I have made an observation of my life these past few months as I creep closer and closer to the "official" beginning of middle age. It seems my level of righteous indignation at the injustices of this world is increasing at a rate proportional to the amount that I am sweating at night. Which is to say - a whole damn lot!
One particular injustice or societal trend I keep seeing over and over, is something I call the fetishization of men who assume roles of caregiver/feminist/allies. I don't know if there is a technical phrase for this phenomenon, so I kind of made one up. I like to call it, #givingmenallthecookies.
This is why women can’t have nice things in this world. And by nice things, I obviously mean economic, political and societal equality.
You know what I am talking about. You see the one man wearing a baby in a baby carrier at the playground or the mall, something women do all the damn time (while also doing many other things I would add), and he gets fawned over like he might actually be the ONLY man on the planet at that very moment.
Or how about the man who got invited to the White House to talk about parental leave because he was denied leave from his employer when his child was born? A few years ago, I sat in a giant conference room full of American mothers, all of whom had zero leave when they had children, as they unironically applauded this man like he was some kind of parental-leave messiah. As one of the few Canadian women in the room (I actually had a full 52 weeks of parental leave - twice!!), I was very confused by this. Why is it that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of women can fight for something for decades, but the minute it affects a man, and he has something to say about it, it becomes front page news and is White House invitation worthy? Why are the feels of this one new father so much more important than those of the countless mothers who have come before him and have been fighting, seemingly unseen and unheard, for maternity leave in the USA forever?
The most recent example of #givingmenallthecookies that had me all hot and bothered, was at a recent blogging and social media awards presentation. The list of nominees was impressive. New faces and established bloggers alike, and included many women changing the world through their words, businesses, and online presence. These awards are an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of many in making these spaces for themselves and others, and at THIS conference, which is primarily targeted at women in the parent blogging community, we celebrate our own. Or so I thought.