Over the past several days, my Twitter timeline has been filled with dad bloggers who are rallying behind a cause. They’ve been using phrases like “words matter,” ” be inclusive” and “equal rights.” The sheer number of tweets, retweets and posts created have caused news outlets like CNN, FOX News and The Today Show to run features on the issue. With all this attention, it must be important. Is it for equal rights for same-sex parents? Perhaps it’s about access to healthcare or voting rights. Nope.
The goal of these dad bloggers is to get Amazon to change the name of one of their programs from Amazon Mom to Amazon Family. Seriously? When we look at issues and problems we face every day, the way a company choses to deliver a marketing message to potential customers seems like it should be low on the priority list. Where is this type of groundswell for issues that could actually help save lives? As dad bloggers, we should be putting our collective energies behind helping our children, not protecting our egos. ABC News reports that 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying with 160,000 kids staying home from school every day because they fear bullying. Teens who are bullied/bullies are 2-9 times more likely to commit suicide. According to the CDC, teen suicide accounts for about 4,400 deaths each year. Yes, those are numbers we can help change if we come together and work toward educating parents, teachers and students about how to effectively change an environment where people are being bullied. This is just one example where dads can make a difference, there are many others.
Why did so many people jump on the Amazon Family bandwagon? I have some ideas.
- It isn’t controversial. It can be posted to Twitter feeds and FaceTime timelines and not have to worry about offending anyone or risk losing followers.
- It’s easy. It doesn’t take much effort to write a tweet – after all, it’s only 140 characters.
- You get to be “political.” You get to feign outrage at a social injustice that is tearing the fabric of American families apart.
Let’s be honest. It’s about ego. Dads want to be recognized for the fact they are taking a more active role in raising their kids. It’s great that they are, but the only place a dad needs to look for validation they’re doing the right thing is in the eyes of their children. In twenty years what will matter more, the fact your child had a role model who loved and cared for them or that a company (which may or may not even be around anymore) tried to sell cheap diapers to “moms?”