Daddy Can Change Diapers Too!

My friend Olu sort of prompted my writing Na man you be-1B with his dissatisfaction about the slant of the post, I didn’t quite agree with him even though I eventually saw his point.  I like arguing with him though- he has such a pretty pout. Anyway the new post still elicited a flurry of back and forth on WhatsApp, with him thinking that Nigerian Breweries- makers of Gulder weren’t trying to be insulting of women but just ignored them because they weren’t their target market.

 

He said we don’t see men in diaper (pampers) commercials- it’s true, I’ve never seen a man in one. And men have not screamed discrimination- they should! In the same vein, beer commercials do not have women as key players and that is why they can get away with “Na man you be”.
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So why don’t we have men in diapers commercials? Why can’t we see a daddy changing his child’s diapers? Diapers are pretty easy to use unlike cloth nappies that required some skills (I remember how my mum would fold it in a triangle and wrap my brother in it before securing it with huge safety pins). Do they forbid men to change diapers on TV- as they say in Benin (do they forbid you from doing x or y)?
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Why do they always show only women cooking in seasoning adverts, after all many men cook. The major chefs in the world are even male… ironic innit? Why do we just have women cooking in such adverts and never the men? Even here we still have men dominating certain cooking spheres, chef fregz, chef stone, the chefs in your fancy hotels and restaurants etc. Watch knorr test quest and see how men dominate. Speaking of knorr- which I use, I might just have an advert concept that’s awesome for a seasoning company…ndi knorr buzz me and pay me well.

 

There are many subtle and not so subtle biases that adverts continue to perpetuate, you know this right! Let’s know your thoughts in the comment section.

 
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PS: I went on google to find pictures of men changing diapers and I am sad to say that I didn’t see any picture of an African in google image search. Even after using the term African-American man changing diapers, I could only find five pictures and only two of them showed the process of changing diapers. I think there’s something lacking with our concept of fatherhood as race. Thoughts?

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17 Comments

  1. I wasn’t going to comment maka you have not been replying but I have an awesome father and I feel a need to defend fathers.
    1. The problem is not with our concept of fatherhood as a race, the problem is with the mentality with which our men are raised. When I was growing up, my mom would pull me out of the parlor where I was watching TV and send me on multitudes of errands, to wash plates etc. She did not do that with Chike. He practiced personally sha. Then Chike had to move, first to Ibadan, then Port Harcourt so Chike had no choice but to learn how to cook.
    2. I used to make my little brother food. Which was a herculean task in a way because we got home at the same time (secondary school and nursery school) and do all the carrying and fetching for the house. Until the day I asked him to get something for me and he told me that it was my job.
    The point, patterns tend to be repeated. That’s why there’s hardly a man with a father who beats or humiliates his mother that has genuine respect for women.
    My mother had done most of the cooking, cleaning and fetching in her house so she was making me do it too. My dad who knows how to cook, hardly ever did that. The point is not with the fathers themselves, the point is in replicating patterns of destructive behavior in our homes. I’m not criticizing the article, by the way. Just pointing out something which is totally irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and contains a little too Mich personal information.

    Reply

    1. I have been indicted by Barr Obianuju.
      I’d been having mega issues with Airtel network, even uploading posts was a challenge. I’d practically have to go to the highest building to upload posts. Replying was a nightmare, sometimes I got lucky, other times… I’ve moved to glo though, it’s marginally better.
      Criticism is allowed, it’s welcomed even. No one learns from hearing “it’s fine” or “it’s wonderful”.
      The “mentality” is the problem with us. Other races were chauvinistic too, some people gave their lives for the “freedom” those societies enjoy today. We refused to evolve, we have become civilised and accepting of western mores and values but in gender equality, we remain in the dark ages.
      However this isn’t even really about feminism/gender equality. Many men are primary caregivers to babies due to death, divorce, economic realities etc. Even among fathers who are not primary caregivers, we have men who can change diapers, yet we do not see that reflected too. If we had a pampers advert with a father who changed diapers, it would go a longer way to shatter the conception that diapers are women’s work than all the feminist rants on social media.
      Sadly even African-Americans whose great grandparents haven’t even been to Africa, who do not have one cultural tie to Africa still espouse that nonsense too.

      Reply

      1. Well, given your explanation, I currently understand your position. I’m sorry.
        Regarding the mentality, as long as male children are given their choice of chores and females are expected to do everything, that mentality will persist.
        I understand the position of men who are forced by circumstances to be both mother and father but we raise our boys tough, and our girls to admire and respect their toughness.
        Definitely, we need to see a man changing a diaper but there’s not a lot of them who’d do it by choice. As yet.
        Hope you’re good though? The malaria passed?

