For all the positive mojo Disney cranks out on a regular basis, it appears to have a genuine problem with finding – how shall we say it – balance.
Last week a story circulated on the Internet titled, “Where Are the Moms in the Star Wars Galaxy?” The writer argued that while mothers do play a role in the Star Wars universe, they don’t receive as much thematic prominence as father-son/child relationships. It’s a thought-provoking piece with strong merit – highly recommended.
Then, just two days later, Disney Parks revealed the members of its 10th annual Moms Panel – an online forum for everyday people to share helpful tips and vacation planning advice.
The problem is, the panel isn’t a representative sample of everyday people – it’s overwhelmingly comprised of only moms. Of course, this is not a bad thing, but the imbalance is; it’s important to remember that dads are part of families, and vacation planning involves them, because they too have plenty to share with potential travelers about the topic.
But Disney awkwardly placed a lone dad on this year’s Moms Panel, thereby disrespecting and ignoring his parental title and thus cutting last year’s dad total – if you can believe it – in half.
Its actions disregard fathers as fully competent, equal parents, much in the same vein that Jif Peanut Butter’s long-standing catchphrase excludes dads as dedicated customers.
We wrote about the Disney Parks Moms Panel last fall and received positive feedback from readers who also implored Disney to catch up with the modern world and to better represent what families mean today.
We realize that equality takes time, so we didn’t expect Disney to instantly even out the number of women and men on the panel, although doing so would rightfully provide a true representation of all parenting travel issues. However, we thoughtfully anticipated a name change in the spirit of authentic, modern parenting.
Unfortunately, Disney let us all down, because it’s not just dads that end up on the short end of the stick. It’s the kids and the spouses who deserve a vacation planned at least partly through a fatherly perspective. But they’ll hardly get that, because instead, dads are being treated like second-class parents who simply don’t matter.
Hilton also operates a similar travel panel with a comparable name – Hilton Mom Voyage – and it has a mere three dads among 30 panelists.
Echoing the words of the Star Wars column, dads deserve better.
The members of next year’s Disney panel will be announced soon enough, but why wait that long to properly rename the panel?
Disney, let’s make things right, because families are stronger – and vacations are more magical – when we’re united as parents.
I am a Disney Dad and do a majority of the planning for our family and several friends. Sure mom’s can offer great advice, but there are simply too many Father/Son questions to have only 1 panel member. Sad that Disney feels only moms can offer advice for families!
I think they should rename it… Disney Parks Parents Panel… and they can even benefit from the alliteration LOL.