Dads are parents, too

mylicon1We’ve heard more than one SAHD’s story about being left out of the conversation while at the local park amongst a group of SAHMs.  And for a dad to get invited to a SAHMs’ playgroup – that’s even less likely to happen.  It’s hard to say if this is the norm, but it happens.

And, it’s unfortunate and unavoidable.

But when the topic is childcare, and a company purposely creates a moms-only club without a dad counterpart?

That’s blatant sexism.  The featured ad – found in a parents magazine, natch – recently caught our eye.  It doesn’t even bother relinquishing dad to the assistant role, it downright ignores him.

Over at mylicon.com, it only gets worse, where it offers Mylicon Moms, yet no similar club for dads.  Read the language on this page; look how Mylicon completely ignores fathers and makes them feel like outsiders:

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How can a dad feel like one with this kind of treatment?  And all this, from a company that claims to offer an “unparalleled experience for consumers.”

Really?  Dads are consumers, and “unparalleled” means “having no equal.”  Sadly, Mylicon has equals, but for all the wrong reasons – among companies who continue to disregard dad as an equal parent.

It’s another example of exclusionary marketing that screams of old fashioned ignorance and chauvinism, as if dads can’t, don’t, or won’t handle basic family health care.

Mylicon, please do what is right, and include dad as part of your marketing mission – because dads who know, know there’s other options for painful gas.

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You may look like a dad, but we’re going to call you a mom

similac13It would’ve been great to be a fly on the wall when the male model (featured in this ad) got the call from his talent agent to appear in this Similac magazine ad:

Agent: How’s my favorite client?
Model: I’m good.
A: Great news – I landed you a new photo shoot for a parents magazine ad.
M: That’s cool. What’s the company?
A: Similac.
M: Similac?
A: You know, they make baby formula.
M: Oh, right.
A: Anyway, they want you to appear in a grocery store aisle holding a cute little baby.
M: Simple enough.
A: But there’s one catch…
M: What’s that?
A: They want to call you a mom.
M: (Momentary pause) A mom? But I’m a guy.
A: I know, I know. You’ll still be playing the part of a dad, but you see, their tagline is “Welcome to the Sisterhood of Motherhood.”
M: But dads aren’t moms.
A: True, but Similac likes to use “mom” as a synonym for “parent.”
M: (Awkward silence) But isn’t baby formula the perfect product to sell to dads, especially since they can’t breastfeed?
A: Right again, but they don’t need dads as customers.
M: Why not?
A: Because they say only women take care of kids and shop.
M: But I shop.
A: You’re single. When you get married and have kids, you don’t shop anymore. That’s a mother’s job.
M: That seems kind of sexist.
A: But Similac is paying you big money to look and act like a dad. (Awkward silence) They just want to call you a mom.
M: Now it all makes sense. Where do I sign?

Once again, Similac takes the shared role of parenting and needlessly genders its product – thus turning it into a mothers-only thing. It’s all the more troubling because they (gasp), used the word “parent” twice in its ad copy, only to follow up with its obdurate tagline. It concludes with a partisan invitation for only moms to converse further on social media.

The ad looks even more abnormal when you consider its “sisterhood” theme of supporting the choice between breast- and bottle-feeding – and then reflect on the same underlying “choice” theme in this particular heading – with a dad included. Breastfeeding and a dad?

We like to think that, at some point, Similac will discontinue this madness of posing dads in ads and calling them mothers in a sisterhood, but it has company when it comes to miscasting roles.