So what do we think of this Daddy’s Little Project Diaper Bag? It is designed to look like a tool belt, with a ton of pockets, and comes with blueprints on how to change a diaper.
Now, a diaper bag is just a bag you put diapers in, so clearly this is all about marketing. Some people — like Amelia, whose guy friend owns one — think the toolkit diaper bag is totally cute. [Cute enough that, made for "men" or not, I would want one for myself. -- Editor] Others — like me — see how it’s a cute product, but also think it’s as annoying/offensive as the pink-ification of products to signify they’re “for women.” I mean, diaper-changing blueprints? Men aren’t stupid. Although it pointed out the $42.78 toolkit diaper bag “connects masculinity to … technical knowledge and skills with tools,” which is an assumption, the blog Sociological Images also effusively praised the bag:
It’s also clearly presenting men as competent parents who can care for children and who reap rewards from doing so. The “bill of materials” on the various blueprint products doesn’t include any jokes about asking mom for help; none of the images show men looking incapable of caring for children. It presents basic childcare activities — changing diapers, feeding and burping kids — not as horrible burdens you should try to weasel out of at all costs, but as part of the process of “building the foundation for a lifelong relationship,” the value of which is “priceless.” And you know … I think that’s kinda awesome.
Fair enough. But I’m more inclined to agree with a blog commenter, “Chris,” who called the toolkit diaper bag “patronizing” and said, “Objectifying an infant as a ‘construction project’ isn’t necessarily going to help men to actually be nurturing.” This ‘Chris’ has a point: What does it mean about our society if taking care of your child — i.e., the number one duty of fatherhood — isn’t seen as “manly” enough, hence the market for a “manly”-looking diaper bag? Like, how hard do you really need to prove your masculinity, dude?