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Behind the Iron Curtain..umm Parenting room door

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I was recently shopping with Kid X and Ernie at Doncaster shopping centre when I came upon an anomaly, the sign for the parents room had a female symbol (with dress shapes on the body) with a child symbol. Kid X needed to go and,well, when an almost 3 something decides they gotta go, well they gotta go. I had a big decision to make, should I use the parents room even though my gender was excluded from the sign?

Now, I know what you are thinking, oh woe is Chubba, the poor dad getting the blunt end of the poker yet again or for the deserved first time. Well I am not whinging about the exclusion of males from the parenting room sign, I am more disappointed for all of those women (and men) who voiced outrage at Kochie last week. Kochie voiced an attitude that I suspect exists in the minds of many Australians, that parenting is women’s business, secret women’s business. Those who got online and raised  their concerns did a great job getting many people to think about an issue that hampers a nursing mothers ability to go out in public for 6 to 12 months after child birth.

Kochie didn’t want to see boobs, yes there’s no doubting that truth, but I think if you unpack why he felt this way, it is more an issue with parenting in general.  I am sure he thinks breastfeeding is natural and doesn’t have a problem with women doing it. However, he, like a lot of the population, think it’s natural but only for women in front of a select few (generally women oh and maybe the dad if they cover up). This like the other 8 million aspects of parenting (despite some dads best efforts) that has fallen to women.

What causes this feeling that parenting is the woman’s job? Is it morning television? Is it the countless parenting magazines that berate and trivialise males involvement in parenting? Is it the advertising industry who promote baby products purely to women or is it the embedded little things like this parent room sign?

The disappointment is around how embedded the gender parenting divide is. It’s bigger than Kochie, it’s bigger than breakfast TV, it’s not a stupid sign, it’s changing a culture and opening up parenting to both sexes and unfortunately we still have a long way to go.

Did I use the parents room? Absolutely I did, I proudly marched my kids in, only to walk in on a mother breast feeding, doing it “discreetly”. All I could do is think is our society forcing parenting behind the iron curtain umm…. iron automatic door. 

Last modified on Sunday, 27 January 2013 21:42


  • Comment Link kim@fallingfacefirst Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:34 posted by kim@fallingfacefirst

    OMG Chubba please excuse my DUMBNESS - too many browser windows open (at last count 20?!). Nice to meet your blog.

  • Comment Link Kim@fallingfacefirst Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:32 posted by Kim@fallingfacefirst

    Nice work Tork - smash that iron door! Oh.. and did you notice how the mother is only able to take her male child there? That shopping centre has ISSUES.


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