Dove Men+Care is celebrating all those who were “there-to-care” this Father’s Day
Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
We all have biases. We’re raised to think “thing x” about “person x” because they are a man or a woman. We here people tell stories about other people and make guesses about who that person is based on the characteristics of their story.
It’s like the gender bias riddle that goes:
“A father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital; just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” Explain.”
Many respond with “it’s impossible!” or “By a miracle!” when the answer is that it was the boy’s mom (although this reveals another bias that we assume families are made up of a mom and a dad).
As we get older, what we hope to do is learn that we have these biases and do what we can to eliminate them to the best of our abilities. I’m working with Dove Men+Care who are also working to change the way we envision care giving.
The best pancakes I’ve ever eaten
I think back to when I was a young kid in elementary school. I didn’t dislike school, not at all, but I liked before and after school even more. Because we went to a babysitters every morning and afternoon and it was fun.
It was fun because of the people. The kids yes, but also the people who babysat me.
I remember getting home from school and having someone make us their “super duper special pancakes.” They’d go over the recipe as they put all the ingredients together. All of us would watch as they flamboyantly tossed food into a bowl, mixed it up and cooked it. The kids would then sit around the kitchen table with them busying themselves in the kitchen as the kids played and laughed.
And we would chat with them too as we watched Care Bears or Inspector Gadget. We would talk about how we placed in our long jump competition that day or reveal secrets that we took an extra book from the supply cupboard to write out the name of our crushes 100 times.
The person behind these memories was a man. I remember how much fun we’d have with Anton. It is important that we note that men can be caregivers, can comfort kids when they scrape their knees, and talk to them about their friends at school. And, we should note that men can be caregivers, can comfort kids when they scrape their knees, and talk to them about their friends at school.
We may cheer for different teams, but they taught me a lot
I also think about the hockey coach who left the biggest impression on me. They were great at teaching us young kids how to work together, how we needed to put in work if we wanted to get better at skating, but also that having fun was a big part of playing sports. They taught me how being physically strong and being mentally strong are not the same thing and that I could go ahead and pick which one I preferred to work on improving.
We went on road trips to Montreal to watch hockey and we learned more about crossover drills from them than I care to remember. I always played house league hockey because my competitive spirit rested somewhere in between wanting to be able to score goals and wanting to play professional hockey. This wasn’t relevant to the things they taught us. A competitive spirit to be better than everyone else at all costs wasn’t part of their coaching program.
Making the boys and girls on their team better people, was.
My coach happened to be a woman. Cheryl is still a friend of mine today and someone I would certainly turn to if I needed help with anything. They happen to have made an error in the hockey team they cheer for now, but nobody can be perfect.
Know your biases
Our biases lead us to assumptions about people based on the actions they take until we take action to break down these biases. Men can be tender and can possess a pancake recipe unlike any other. A woman can know more about a defensive zone breakout and can yell at you when you cheat on an end-to-end skating drill.
This Father’s Day, Dove Men+Care is releasing a NEW film called ‘There to Care,’ which celebrates not just dads, but all the men (and people) who were there to care. Dove Men+Care understands the importance of authentically representing modern masculinity and celebrating real men for who they really are.So let’s get better at doing that.
Today, over one-third of children live with a lone parent who has never married, accounting for 1.5 million lone-parent families in Canada, showing there is a new dynamic emerging in the modern family with an expanded list of people who are there to care. Families are changing faster than our traditional holidays to celebrate them, from grandfathers and uncles, to teachers and coaches, there are a number of men who have made a significant impact by caring for others and their roles should be acknowledged too.
Here’s your chance to win a Dove Men+Care prize package. Entry is simple: follow along with our EverydayGirlDad channel on YouTube as our family does our best to show how we treat caring as strength. We will select the winner at the end of the day on June 16.