UPDATE 11/6/14: In case you’re not the comment-readin’ type, the Freedom Pants people re-cut their video to address some of the concerns I expressed in this article – and I really appreciate that they did so. You can find the updated video here and below in place of the old video.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Alright, look. I’m going to be completely up-front about this: I don’t hate cargo pants. But what I do hate is when someone trying to make dads look good makes them look bad. And in a well-meaning Kickstarter for “Freedom Pants”, a by-dad-for-dad pair of cargo pants, dad isn’t looking good at all.
Dad actually looks like a homophobic womanizer. But he’s got plenty of pockets for diapers and divorce papers, so that’ll be helpful.
For something invented in the 1930’s for British paratroopers, I’m totally alright in 2014 wearing olive colored pocket pants. I like the ability to have storage for my keys, wallet, phone and camera. And candy. Sweet, sweet candy.
But check out the Kickstarter video for the “Freedom Pants”, and then let’s compare notes (UPDATE 11/6/14 – the video is now the NEW re-cut video without the stuff I complained about…which makes my complaints confusing, but hey, I like this video better):
First of all – having the actor totally ogle the au pair is downright despicable, especially in light of the recent “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman” video.
Second – when the Freedom Pants dad asks park dad, “forget to pack diapers in that girly tote there, buddy?” Barf. It’s echoed later when the CEO/founder dude smugly says that “your worst fear” is that a diaper bag is “a giant purse”. This sentiment just makes the whole video seem homophobic. Like the worst insult imaginable to these guys is if their bro-friend calls them a “fag.” OH MY GOD, PEOPLE MIGHT ACTUALLY THINK YOU’RE A WOMAN OR EVEN WORSE – GASP – THAT YOU WANT TO KISS MEN! God, grow up, guys.
Like, really? My worst fear? My worst fear when I became a father was that my kid wasn’t healthy. Or that I wasn’t doing something right. Or, I don’t know, a million other little things that caring fathers worry about. Should we be cosleeping? Should we be pushing breastfeeding? Is this brand of formula better than that brand? Is having the TV on in the room going to rewire my son’s brain?
I never once thought “oh god, if I leave the house with a diaper bag, people will think I’m a gay dude with a purse.”
Look, you don’t want to carry your wife’s diaper bag. I get that. I didn’t carry my wife’s diaper bag. I got my own. You want the world’s easiest solution? Repurpose an old laptop bag as a diaper bag. It’s got room for everything. Or, if you want a dedicated diaper bag without your wife’s style, buy one from Diaper Dude, or any of the other brands catching onto the dad market.
And c’mon – the CEO’s whole freedom speech? “The first thing to go is your freedom when you have kids and pretty soon they take everything else you’ve ever had”. Ugh. Okay, we get it. You don’t want people to think you’re a woman, and you miss being able to go out with your bro-force whenever you want. Like the guy in the skit said you “kind of asked for it” when you “f**ked [your] wife.” So cut this crap out where you look at your kids as impinging on your personal freedoms and making you look womanly. And don’t drag the rest of us down with your toxic opinions on it all.
Like I said earlier, I don’t hate cargo pants. And I actually like the modular design of the Freedom Pants. I like that you can carry a ton of stuff in the pants if you’re not interested in carrying a diaper bag. Some guys go walking and hiking while wearing baby carriers and don’t want an extra bag slung over their shoulder – and the Freedom Pants will probably appeal to them. The product itself isn’t the problem here.
We’ve got to smash this idea that being a man is all about being terrified that someone will think you’ve got “girly” items. And we’ve certainly got to smash the idea that having a kid takes away your freedom. Your priorities shift, so chances are the most important thing in your life isn’t what it was when you were single. Sorry you had to grow up, bro.
What’d you think about the Freedom Pants Kickstarter video? Is it terrible? Over the top? Am I too sensitive? Let me know in the comments.