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Thursday, 16 October 2008
At-Home Dad banned from mom's playgroup due to the
Topic: Playgroup News








When Rick Kaselj of Canada joined the online group  The Cloverdale Mommy & Me Meetup Group with his infant son, he felt he found a place to get support despite the name. In an email interview he told me he had "joined the group and welcomed.  I had been a member for 2 to 3 months and was receiving 4 to 5 notices a day from the group." When it came time to show up at his first event he got an email from the moderator that more then half of the group voted to ban him from the group. In a quote to Surrey Now  the email went on to state:  "I hate to discriminate, but hope you can understand when it comes to the security of our children and especially since you have not been able to attend a meetup."  In the meantime Rick is now part of the At-Home Dad Network to help him find another playgroup that will accept him. Also the Surrey Now has started an online poll on the front page with the question: Do you think a Cloverdale mothers group was out of line when it rejected a Surrey father just because he was a man? So far the votes have been overwhelming in favor of Dad 80% to 20%.

It appears that on October 15th when the story broke they added this addendum to their main page: This Group is specific to moms only as requested by a majority of it's members

All I can say is shame on you Cloverdale, maybe let him spend a day at one event.. geez..give this guy a chance! Banning a member to a playgroup due to his gender has no basis on the "security of your children" Come on ladies!! This is a little over the top don't you think?

If there is another playgroup leader in the Surrey BC area that is reading this, I hope you will be the first to step forward and welcome Rick as a member. 

When I hear from Rick again or a playgroup that will take him on. I'll post an update...

Contact Rick

Note: This story has been updated

Posted by athomedad at 12:21 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 10 November 2008 11:03 AM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (37) | Permalink | Share This Post

Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 12:48 PM EDT

Name: "Darren"
Home Page:

I had to comment just to say how ridiculous those women are being.  I wouldn't want my child around such closed-minded people anyway.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 5:06 PM EDT

Name: "Mike Stilwell"
Home Page:

I read this article this afternoon and just can’t believe that there are mom’s groups out there still operating in this horrible way.   I truly feel for Rick and hope he can find a group that will allow him to join and participate.


How incredibly narrow minded to not even meet this person and try to get to know him.  He is after all, just doing what any good parent would do, and that is something for the benefit of his child.  In this day and age this type of discrimination and prejudices is just ridiculous and reprehensible.  This mom’s group should ashamed of themselves and if it is part of a national group, they should have their charter pulled.


I feel for you Rick!  I will do my best to check around and see if there are any Canadian groups that can help.  Hang in there!



Mike Stilwell

DC Metro Dads

Daddyshome, Inc.


Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 9:34 PM EDT

Name: "Rob Thomson"

I teach night school, and when our kids were little I took them to a playgroup.  I was invariably the only man present, but none of the Moms ever seemed the least disturbed by that.  There were some who didn't know me beforehand, but that never seemed to be a problem.


I think those women are just insane.

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 12:19 AM EDT

Name: "Jennifer Grenz"
Home Page:

Hey dads,

 I just wanted to let you know that I am the orginial creator of that particular meetup and was horrified by the decision of the new organizer.  My original vision for the group was that it be a PARENTS group.  I stepped down as organizer several months ago as I have 16 month old twins and another on the way! 

I wanted the group to include all parents because I have met and befriended a number of dads that stay home with their kids. I also wanted my husband to be able to meet some other guys in the neighbourhood.

 I received an email about this so-called issue by the new organizer and urged her to reconsider as I though this was totally ridiculous.  The organizer was concerned about security of children.  Funny that the statistics involved in abuse and kid napping point more towards women than men.  I shake my head and hope that you don't lump all the women in that group with the decision of the organizer.  Supposedly a poll went out to the group regarding this issue however the poll was confusing as it had multiple questions and not one that pointedly asked whether dads should be allowed in the group with a yes or no answer.  Not many members actually responded.

There will be a follow up story in the paper about this.  I did an interview with the writer yesterday.  I am planning to start a new group up that will be sure to include all parents which will hopefully attract all of you, forward thinking people.

