Monday, February 18, 2013

Why You Should Sign the Amazon Mom Petition

I've mentioned Amazon Mom many times before on this blog. At first, I got angry, then I realized there were no alternatives, so I decided to accept the fact that Amazon's parenting program ignored dads, and then I commended Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) for donating to Washington State's pro-marriage-equality campaign, and decided to let Amazon continue its misguided marketing strategy of equating moms with parenting, and dads with secondary caregivers. I just didn't have the energy to fight them anymore. I love Amazon. I love my Kindle. I hate to love Amazon, but love is blind.

Amazon is doing a great job pulling me back into this fight, though. First there was this email (which I received after specifically indicating I was a dad when signing up for Amazon Mom).

Amazon Mom email

I thought it was funny, because it was too dumb to be offensive. Who listens to an audio book during yoga?

Now, if you email Amazon to complain about the Amazon Mom name, you get this too cute response cut & pasted directly from their FAQ page:

Despite the name, you don't need to be a mom to join. Amazon Mom is open to anyone expecting a baby or caring for a baby or young child, whether you're a mom, dad, grandparent, or caretaker. We just thought "Amazon Primary Caretaker" didn’t have the same ring to it.

Ha, ha, ha. Here's another email I got:

Amazon Mom 2

Again with the yoga class. Only now I'm all toned up just in time for onesie-folding.

Which is all, well, whatever. I don't care. It was a pretty shitty program anyway, and both kids are potty-trained, so I don't need their 5% discount anymore. And if Amazon's best alternative to "Amazon Mom" is "Amazon Primary Caregiver," then I guess that's where this is going to end. I don't see what other name they can give this program, and neither can they.

Well, actually they do have a better name. They can call it "Amazon Family." And the best thing about it? I don't have to suggest that name to Amazon, since they're very much aware of that name. In fact, in England, where Amazon operates under, the name of the parenting program is not "Amazon Mom," and it's not "Amazon Primary Caretaker."

Amazon Family

In a way, it's meaningless. Who cares about the name Amazon uses for its parenting program. On the other hand, what does it say about us? 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? Someone actually started a petition to change the name to Amazon Family in the US, and so far it has less than 100 signatures. Why is that? Why are we OK with letting England be more progressive than we are here when it comes to fatherhood? They have a queen! They are ruled by a freakin' queen! We can do better than that!

Please sign that petition. Please. It's not about a name and it's not about me personally being offended and it's not about stupid emails about yoga classes. It's about a company that looks at the US, then looks at England, and then decides that over there, parent equals mom or dad, while here, well, we're not ready for that yet.

Amazon Mom Petition

Update: This post has now been republished on The Good Men Project: Amazon’s Parenting Program: Where Are the Dads?

2nd Update: More about Amazon Mom can be found in this interview with me (alongside other bloggers) on RetailMeNot


  1. Having been a stay at home dad for more than 1/2 our children's lives this is something that has bugged me for a long time. And it's not just Amazon! I've subscribed to Parenting magazine for many years and it's full of "mommy know's best" language. Though it is true that there are more mommy's who take an active role in raising their children, I'm so happy to hear that the number of stay at home dads has doubled over the past decade! Go Dads!!

  2. Not such a nice company for several reasons. They don't pay their tax in the UK either while making huge profits off of us poor Brits!

  3. I don't need their stinking coupons!

    I do accept gift cards, though.

  4. The thing that bothers me most is that ever since this thing started, they've been using that same "Amazon Primary Caregiver" joke, and then they go and launch Amazon Family in the UK. At least they should come up with a better excuse than "We can't think of a better name," because obviously they can.

  5. Ha, but on the other hand, maybe if more people in the US buy from Amazon, they'd stop buying at Wal Mart.

  6. Thanks, Patrick! I'll be honest, Parenting doesn't bother me as much. I assume 100% of its readers are moms/moms to be, so the problem is that they use an inclusive name for an exclusive product, which to me, isn't a big deal. But it's the opposite with Amazon.

  7. Firstly, I'm a man.

    Mums know best (as they say). As a man, you'll never be able to do what a woman can and does for her child. Women ARE the primary carers of their children. You didn't spend 9 months carrying that kid. You can't feed your children milk from your breasts. You can't even sense that your child is in danger until you see it with your eyes.

    Get the heck over it. Gaming consoles are aimed at the male population more than the female population because it genuinely is the men of this world that are more into gaming. The same way this is aimed at mothers because they know what the fuck they're doing.

  8. When you were a kid, only your mom could sense you were in danger, because you were in her belly for nine months, and therefore connected to her via a higher sphere? When you fell, did she feel a great disturbance in the force? Did the breast milk make the difference?

    Ha, why am I answering this shit. "Get the heck over it"? You're the one talking about his mom's breast milk. I think you're the one who has some getting over to do.

  9. Great blog!!!! Excellent content, Thanks for share..Home Care Atlanta Georgia

  10. I completely agree. My husband is a stay at home parent and this is highly offensive to us. It looks like the petition is closed, are there plans to reopen it?

  11. I don't know... I will sign it if a new one starts, though...

  12. I find it totally insulting as a former "stay at home dad", that for decades, the "mom" has always been seen as the "primary care giver". Not only that, but look at tv programs of today v those of days gone by. The father is either absent or ridiculed, or worse the writers make the dad out to be a baffoon (The Simpsons)/

    Not to mention all those "Hi Mom" signs during football games. What about "Hi Dad". You never see any of those. Dads get ignored all to often. Just look at the morning tv programming. The Third hour of the show is basically a boozefest with Hoda and Kathie Lee. What about the male demographic?

    Both parents have an impact on a child's life. Mom's are great.Don'tget me wrong. But, parents, both mom and dad (or mom and mom or dad and dad, depending on the family makeup) impact the child. Yet, what about single or divorced dads. They get overlooked or totally ignored.

    I'm tired of men being disregarded and disrespected or even dismissed as parents. Would love to know how to get this mindset changed in the mindset of others.



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