So, do daddy bloggers need special treatment?

An interesting question posed by a female journo in reaction to the Britmum’s BiB award category of daddy blogger of the year. Slightly spoilt I must say by her later admission “with a couple of exceptions, most notably Single Parent Dad, I never read daddy blogs. I have enough trouble trying to read all the mummy blogs I like, but I’m not actually interested in daddy blogs.” 

I can see the pros and cons myself of an award category that highlights a particular niche area based on gender, not least calls of tokenism or demands to let them compete in their own merits.

family firendly?

I’m massively against positive discrimination is all walks of life. Female only MP selection boards, calls for more female directors at FTSE100 companies, all on the face of it seem to focus on gender rather than ability. Why then does it continue? I suppose beneath it all there is the struggle to give women the platform to show what they can do. It’s an oxymoron that artificial promotion is sometimes needed to give women in society a level playing field but I’m struggling to think of a better way to do it. At least it’s better than it used to be.

But seriously, a bit of fag packet maths shows dad bloggers make up about 1% of the Britmums membership (based on 42 dad blogs nominated, and a membership of 4,000? Maybe that’s way too high, even if it was 2,000 it would still only be 2% though).

I often get a really interesting insight into the sort of stuff women have to put up with everyday of their lives when I go to blogging events. The polite patronising about how “wonderful” it is that dad’s blog (I’ve been parent blogging since May 2009. I wrote my first website back in 1994), and the assumption I’ve been doing it for 5 minutes. I never complain, blokes have it easy in so much of life compared to the struggle that women have. It was the same when I broke my ankle and spent a week at a conference in a wheelchair, you would have thought the injury was to my head not my foot, the way people talked over me to whoever was with me.

So yes, I can understand some peoples desire to keep Britmums for the mums, even though dads were there as members in the days when there were a couple of hundred members. I’ve been a member longer than the vast majority of the mums. I don’t agree with the desire for exclusivity but I can understand it. The real problem as I see it, and a problem that a lot of mums don’t seem to realise is societies attitude towards fatherhood.

When I wrote about paternity leave and going back to work for CiF, I got a barrage of abuse from men for saying I was upset about leaving my new little family on its own and going back to work after less than a fortnight.

I had comments like:

  • The first day back to work after vacation is always a struggle.
  • For pity’s sake, you’re supposed to be a provider. Get on with it and stop moaning.
  • there’s always one in every crowd who wants to go against nature. and ruin it for the rest of us. shut it.
There is still a massive stigma about being an involved dad and that is part of the reason I blog about the subject. As long as we make up one or two in every hundred parent bloggers out there, where exactly is the harm in showcasing the different voice and perspective we have to offer? I see it more like the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. The nominees are not made to compete with all the English language titles but at the end of the day some films that people would never have heard of get a bit of publicity. That can only be a good thing.
For me it’s not about winning, which is just as well as I have a 100% failure rate in blogging awards, but it’s a platform to talk about being a dad, which these sort of awards give.
Ironically this attitude seems to put me at odds with most of the dad bloggers out there but hey, that’s okay because we’re all different and all entitled to our own opinion. vive la différence or something.