I am so glad this issue was taken to the paper and that it is getting the attention it deserves.  Children are happier and more successful individuals when their fathers play an active role in their lives.  Three cheers to all of you and I hope to meet some more local dads for an empathetic ear about teething and the terrible twos.


Friday, 17 October 2008 - 12:20 AM EDT

Name: "Rob"

Oh that's not sexist at all! Those women should be ashamed of themselves.

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 12:44 AM EDT

Name: "S.o.G."

I live in the Vancouver area, and I know someone who is a member of this group, and the real reason they kicked him out is because they are a group of women with children who make money on the side as escorts, and the main purpose of the group is to have somewhere to drop their kids off when they're doing a call.

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 12:47 AM EDT

Name: "Brock Lesnar"

These folks would be a terrible environment for Rick's child anyhow...

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 12:49 AM EDT

Name: "Stan"

The sad message that the women in this group are sending out is that gender bias is OK.  Women have been fighting long and hard for equality, and unfortunately this will hurt them more than it will hurt this dad.  On the flip side, they now have first hand experience just how easy it is to slip into a sexist mindset.

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 1:19 AM EDT

Name: "jesse"
Home Page: http://all

i'd love to see an all guy group try to organize a "DADDY ONLY" event.

they would probaby get 10 to Life with no parole and labeled as sex offenders.

wake up women, this is what you asked for. you cant play both sides and expect men to constantly take a beating. at one point, we are going to reverse it, and take your old role of the beaten down hapless home husband and have all of your old benefits...sound familiar?

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 1:45 AM EDT

Name: "Anonymous"

I was in the exact same situation.  The kids are safe from the dads.  We are much more interested in hitting on the adult women in the group

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 4:46 AM EDT

Name: "Ryan"

Of course it is sexist, and they mishandled it. But it is common for moms groups to keep the member list down to active members only in order to keep a tight handle on things. 2-3 months is a long time to be a member of a meetup group without attending an event. Although I'm sure there was no risk to the children, and the organizer is completely unreasonable for putting it to a vote instead of talking to the guy and asking/reminding him to please show up, he should have taken the initiative to show up after joining, so as not to arouse suspision as a stalker/lurker. As I said, 2-3 months is a long time to get 5 emails a day and do nothing about it.

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 4:32 PM EDT

Name: "anonymous"

O.K.  These woman are nuts and must be avoided at all cost.  But in reality, just what is a "playgroup"?  Yes, it's supposed to be a way to get the little ones together with other little ones but it's also a way to get parents together and in this case mothers.  I understand the desire for men to want to join a playgroup but if it's a group of women, men are really not welcome.  The moms want to sit around and have a bitch fest.  They want to talk about inane baby stuff. They want to talk about their husbands.  They don't want men around while they do this. And speaking of husbands, their insecure HUSBANDS don't want men around them either.

I know it's hard but stay-at-home dads must find that rare, willing mom/dad group, or even rarer, a dad's group.  Otherwise just go to the playground.  The playground is one big informal playgroup and the best place to meet mothers open to dads and maybe even another dad.  Although that might be hard to do in Canada this time of year!

Friday, 17 October 2008 - 7:14 PM EDT

Name: "JW"

hate to discriminate - so lets just discriminate anyway... realy classy. Those people should be ashamed of themselves, they are an embarassment to Canadians!

Sunday, 19 October 2008 - 3:17 PM EDT

Name: "Roger Hutchison"
Home Page:

The kind of attitude that excludes dads is difficult for both the guy and the kid.

Even when a dad goes to a public area to let his kid play in a group, and the dad tries to talk with the moms, the women act like he is trying to chat them up!

Being actively ignored by other parents is worse than being on your own, so my son and I spend time at the beach and more open play areas so the mom's don't have to feel "threatened" by my presence. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 3:09 PM EDT

Name: "Clint"
Home Page:

Hmmm....this seems like a pretty libelous statement to make. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 3:12 PM EDT

Name: "clint"

This is the comment I was refering to from S.o.G.