  2. I feel it’s cultural that women do some jobs and men do the other. This post is probably driving towards equal rights for both sex but something’s are just meant to be. You wouldn’t expect to see a woman doing all the heavy lifting at home would you? But yet men are suppose to not leave all the work for women. Well the world wants what it wants. Let there be equality self, so a lady can hit me up for dinner.

    Reply

    1. There are homes where the wife does the heavy lifting, she puts on generators, changes bulbs, carry heavy stuff around. She might do this even with the husband present. There are also homes where the man takes care of the children- my father bathed his children until we were able to bath ourselves.
      Nothing is written in stone, no one says a woman cannot help out in “manly” chores. However it is unfair for a woman to do all the chores when she has a job outside the home just like her husband, even a full time home maker needs help talk more of a working mum.

      Reply

      1. True true what you said is true Im just against the whole feminist ish because women weren’t made to handle what men do. I believe in giving women more opportunity’s but not as equals to men. This goes beyond being a boss in an organisation. If we place women as equals to men, it’s going against nature, they weren’t made for this.

      2. Two hundred years ago, women did not go to universities, they were barely even educated. It was believed at the time that women had smaller brains and could not cope with the rigours of academic learning. We know today that that theory is not true, who knows what we might know hundred years from now. I’ve written about the points you raised last year… maybe one day we’ll have a conversation about this.
        By the way I’m a feminist…

      3. No o I’m saying everybody is equal in their own way. We don’t have to do the same thing to be seen as equals. Well i ll be looking forward to that conversation.

  3. We have women who drink alcohol yet we dont see them in beer adverts, women who smoke,etc. You guys seem to be ignoring the fact that these companies are first business men and marketers rather than social influencers.

    They would rather aim at maximizing profits rather than change stereotypes. Eventually it all comes down to believing that men have, can and would always change diapers even if its not shown in the media. And i’m sure it would remain like this until marketers find a way to gain from showing men changing diapers.

    Reply

    1. Very true! It’s all about sales.
      My point is if pampers (the most prominent Nigerian brand) showed a man changing diapers, they would even have more sales because they’ll be cause a nationwide conversation that will translate to more brand awareness.

      Reply

  4. This is a very touchy subject because no matter how much we argue about this, our different upbringing has somehow given us different views at it. I love to be ‘For and Against’ whenever I’m speaking but for this, I don’t even know my side.
    I have seen men and women as equal from the day I was born and it was when the gender equality bill was raised that I stupidly asked my mom, ‘aren’t men and women equal?’
    Coming from a female dominated background, my parents never ever made us feel there’s a stereotype for sex, I mean, they would tell you to start thinking of building a house after you’ve worked for some years as my dad would say ‘with your salary, a man would do this and that….’ not that he’s comparing but he’s trying to make us work very hard at breaking away from society’s stereotype.
    So, now to the point raised in the article above.
    Why are men singled out for some roles, some adverts, some brands? Ans: Because it’s the general notion of the people.
    How awkward will it be to see a woman on a gulder billboard with the caption ‘na woman you be!’ Woman dey drink beer but ….there’s a but because it’s the male populace that are known with beer, gulder, stout or what have you. Who do you see at the beer parlour surrounded at a table with bottles of beer?
    How awkward would it be to see a man chopping veggies in the kitchen while his wife and children wait to be served at the dinning, men cook too but…there’s a but because almost everyone in Africa grew up to see women in the kitchen. Which of your male neighbours have you seen pounding yam and sweating at the kitchen while his wife’s at work?
    The population of the people in Nigeria can be divided into two groups (correct me if I’m wrong) the educated and the non-educated. We are divided into 30%-35% of educated people to about 65%-70% of uneducated people. When I say uneducated, I include those who have a university degree and even a master’s degree but still think like they didn’t see the walls of a University (these people are predominant in this country and in Africa at large)
    Civilisation started in Egypt but Africa is still under-developed, why? We are drawn back by customs and traditions ‘women must do this and it’s a man’s duty to do that’ but guess what? Things are changing because soon Daddies will change diapers and mommies will be making money. Why? This is because many parents make the mistake of pushing their girl children harder than their boys and making the girls more independent and babying the boys.
    Let us learn to bring up our children in the right ways!

    Reply

  5. I have seen Nigerian-based adverts where one of the cooks is male and where a daddy is changing the diaper. I just did not think it strange enough to note the brands.

    That said, brand advertising isn’t about breaking stereotypes but making sales from existing stereotypyes. The problem is with society’s ‘That is how I saw my parents do it,’ not the companies.

    I like the way you write, Ada.

    Reply

    1. Oh wow!
      I’d love to know those brands. Of course adverts are about sales, I just think they stimulate more response than rants and the rest. Remember the “mama na boy” advert by MTN? And how it galvanized so many people that MTN had to change it. It brought a little more awareness to gender equality.
      Thanks for the compliment Ini, this coming the master communicator herself makes me happy.

      Reply

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