Mums? What about dads?

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benaldo
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Mums? What about dads?

Postby benaldo » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:26 pm

Hiya - I've just signed up to this forum, and am wondering why the confirmation email I got says "NappyValleyNet: a mum's guide to
SW London Life".

Why not "parents"?
Am I, as a dad, not welcome?

It seems extremely, and pointlessly, sexist.
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Mjm
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby Mjm » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:04 am

You are very welcome and I'd love to see more dads join up. I know dads face a lot of challenges when looking after children - being sidelined, feeling ignored and even stared at when attending baby classes for example. Enjoy the forum and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
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juliantenniscoach
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby juliantenniscoach » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:54 am

I'm a dad. It's not sexist at all. But clearly the target market is based on reality. That being that 90%+ of full & part time at home parents and carers are female.
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benaldo
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby benaldo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:23 am

Perhaps 'unnecessarily exclusive' then?

You're right, Petal - all those things are very sexist.

I'd like to be part of the solution to that by not having spaces where the 'reality' is assumed. It just helps perpetuate the problem.

Anyway... rant over.
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papinian
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby papinian » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:50 am

petal wrote:Oh and perhaps its SEXIST that women still earn less than men!
I recognise that this is a very general statement, but these days this is no longer true as regards the U.K.

A number of newspapers published stories last August reporting that based on ONS figures women in their 20s earn more than men of the same age and that women and men in their 30s earn the same (women in fact earn 0.2% more).
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/a ... tudy-finds
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ecade.html

The reason women in their late 30s and 40s still earn less than men is quite simply that they work shorter hours than men and are more likely to work in part time rather than full time jobs. There's a whole issue around allocation of family/household responsibilities and whether women end up being left with the responsibilities.
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benaldo
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby benaldo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:42 pm

Surely a website that's about parenting (not about being a mum?) and that has a pink logo with a woman pushing a pram is only helping to perpetuate any damaging stereotypes?

Funny to see the Gentleman & A Van ad up there next to it - blue, man in top hat... All so predictable. It all just says "Women do pink mumsy things, men do blue worky van-drivey things".

This website provides a lot of useful information and connections, but it's format and approach is part of a big problem.
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benaldo
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby benaldo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:51 pm

Mjm wrote:You are very welcome and I'd love to see more dads join up. I know dads face a lot of challenges when looking after children - being sidelined, feeling ignored and even stared at when attending baby classes for example. Enjoy the forum and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Hiya Mjm - do you work for the site? Do you think dads are likely to sign up to a site that is so clearly pitched at mums?
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jg75
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby jg75 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:39 pm

Benaldo - it's a really good point and something I've always noticed on this site! I am always glad to hear the dads' point of view to any debate and I think that their membership should be encouraged. I also strongly believe that women's equality in the workplace will only ever be achieved when more men take on childcaring responsibilities. In many cases, they are discouraged from doing so at work so the truly progressive workplaces are those which apply flexible working policies equally to both women and men. So I do think there is food for thought for the owners of this site, as we should be inviting more men to join and access the forums which are really helpful for parents (mums and dads alike).

Papinian, I think your comment is a little misleading - some women are forced out of the workplace when they return from maternity leave through hostile attitudes at work. You only have to monitor the posts on this site, I am always saddened to see how many people are suffering discrimination and I am friends with a handful of people who have been pushed out of their work post-baby (and the result has either been that their confidence has been knocked and they have given up entirely, or in some cases have had to accept work at another company with less pay). I know from experience that it is very difficult when applying for jobs as a new mother as people automatically make assumptions about you. All these things are subtle and difficult to quantify, but I have no doubt that they are often a factor in reducing the pay of women when compared to men in similar roles.
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AbbevilleMummy
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:08 pm

What really, really irritates the hell out of me is hearing men complain that the slightest tiny little thing is sexist. Describing this forum as "extremely sexist" is absolutely ridiculous!

This site is aimed at the high number of mums in this area. This is their target market. And therefore the branding and marketing are aimed at that market. That doesn't mean that men are not allowed to register and contribute. As a man you are not being discriminated against. You are simply not the target audience for the marketing. Big deal.

Extreme sexism (your words) is not being able to vote because of your sex, or not being able to drive, or not being able to leave the house alone, or not having an education, or not being paid the same, or not getting the same opportunities, or being leared at and talked down to, I could obviously go on and on as women have been subject to all this BS for years and still do across the world!

Welcome to the site, please contribute, but enough of this sexist rubbish please!!
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benaldo
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby benaldo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:17 pm

What really irritates me are people (men and women) who claim to want gender equality, and either can't see the gender inequalities right in front of them, or think that gender inequality towards the male gender is okay because they think it balances things up.

There is no equivalent forum to this for parents to discuss parenting. It's a shame that this one couldn't be marketed just to parents. Wouldn't that work? Could that be changed now? Don't you think that'd be great? Or is there something specific about this site that only mums can get?

That it targets and markets to mums perpetuates, in my view, the gender inequalities that it sounds like we all want to see addressed.

You'll see that I originally referred only to the confirmation email I'd got. I'd signed up to NappyValleyNet, with no mention of mums. But the email welcomes me to "NappyValleyNet: a mum's guide to SW London Life".

To suggest that I shouldn't point out gender inequalities and websites that encourage them, either because I am a man or because I'm on one of the sites in question, is bonkers.

Now I'm going to go to the pub with my mates and neck pints while watching the footy while the missus stays home and changes some nappies.
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papinian
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby papinian » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:45 pm

AbbevilleMummy wrote:Extreme sexism (your words) is not being able to vote because of your sex, or not being able to drive, or not being able to leave the house alone, or not having an education, or not being paid the same, or not getting the same opportunities, or being leared at and talked down to, I could obviously go on and on as women have been subject to all this BS for years and still do across the world!
What utter rubbish as regards the U.K. As regards being able to drive, women have always been able to just as much as men. My grandmother was driving in the 1930s. Women have had the same right to vote and the same access to higher education as men for over eighty years. I've already answered earlier in the thread the point about not being paid the same. To use your own language, it irritates the hell out of me when women complain that they are not paid as much as men but don't want to work the hours or do the less desirable jobs that men do - how many women street cleaners do you see?

I would also note the millions of men that were killed fighting in World War I and World War II (as well as ever other war). I don't think any British women ended up getting mowed down on the Somme in 1917. Historically, there have been benefits to being a woman rather than a man and not only disadvantages.
jg75 wrote:I know from experience that it is very difficult when applying for jobs as a new mother as people automatically make assumptions about you. All these things are subtle and difficult to quantify, but I have no doubt that they are often a factor in reducing the pay of women when compared to men in similar roles.
And I know from personal experience that when a new father says that he wants to do a 4 day week so he has more time with his children he is told that it's not possible, but when a new mother asks the same she is more likely to be accommodated. The new father is told that he's not going to be given a 4 day week just so he can have another day on the golf course.
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AbbevilleMummy
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:03 pm

Papinian, at what point did I say that I was referring to the UK? What does it matter whether the discrination is happening on these shores or not? I have no idea what your point is! It offends all women all over the world to hear that women in other parts of the world are discriminated against because of their sex.

Are for the gender pay gap, there is one. That is a fact. And it is not just because women work fewer hours. How stupidly simplistic of you. There is a pay gap when comparing female high performing executives with their male counterparts. Like for like, women are paid less.

Are you trying to argue that women are not subjected to sexism on a regular basis? Are you not a believer?! Or are you just saying that because we were not allowed to fight for our country in WWI and subsequently die young that we should just be satisfied with our lot for all eternity??

And as for thinking that you are able to comment on what it is like to try to negotiate with your employer so that you can have the sheer hell of juggling your career and kids, well don't get me started....
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papinian
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby papinian » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:57 pm

AbbevilleMummy wrote:Are for the gender pay gap, there is one. That is a fact. And it is not just because women work fewer hours. How stupidly simplistic of you. There is a pay gap when comparing female high performing executives with their male counterparts. Like for like, women are paid less.
What I said wasn't stupid and it wasn't simplistic. I linked to newspaper stories that reported the ONS statistics rather than talking a load of unsupported rubbish.

Your original statement was regarding women being paid less than men. Now you are trying to switch it to whether "female high performing executives" are paid less than their male counterparts. Very different statements. I guess you see the 99% of women who are not high performing executives as irrelevant.
AbbevilleMummy wrote:And as for thinking that you are able to comment on what it is like to try to negotiate with your employer so that you can have the sheer hell of juggling your career and kids, well don't get me started....
I certainly think I am able to comment on this. I am not the only man who juggles work and family responsibilities. The idea that men do not (or should not) have to juggle these is in large part responsible for the juggling being a problem for women.
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Annabel (admin)
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby Annabel (admin) » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:36 pm

Hello everyone
Thank you so much for all the comments on this thread.

There are a number of really really important and interesting questions raised here and I'd love to reply to them right now but I am out tonight and want to reply in a reasoned manner.

Putting aside, however, any NVN specifics can we please please please keep this conversation friendly?

I haven't had to lock any threads in December so far and I'd hate for this to be the first of the Xmas season!

Thank you, as always, for using NVN!

:-)
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pie81
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Re: Mums? What about dads?

Postby pie81 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:15 pm

Totally with you benaldo.

So many websites, adverts, TV programmes, toys just reinforce the stereotype that "mums" do the childcaring and stay at home whilst "dads" go to work or pub (at most they mow the lawn or occasionally burn the kids tea)

This kind of gender stereotyping does nobody any favours, either men OR women. It just makes it harder for any man who wants to more of the childcaring or any woman who wants to stay in a demanding job - because they are going against the expectations built by these media representations.

Yes it may be a small thing that NVN says it is aimed at "mums" and has a mum pushing a buggy as its logo, but it is millions of such small things that together cause the problem.

Annabel it would be lovely if you would change "mums" to "locals" and perhaps have both parents pushing the buggy?
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