I live in the Vancouver area, and I know someone who is a member of this group, and the real reason they kicked him out is because they are a group of women with children who make money on the side as escorts, and the main purpose of the group is to have somewhere to drop their kids off when they're doing a call. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 9:59 PM EDT

Name: "anonymous"

I am shocked and I think it's unbelievable that no one has heard the WHOLE truth or even really thought hard about this topic......What people don't know is the other side of this story, I actually know that in fact, when Rick posted his profile on meet up there was no photo and very little in his profile. He didn't even live in the area and never attended one meet-up.

Now as a parent that does NOT discriminate and would welcome fathers to participate in groups and play dates etc....people have to understand that there can be a huge safety risk. Our Phone numbers , first and last names as well our addresses can be  posted for meet-ups etc.

I am sure Ricks intentions were good when he joined the group, but you have to understand as a mother or a father,  when little is known about some of the members particularly men(which is unfortunate). that parents are concerned. So in all actuality I'm sure he was asked to leave for that reason.


People also don't understand what a "Mommy and Me" group is! Some of the topics discussed at the meet ups are very very personal including topics that deal with your breasts, nipples, gynaecologic, and all the factors that go with birthing etc. I hope any man that wants to join these groups realizes it is very very personal to women and why some may have concerns about discussing these subjects in front of men. Of course it is nice to get some male perspectives on parenting etc, but I am not so sure any man could fully understand many of the things a woman's body goes through first hand!

So in all actuality Rick being asked to leave has nothing to to with discrimination or being narrow minded as the media has everyone believe. I feel this was done to enhance an untrue story to make for a better read!!! How unfair!

My heart goes out to the mothers and organizer of this group because I know the intentions were well, especially when this is a non profit support group that is trying to create a better sense of community for new moms. And in fact if anyone reads the legalities of the Meet Up .com group she was with in every right to refuse this particular member given the circumstance!

Now what would you of thought of any mothers group who would have kept a member which whom you thought suspicious( male or female). I am sorry we live in a world of perverts and sex predators, but I think this Moms group did the right thing in this case. When you actually know ALL the facts, then you can make up your mind! It's just really very sad to see how everyone made this into something totally untrue...Please people, know your facts before you judge!!!! Fathers were allowed to come to certain meet ups and were encouraged to meet the other dads as well!!!!

The women in this group have the biggest hearts and they were truly in the right place. They are the real victims here. How sad!

The paper as as well as anyone exploiting this matter should be ashamed of themselves!!!

Shame on you!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 10:19 PM EDT

Name: "anonymous"

My typo from the above satement should read... he did live in the area and never attended one meet-up.??

Monday, 24 November 2008 - 4:06 PM EST

Name: "at home dad"

Althought I have not experienced getting kicked out of a play-group I have certainly been blocked.  When my wife meets at-home moms, it is common for her to get an invitation for at home mom get togethers.   But when they learn I am the one at home its all over.   I think a lot of us have experienced this kind of descrimination.  It is sexist and unfair. Imagine if a dads group did this to an at home mom, it would be top story on CNN.



Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 11:58 AM EST

Name: "Rico"

As a potential stay at home dad in the next coming months, this article pissed me off to the ends of the earth. Having dads be able to spend tim eat home with the kids has been something that women have been pissing and moaning about for decades! 

And now that it happens, we're being labelled as "threats to other people's children"?

 If a man were to exclude a woman from a group, it would be called SEXISM. If a woman does it, it's called a "seccurity concern?!"

 What a crock of .....

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Thursday, 8 October 2009 - 12:25 AM EDT

Name: "Joshua"

Speaking as a single father, though not necessarily a stay at home father, I have found that there are several groups that are designed to help and assist mothers that quite plainly shun fathers.  This is not a new trend, it is only becoming more publicized because of the fact that there are more fathers who fit the bill now.  Gender does not determine if someone is a fit parent, and studies suggest that children do far better when they interact with BOTH genders.  Lets not mention the stories we have all read about mothers drowning their children while dad is at work, or various other stories with the only details differing being the method of the children's demise.  Lets just decide that men are more dangerous, and should be kept away from the children in general?  Comeon, people.  The issues exist with the individual, not the race or gender.  Personally I would be far more concerned with teaching our children this sort of close-mindedness than I would be over the fact that there is a male or female present in a group with several other adult figures observing everything.

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