Amazon Changes Amazon Mom to Amazon Family, Finally

by Kimberly Zapata
Originally Published: 

OK, here’s the thing: some will argue this change is stupid and pointless. Mom? Family? Who cares?! We arguing semantics, for Christ sake. Aren’t there are more pressing matters in the world? (And, yes, there are.) But this change is about more than words; it is about sending a message. It is about changing the perception of “parenthood” in our society. It is about shattering the sexist stereotypes many of us still hold — whether we realize it or not — and it is about breaking down gender barriers in a small but imperative way.

Because words are powerful. As George Orwell once said, “if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought,” and according to Chris Routly, President of the National At-Home Dad Network, that is precisely why this change was necessary. “Keeping the name ‘mom’ was sending out a pretty loud message what Amazon thought about family and gender roles,” Routly said. “We saw it as an opportunity for them to send a strong message about what modern families look like. That’s why it was important.”

And this change isn’t just beneficial to dads, parents, and caretakers, but to all American men and women. You see, by leaving the programs title “Amazon Mom,” Amazon was indirectly reinforcing gender expectations…for all. They were reinforcing the belief that women are the ones caring for kids: they are the ones shopping and searching sales, “staying at home” and “toning up” (not my words, Amazon’s) while men are the ones working. They are the ones playing with their kids but not the ones changing — or buying — their diapers.

So kudos, Amazon. This may be a small change — in the grand scheme of things, and in the great gender discussion — but your efforts make one big and bold statement.

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