violence Partnerhip
This sparked a discussion in my Dad Blogger’s group
Picture Courtesy of http://www.coloribus.com/focus/public-awareness-advertising-child-abuse/11167855/

It was on one of these occasions that I was introduced to one of my wife’s sister’s good friends. I remember the day we met because of two things; she has what many women would call “hair to die for” and she was wearing a bright yellow dress which reminded me of the one that former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins wore at the launch of Myer’s Spring/Summer 2006 collection. Like many of my wife’s friends had done before, she connected with me on Facebook.

Fast forward a couple of years down the track. I think it was during her first pregnancy that she decided to go through her wardrobe and clear out many of her dresses and sell them on eBay. As many people do, she posted a status update to inform her friends that she was about to sell these items and if anyone was interested in any of them she would be willing to sell them off before listing them.

I can only go off memory and my best recollections of this event as we are no longer friends on Facebook – the reason why I will get to – but I remember many of her friends made some rather positive comments about her sense of style and the garments themselves. On one of her status updates about her pending sales I made a comment that read along these lines “well, if you’re selling that yellow dress you were wearing the day I met you, then there’s going to be one lucky girl whose partner will be suitably impressed.”

Shortly after, that comment was deleted and at the request of her husband we were no longer friends on Facebook. You see, because I had made a comment about how much I liked that dress, the assumption was that I had a thing for her. That is an interesting concept and in the current social environment that we live in, it is a perfectly understandable one. If a man makes a compliment about a woman, he MUST be attracted to her.

My wife has plenty of attractive friends; she wouldn’t be surprised to read that statement, so don’t worry about that affecting our relationship. One way that I know how attractive her friends are is that many of their female friends tell them. You see, it is not a strange thing for one woman to compliment another woman on her looks. And this is where I end my story and present to you the double standards of social media comments.

Men who make positive comments about women’s looks want to bed said women.

Example; Woman posts selfie of her dressed up ready to hit the town.

Comments from female friends which are acceptable;

“Wow you look hot in that dress”

“I love your hair, you look damn sexy.”

“Wow! You look amazing. Love it!!!!”

“You look gorgeous! Wear that one Saturday! It will go really well with mine!”

(Those are all real comments on various friends’ recent photos)

Comments from male friends which are not acceptable;

“Wow you look hot in that dress”

“I love your hair, you look damn sexy.”

“Wow! You look amazing. Love it!!!!”

“You look gorgeous! Wear that one Saturday! It will go really well with mine!”

(The last one would be exceptionally weird if I do say so myself).

Men who make positive comments about other men’s looks must be gay.

In the examples shown above, never is it assumed that when one woman makes a positive comment like these to another woman that either are lesbian or even that way inclined. Like best friends who kiss on the dance-floor to turn guys on, it doesn’t matter how sexual or sensual women’s comments or actions are, it is never assumed they are gay.

Example; Woman posts selfie of her dressed up ready to hit the town.

Comments from (straight) female friends which are acceptable;

“God you scrub up well. You are one sexy woman.”

Example; Man posts selfie of him dressed up in a suit.

Comments from (straight) male friends which are not acceptable;

“God you scrub up well. You are one sexy man.”

Men who make positive comments about children’s looks are paedophiles

One of my fellow Dad Bloggers recently posted in our private Facebook group one of those Photo-shopped advertisements created for the Family Violence Partnerhip in Milwaukee back in 2008. For those not familiar with the adverts, there were a series of three posters where the heads of prepubescent girls were Photo-shopped onto the bodies of big breasted women.

We were all pretty disturbed by this, as were the test audience back in 2008 which is why the campaigned was dismissed. But during our discussion it got me thinking about comments that women/mothers can make about children versus those that men/fathers can make.

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Example; A mother or father posts a photo of their son on Facebook.

Comments from female friends which are acceptable;

“OMG he’s gorgeous. He’s going to be popular with the ladies when he’s older.”

“I bet the girls will think he’s a hunk once he hits high school.”

“He has beautiful piercing eyes. He reminds me of a young Matt Bomer*.”

(*An actor that many women find attractive and I guess would love to, you know, bed…)

Example; A mother or father posts a photo of their daughter on Facebook.

Comments from male friends which are not acceptable;

“OMG she’s gorgeous. She’s going to be popular with the men when she’s older.”

“I bet the boys will think she’s hot once she hits high school.”

 “She has beautiful piercing eyes. She reminds me of a young Charlize Theron*.”

(*An actress that many men find attractive and I guess would love to, you know, bed…)

I have to admit that I have gone to extremes with some of those comments, but even if you tone down the way it’s been written, the sentiment is still the same.

All of the examples that I have given are aimed at highlighting the difference in the language we allow women to use and disallow men to use, and I expect that these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to double standards.

So what do you think, do we have double standards for the way men comment on things as opposed to the way women do? Do women get away with more than men do?