Archive for March, 2010

Sympathy for the Male Nanny

March 20th, 2010 by admin

As a male nanny–a “manny” as they have cleverly labeled it in the child care industry–there are many stigmas working against me. For one, being a nanny has been a field dominated by women. Historically and presently, there are a significantly higher number of female nannies than male in the nanny world. Secondly, there are stereotypes associated with the gender roles that we play and how unnnatural it appears when a man, the person who essentially should be out hunting and gathering, is there in your living room, rearing your child and playing babysitting games.

Ironically, it is the male nanny that faces sexual discrimination in the workplace. I’ve had many parents contact me for a meeting and upon seeing, find out that I’m not the “best fit” for them. If by best fit, they mean a bosom and a soft voice, I suppose I wouldn’t be. It’s discouraging and although I can undersand that we have to face more intensive screenings for safety reasons, I wish that male nannies received more respect when looking for a sitter nanny job.

Contrary to popular belief, being a male nanny has nothing to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with responsibility and a love of children. How come women are allowed to like taking care of children while men are resigned to the more detached roles? I feel there is an inherent injustice in not only the way that existing male nannies are treated but also a distinct opposition to more men entering the field of nannies. All I ask is that we be seen on an equal plane as women are without any double standads.