Fathers have only recently felt included in public conversations about parenthood. And while products and services have also made moves to include fathers in their branding, one is still behind the times: Amazon Mom.
The Amazon Mom service focuses on the obvious: prenatal, baby and toddler products, including discount subscriptions to diapers and wipes. But with the rise in involved fathers from across the spectrum, stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, gay dads and even just dads that do the family’s shopping want to know if Amazon acknowledges dad as part of the family, and have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #AmazonFamilyUS to make a point.
And thus far, Amazon has ignored it.
This whole hubbub started years ago. Oren Miller, a dad blogger who just recently died after a fight with lung cancer, wrote about the Amazon Mom program a couple of times between 2010 and 2013 on his site A Blogger and a Father (we mentioned Oren’s issue with Amazon Mom on our podcast back then too). Another dad blogger, Chris Routly, who blogs at Daddy Doctrines, talked about the issue back in 2012, suggesting the simple change to “Amazon Family”.
Oren Miller had created a Dad Blogger group on Facebook that he never thought would work – one that brought every dad blogger together to talk about their lives, families, work and hobbies, all while sharing the fact that they were also fathers that blogged. And in just a few years, the group has grown to more than 1,000 members.
But when Oren passed in late February, the dad blogging community was devastated. Writing stories about Oren made some bloggers feel better, but the community needed more. The group decided to take up one of Oren’s causes: his frustration with the Amazon Mom name. One of Oren’s requests was that folks sign the Amazon Family petition, started by another father, Jeffrey Harrington. Initially, the petition didn’t get much attention.
“Amazon should embrace the fact that ALL parents, no matter their gender, are responsible for taking care of their kids,” says the petition. “And they should show that they respect those families that don’t have a mom just as much as those that do.”
The kicker: Amazon already calls the program “Amazon Family” in other regions, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.
One day after Oren Miller’s funeral, dad bloggers began their push. In three days, the #AmazonFamilyUS hashtag has amassed more than 23.6 million impressions, and media outlets are noticing. The petition is now more than halfway to its goal of 10,000 signatures.
But one thing hasn’t happened: Amazon has not addressed the issue.
And in not addressing it, they’re not just saying that they’re ignoring fathers. Amazon is saying that to them, mom raises the kids. Mom stays home with the kids and changes diapers while dad goes to work. Grandparents? Nah. Gay families? Forget it. If you’ve got two dads, that ain’t an Amazon family…not in the U.S. at least.
So, what’s in a name? You tell us, Amazon.
In the meantime, the story is getting around:
CNN | The Telegraph | Huffington Post Parents | Huffington Post Gay Voices | NBC | TODAY | GeekWire | The Consumerist | Buzzfeed | Adweek | Lifetime Moms | Yahoo Parenting | The Good Men Project | TakePart | MarketWatch | The Chicago Tribune | BabyCenter | Mommyish | National At-Home Dad Network | City Dads Group | Babble
And here are some of the more personal pleas to Amazon from bloggers: