I’m honored to have been interviewed by reporter Martha Ross for a piece she had published in today’s San Jose Mercury News entitled Dad bloggers rewrite rules of fatherhood. You can read the full article on their Web site, but I’ll just highlight the parts were I’m quoted, just in case you have a limited attention span.
I also want to note what I did and didn’t say, because as with many interviews I’ve given, what you say to the reporter and what ends up in the final piece are sometimes a little bit different…
…as much as men want to be hands-on parents, society continues to send messages that they can’t measure up to women in the nurturing department, Vienna and other bloggers say.
“I do think the deck is stacked against men,” says Dave Taylor, of Boulder, Colorado, whose GoFatherhood.com blog describes the challenges of raising three kids, ages 18, 14 and 11, after divorce.
So far, so good. That’s indeed part of what I said in our phone interview and something I’ve written about more than once here on my blog too.
Here’s the relevant section of the Merc, with my fellow Dad and friend Mike Heenan sporting a Stay At-Home Dad group T-shirt and doing that Dad thing:
Having said that, and having seen us writ large in a major US newspaper, I have to candidly admit that I don’t recall talking much at all about the Huggies commercial other than to say that was one of the big topics at the first Dad 2.0 Summit conference. And yet, here’s how it came out in the piece itself:
For Taylor, an example of this stacked deck is the now-infamous 2012 Huggies commercial that perpetrated the bumbling dad stereotype by depicting fathers as too immersed in watching sports to remember to change their babies’ diapers.
The Huggies case galvanized the dad blogger community. They cried foul, prompting representatives from Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies, to come to the first Dad 2.0 summit, held in Austin, Texas, to apologize.
Nonetheless, it’s great to be quoted in a newspaper article about how dad bloggers are working to change the perception of fatherhood in contemporary culture and whether we’re a big contributor or small, I think it’s terrific to see that there are some changes in how men are portrayed in caretaker and nurturer roles, as clearly demonstrated in the latest round of Superbowl advertisements.
And about Huggies diapers? Yeah, the advert was dumb when it came out, but it’d been years since I’d changed a diaper and even when we had diapers, we used cloth, not disposable. Well, except the night-time pull-ups, which I did opt to have as disposables for the benefit of not having to change sheets or otherwise deal with any accidents in the morning. But that’s been many years since too. And thank goodness.
Now about how fair – or unfair – us men have it in a court of law when we’re fighting for equal time and equal rights as a parent during a divorce. But that’s another windmill to tilt at, perhaps.
“Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants?
I intend to do battle with them and slay them!”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote