Stop Insulting Fathers!

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Amid fury, Clorox pulls post insulting new dads

Clorox pulled what was intended to be a humorous Web post listing the shortcomings of new fathers after an internet uproar
Editor’s note: CNN’s Josh Levs covers a wide range of topics and also offers his personal take on issues affecting fathers and families. He covers fatherhood for HLN’s Raising America. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

(CNN) — Just when you think derogatory stereotypes about dads are on the decline as fathers take a more hands-on role in child-rearing, along comes an online posting by a major brand that shows not everyone got the memo.

And this one — published, then pulled, by Clorox — charts new terrain in depicting first-time fathers as clueless buffoons.

“Saying ‘No-no’ is not just for baby. Like dogs or other house pets, new dads are filled with good intentions but lacking the judgment and fine motor skills to execute well,” it reads.

Somehow, it manages to get even more offensive from there.

The list of “6 mistakes new dads make” begins with a father taking his child for a walk in “a cold, brisk, rain-soaked stroller” and only after 10 minutes beginning to wonder “why is this baby crying so much?” At that point, he notices his child is wearing “a short-sleeved summer onesie.”

He’s also likely to put his child’s clothes on backwards and not understand why they fit wrong.

He lets baby eat off the floor — so, the web post cautions, “At least get him to enforce a 5-second rule.”

He fails to notice the food — or, worse, Play-Doh — all over his baby’s face, let alone wipe it off.

Then he gives his child inappropriate screen time, plopping the baby down in front of “reality shows.”

Parental outcry led Clorox to reexamine the wisdom of the post. The company pulled the page from its website, but did not post a statement in response to the uproar.

When I asked for comment, the company sent me this brief statement: “This article was written by a dad for other dads to make a lighthearted comparison between bachelor lives and new parent lives. We took the article down based on feedback and we know how seriously dads take their parental responsibilities.”

The post included some classic insults: “Prudence won’t stop Daddy from relaxing with a brew and blaring inappropriate shows while baby stares in horror/awe/wonder at the colorful moving yell-box. Tell Dad to embrace parental sacrifice and crack a book.”

Finally, to top off this glorious work of wisdom and respect, the post states, “Some new dads have been inspired by raunchy comedies to bring babies to inappropriate places like casinos, pool halls, and poetry readings.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Poetry readings.

Well, at least it’s clear where Clorox got the inspiration for these stereotypes: fiction.

“None of these places are healthy for baby,” the post continues. “If dad needs persuading, just tell him that babies are terrible tippers and can never make bank shots.”



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