Over the last week, there has been a growing movement on social media to convince Amazon, the online retail giant, to change the name of its parent-focused program Amazon Mom to Amazon Family.
Amazon Mom is an online membership program that offers discounts on diapers, nursery furniture, baby clothing, and more. Despite its name, the program is open to anyone, including fathers, grandparents, and other caretakers.
However, a community of fathers is rallying to get the name changed in honor of Oren Miller. Mr. Miller was a beloved dad blogger who created a Facebook group for other dad bloggers that has grown to more than 1,000 members.
Mr. Miller, a stay-at-home father of two who died of lung cancer last week, regularly wrote about his frustration with the Amazon Mom name on his wildly popular blog Blogger Father.
In 2013, Mr. Miller encouraged his readers to sign a petition to get Amazon to change the name, although the cause gained very little traction at that time.
As far as causes go, Mr. Miller conceded this one might seem a little trivial on the surface. After all, studies show that 75 percent of women are the primary shopper for all household products.
But he couldn’t help but let it irk him. Especially considering the program is called Amazon Family in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria, France, and Japan.
“… what does it say about us?” he asked. “Why did Amazon bother changing the name of its parenting program when the program started in the UK? What made them realize they couldn’t get away with calling it ‘Amazon Mom,’ and why do they get away with it here?”
The perception of fathers has changed dramatically in recent years as fathers have become more involved in their children’s lives. The advertisements depicting fathers in emotionally-involved roles with their children that aired during this year’s Super Bowl received much fanfare and were indicative of shift in how fatherhood is viewed in popular culture.
However, when a company as influential as Amazon still marginalizes fathers, it further reinforces outdated stereotypes that don’t apply to many families and shows there is still a lot of progress to be made.
The campaign, which is utilizing the #AmazonFamilyUS hashtag, has exploded in the wake of Mr. Miller’s death, which goes to show the influence he had on fathers around the country. That petition that had less than 100 signatures when Mr. Miller wrote about it two years ago was nearing 7,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
Amazon has yet to comment on the issue, but it seems unlikely that their silence continues as Miller’s friends and fellow fathers appear determined to not concede the fight.
“The issue matters to me not only because my friend Oren thought it was important, but because it is important that an influential company like Amazon acknowledges that we as a society have changed,” wrote Carter Gaddis, a dad blogger and friend of Mr. Miller’s. “Dads do more now – more grocery shopping, more housework, more of everything that used to be considered strictly Mom’s purview. That should be acknowledged, if for no other reason than it’s true.”
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