I remember when I first started The Dadabase three years ago on May 23, 2011, one of my main agendas was to positively rebrand fatherhood in media. I was very forthright about it in my very first Dadabase post, “Welcome To The Dadabase“:
“I admit that much of my inspiration as a daddy blogger is to rebrand fatherhood as the glorious thing that it is. I’m tired of dads being represented by goofy schlubs who don’t remember their wedding anniversary until the last minute and who don’t know how to behave in public without making a mess of something.”
Since May 2011, I have been publically documenting when companies get “dad ads” right (like Robinsons) and when they get them wrong (like Robitussin).
If part of my role in media as a daddy blogger has been to help make it taboo for companies to bash dads and continue portraying them as bumbling idiots, then I feel my job is about done by now.
The ad proclaims, “For all the times they’ve answered our call… Isn’t it time we celebrate Dads?”
I feel like Dove has finally hammered the final nail in the coffin as far as putting to death this idea that dads are unnecessary or useless, as media has had a habit of portraying things for the past several decades.
For dads, it has always come down to respect.
Plus, I feel that things are balancing out now to where companies realize they literally can’t afford to bash dads like they use to.
History has now shown us that a diaper company who releases an insulting dad ad must expect major social media backlash. The Huggies backlash of 2012 will forever serve as bookmark in the hard lesson of dad-bashing advertising.
It’s so easy these days for anyone to be labelled a bigot or a racist on Twitter; because after all, it makes news headlines now when it even appears someone might possibly say something out of context that could slightly hint at them being either of those things. (See Stephen Colbert.)
Similarly, there is now an army of very involved dads who won’t hesitate to “Twitter shame” the company if tcompanies dare make the boneheaded move to portray a dad as a bonehead.
Like me, many of these dads immediately publish a blog post about it to spread the word that “so-and-so company” hasn’t gotten the memo than in 2014, you can’t get away with that stuff anymore.
So, Internet trolls laced the comments section of the Cheerios ad with hateful messages of racism.
As you’re about to see in the ad, a biracial family is featured. The Internet trolls used this as a target to upset people… and unfortunately, they were very successful.
They were so successful that the comments on the ad have since been deleted. Plus, no one can leave a comment on the ad anymore, because of the Internet trolls’ success of basically making it seem like America is full of outspoken racists.
But I do believe that America has enough select sick people to cause a riot on the Internet. They knew the masses would be angered. They knew that the overwhelming majority of Americans are not racists and would get quite a rise out of the trolls’ racist remarks.
Unlike the traditional racist who is very ignorant yet extremely focused on hating a certain group of people, Internet trolls are careless about who they indirectly hate. I don’t know which is worse…
Okay, I told you that the “Just Checking” Cheerios ad is awesome. Here it is:
As a daddy blogger who is extremely focused on spotlighting ads, TV shows, and movies that feature dads in a positive and active role, I love (!) this ad.
I noticed that the acting is superb. It’s so believable and candid, that I actually caught myself thinking, “What a cool family.”
Then I reminded myself they’re just actors.
This ad is fresh, funny, and promotes good health. And for the fact that you eat Cheerios in a plastic baggy every morning on the way to school, I can even say that we honestly support the product they’re selling.
That doesn’t happen very often in this health-nut family you’re a part of.
P.S. Beware of Internet trolls, even in the comments section of this, too!
It was a sort of liberating experience a few weeks ago at the Nashville Zoo, to realize A) that in addition to carrying around my son’s diaper bag, sort of like a purse, I was also actuallytoting my wife’s purse and B) I was strangely okay with that.
If you know me in the least little bit, you know how it’s simply my nature to ask deep, random questions both in real life and on Facebook, like “What is the male equivalent of a feminist?”
The first answer I received confirmed my own preconceived answer: “Wouldn’t that be a male chauvinist?” (It was a female who said that.)
The second response I got confirmed my own understanding of what feminism simply is:
“Good feminism: a movement to eliminate gender-based discrimination against females; promote fairness and equality previously not experienced by females in society; and expand the gender roles of females beyond traditionally accepted roles which previously limited their contributions, productivity, and value to society.”
By the way, it was a guy, Mike Zeigler, who gave that answer. He went on to further explain my frustrations with the kind of feminism that annoys me:
“Bad feminism: a movement to revolt against the male gender and usurp their position of dominance to the extent that women achieve complete dominance and precedence over men, thereby emasculating and feminizing men in the process.”
Meanwhile in the land of Twitter, fellow daddy blogger Zach Rosenberg of 8-Bit Dad gave an answer that caught me by surprise. I never thought of this, but I think he’s on to something:
“A feminist. Men, especially fathers, make the best feminists.”
What if the answer to my question is that simple? The male equivalent of a feminist is a man who himself is a feminist.
Look back to that paragraph defining “good feminism.” That’s what I believe in, support, and depend on. How can I not back feminism like that? I’m married to a woman and we have a son together.
If that’s not the kind of movement I am a fan of, then I am simply irrelevant as a modern dad. Therefore, in all seriousness, I consider myself a feminist.
Let’s back up again, though- all the way to the title. Why was it necessary for me to specify “heterosexual” dad?
The main reason is that as a heterosexual man, I can not relate to the social injustices that women, as well as homosexuals, have encountered throughout history.
To make matters worse, I happen to be middle class and white. Clearly, I do not represent a minority in any traditional sense: not for my gender, race, income level, nor sexual orientation.
Quite possibly, I am demographically the most unpitied stereotype in America. So for me to claim to be a feminist, it’s natural to assume I’m joking or making light of the subject; attempting to be ironic for a canned laugh. But I’m not.
It may not count for much, but for the simple fact that corporately sponsored daddy bloggers are extremely rare and I just happen to be one of them, representing the many dedicated dads out there who truly aren’t male chauvinists, maybe I actually do know a thing or two about being part of a minority.