Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kid-tested, mother-approved . . . let's eat!

After my nine year-old teenage daughter complained that the cereal choices in our house were “disgusting” and demanded that I “go to the store right now to get some new flavors” (which, of course, I did), I headed right up to our local Giant to straighten out this latest crisis before we pushed the level on our family drama chart to nuclear meltdown. But apparently, General Mills, Kellogg’s and the other members of the Cereal Mafia aren’t comfortable with Dads making these difficult choices on their own. No, no, no . . . not unless the cereals are “Mom-tested and kid-approved,” like Kix, which are to Trix what Hydrox are to Oreos, or “Fruity Fun that Moms and Kids Love!,” like Fruity Cheerios. Even though I do 104% of the grocery shopping in our house and even more of the food preparation and cooking, the tacit approval of Dad isn’t good enough. “Why can’t you stop buying the stuff that’s good for us and just buy the stuff we like?” pleads my earring-clad, mop-haired thirteen year-old son.

A bar mitzvah, making him a man . . . all that stuff. Good idea.

And just why do I insist on buying cereal that's good for you? Because, dear boy, none of the cereals, nor any other product in a grocery store pitched to kids, comes with the “Kid-tested, Dad-approved” label. Come to think of it, have you ever seen a laundry commercial with a smiling father nodding approvingly over getting that nasty chocolate pudding stain out with new Tide, you know, the one with the “secret” stainfighters? Read Parents magazine, or any of the other publications designed to make well-educated mothers feel inadequate by featuring articles like, “Yes, you can have great sex with your husband, get dinner ready, Blackberry your boss and supervise a play-date of 3 year-olds without medication or Margaritas!,” and count the number of men you see in the ads. Women have the glass ceiling in the worlds of business and government, but men face a different set of challenges, limits, stereotypes and what can only be called sexist behavior from women when they attempt to enter the domestic realm as an equal.

Come to think of it (again), has anyone ever seen a "Kid-tested, mother-approved" product in a grocery store, or anywhere else?

Here's what you do see:

-- "Do your socks match? If not, you're a Mitchum Man." (anti-perspirant)

-- "Manwich" (a concoction for sloppy joe's or some other "manly" food)

-- "You can take my wife, my truck, and even my dog. But my gun? Never" (Trucker hat available for purchase at a 7-11 in Howard County)

Subtitles: Are you a complete moron? If so, buy our product. Be a man!

And so much more so flattering to the American male. Treat us like we're that stoopid, and perrty soon we'll done start to act out that way.


Rob Kimball said...

Ah, the plight of the property-owning white American male ages 18-55.

Perhaps you will be our champion in this brave new world?
Step 1) Sponsor a "Men's Initiative" on campus, ASAP.

vanessa said...

of course, someone has to make the men's initiative joke. if that organization plans to push for the abolition of traditional gender roles and a more participatory and supportive view of marriage and fatherhood, let me know. we'll cosponsor an event or something. we're already working with men can stop rape.

besides, it would be so nice seeing you more involved in extracurricular activities. ;)