First of all, I am aware that some products, programs, and services are actually marketed to women. Let me just get that out of the way. I do not want “Woman’s Day” magazine to change their name to “Person’s Day.” They know their target audience, and they are going for it with gusto. This does not concern me today. But Amazon’s program for parents is not that sort of thing.
Amazon, that giant monolith of online, drone-deploying retailing, has a program in which the caregivers of infants and young children can get discounts on diapers and other such necessary supplies. This program is called “Amazon Family.” Or at least it is everywhere in the world except for the United States. Here is the link to Amazon Family UK. Here is the one for Amazon Family Canada. And the one for Amazon Family Japan. You get the idea. But here in the United States, we do not have Amazon Family. We have Amazon Moms.
Despite my earlier post in which I claimed to be a mother, I am not one in truth. I only fill the cultural role and stereotype of one. I take care of my children. I do housework. I am a parent. And yet even the word “parent” doesn’t encompass everyone that might have guardianship of a young child. From grandparents to aunt and uncles, from step parents to older siblings, from foster parents, gay parents, step-parents, and adoptive parents to friends and neighbors who might assume such a role, there really is only one word to describe all of these relationships. You know what the word is. Amazon knows what the word is too, because it’s the word they have used to brand their program in every other country on the planet.
So why not call it Amazon Family? Oren Miller wanted to know, and he championed this cause on his blog over the years, encouraging people to sign the petition that would let Amazon know that moms are not the only ones who buy diapers. And honestly, it hurts women far more than it hurts men, in terms of keeping this outdated cultural stereotype alive. Sure it’s annoying to us dads that everyone thinks women should be home with the kids, but it is a lot more harmful to my wife as she tries to make her way in the working world. More than I do, she needs this to change. Oren knew this, but unfortunately he passed away on Saturday, his work in this department unfinished. This is why, as something of a tribute to this man who inspired us all, we dad bloggers have taken up his cause. We can’t bring Oren back, and we can’t change the unfair and unbalanced culture overnight, but maybe we can do this one thing.
What we are asking…what I am asking, is for you to spread the word about this. Sign the petition. Share the petition. Tweet messages to @amazon using the hashtag #AmazonFamilyUS. Leave messages on their Facebook page. This thing is gaining momentum, and it all starts right here, with us. In the last 24 hours we have had articles posted about our movement on Buzzfeed, Consumerist, Silicon Republic, Geekwire, and countless blogs. I don’t ask you for much, dear readers, usually just that you hang out with me for a while and listen to my stories, but today I am asking you to share this idea, that Amazon recognize the inclusiveness in its branding that that rest of the wording on the site clearly suggests, and that the rest of the world currently enjoys. I’m asking that you be civil and polite, but firm in your request. And though of course we will all benefit, I’m not really asking this for me. I’m asking for a friend.