Can male au pairs change the world?
The Wall Street Journal would like you to think so.
Belatedly, I’ve come across this WSJ article: No, Girls Are Not Natural Baby Sitters, by Charlotte Alter, that suggests that ‘normalizing’ male au pairs would hasten the demise of sexism.
Yea for that, I say.
If my girls were between the ages of diapers and tweenhood, and thus at an age where they were old enough to manage their privacy & bathroom activity but not too old to see a bro pair as more than a brother (like, as a Justin Beiber-like substance living right in your own house!!!!!!), I think I’d welcome the chance to challenge our whole family’s norms about men as caregivers.
Personally, I’ve found that even when I’m open to an idea ‘as a concept’, I only really get it when I have to live with it 24/7.
I’m still consistently surprised by the sneaky unconscious ways I assume my own DH “can’t understand” what needs to be done with our girls.
And, I’m surprised when I take the time to ask my self just what’s so weird about X, only to discover that there’s nothing weird at all.
Still, it seems that a large part of the world thinks that male caregivers are, shall we say, “problematic”. The comments on the WSJ are such doozies that it’s a shame you can’t read them without having a subscription. [Alternatively, check out the comments on this post at Jezebel. They’re entertaining, if much less histrionic, than the comments at the Journal.]
Can you imagine how profoundly it could change the landscape of gender in this country if we did something as simple as normalizing male babysitters?
I’d love to know if any of you host parents have had any big “ah ha’s” about gender norms as you’ve interacted with male au pairs (either your own or another family’s).
Have male au pairs changed the way you see the world?
Let’s hear it for the bro pairs and mannies, helping to change the world one host family at a time.
See: Male Babysitters Are the Answer to All the World’s Problems, by Lindy West at Jezebel