Even if IABU, should I ignore my gut instinct in regards to a new male worker in DS's nursery?

(353 Posts)
iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 00:56:49

DH said when he collected DS1 (age 5) from nursery today there was a new male worker in his room. There has never been a male worker there before.

I know most of you will say IABU but I feel very uneasy about this. DH is indifferent.

I know only a small percent of men are abusers and I know women are capable of abusing children and have been convicted of such offences - but I would still prefer him to be looked after by females at this young age.

The vast majority of sex abusers i hear about in the news are men and, whether this is fair or not, this makes me feel slightly less trusting towards men in general this regard. For example, if DS went missing in a shopping centre and was found by someone and looked after for a few minutes I would feel more comfortable if that person happened to be a women.

I also know that children are more likely to be abused by someone they know like a family member or friend of the family rather than by someone like a nursery worker.

DS has occasional accidents in nursery when he's distracted playing with his friends and doesn't make the toilet on time - and I would be extremely unhappy to have a male worker changing his clothes etc.

I know some people think its great to have a male influence for the children rather than an all female staff but this is not important to me. DS interacts regularly with our male relatives and friends so he is not missing out in that regard. I know that is not the case for all children.

DH heard my views and feels a bit sorry for the male worker who he says is just trying to make a living. However, for me my primary concern is feeling my children are as safe as possible.

Also, my other concern is DS2 (age 1). He is in the same nursery in another room. Sometimes the staff swap between the rooms. If the new male worker was in DS2's room - I would probably switch nurseries.

I was thinking maybe about talking to the nursery manager to get some reassurances that he will just be doing classroom work rather than changing clothes etc. I imagine I might come across as a bit OTT for expressing my concerns?

I'm sure many (maybe all?) of you think IABU and irrational about this - but do you think I should ignore my gut feeling on this because it is the politically correct thing to do.

Qix Sun 16-Mar-14 01:03:48

I don't think you should ignore your gut feeling because it is the politically correct thing to do, I think you should ignore it because it is not a rational assessment of the risk.

hippo123 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:04:10

Yes, because nothing in your post gives you any reason to suspect this man of anything. Have you even met him, or was it just your dh? I bet if he was your ds's football coach or something similar you wouldn't have a problem with it. There's no reason for him not to be working in your younger dc's room either. You are being totally ott and unreasonable. Why is your ds still in nursery at 5 anyway?

Abbierhodes Sun 16-Mar-14 01:05:02

I think you are completely crazy and should get help.

Abbierhodes Sun 16-Mar-14 01:06:10

That's a good point! Nursery doesn't go up to age 5. And it's Saturday. hmm

iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 01:08:50

Ok so I am crazy - I just can't shake the unseat feeling

I used the word nursery as we're not in the UK and I thought that was the equivalent word - sorry!

We have childcare on Saturdays due to work schedules

worridmum Sun 16-Mar-14 01:09:00

am sorry you are totally YABU in every regaurd while I can understand your concern socity can not and should not have to deal with this sexist nonsense of all men are pedos because it is completely and uttly wrong.

Its not a gut feeling its just been brain washed by tv and news papers and been brought into the whole pedo around every couner crap some of the best nursery / teachers I know have been male imagne if more people had you OTT reaction to male in childcare roles.

YOU are part of the reaons that only its a rarity that male teachers can be found in primaly school and nurserys because on unreasonable notions that man in these types of jobs are all weird or pedos.

Can you picture the out cry if people tried to limit the roles of women from certain jobs for bullshit pariona reasons.

What would you respose if someone came into your place of work and talked to your manage to try to limit your duties doing your job that you are not only qualifyed but all ready been highly vetted before hand.

Just think on that before you start causing shit like this for the poor bloke trying to do a job that he enjoys and rember that people like you are a massive problem with todays socity and its like USAs treatment of black people in the 50s oh oh cant have a man (insert race here) doing that job its just not proper.

So basically you are on the same sort of level of men saying a womens place is in a kictern etc as you hold completely outdated and sexest views and should be ashmed of yourself.

iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 01:09:17

*uneasy feeling*

CrockedPot Sun 16-Mar-14 01:09:21

Why is your dcs at nursery at age 5?

MissieEverdeen Sun 16-Mar-14 01:09:33

Substitute his gender for race or sexual orientation:

I don't want my son to be looked after by this person because they are white/black.

I don't want my son to be looked after by this person because they are gay/transgender.

Can you not see how crazy you sound? You don't want him to be looked after by a man? Do you worry about your DH changing him if he has an accident? He is a man, after all.

I think, and this is just my thoughts - until you have actually met the worker, and had chance to form a true opinion of him, you need to give him the benefit of the doubt so to speak.
I do know what you mean about it being "odd" (for want of a better word) for a male to be a nursery/childcare worker, but the ones I have come across, and who have cared for my DC over the years, have all been wonderful, and nothing but a positive influence/experience for my DCs.
That said, if I'd met one of them and then had a "feeling" of distrust/dislike, I would probably have acted on it, just because confused as I would if I'd taken a dislike/had a feeling about any of the female workers come to think of it.
Why not pop in and have a wee chat with this new worker one day? Or ask the manager outright if it is likely that your DS will be in his care. I'm not sure they won't think you're a tad, well, off, so to speak, but if you really feel that strongly, then you need to do something to set your mind at rest, and have arrangements you are comfortable with for your DS's care. It's all very well people saying "don't be daft" and such, but this is you son, and you can't help how you feel. What you can help is how and what you do about it iyswim.
Hopefully you'll meet this worker and he will be lovely, and surely he has to be CRB checked and have references and all that, to have been employed by a nursery?

Skinnydecafflatte Sun 16-Mar-14 01:10:47

You do know that basically 50% of parents are male don't you?

It's not 'politically correct' to ignore your gut. It's CORRECT. The only problem with this worker who you do not know is that he is male. By all means talk to the manager if you WANT to appear a deeply stupid bigot but I wouldn't recommend that. Mind you it might save some bother as if she has any gumption at all she will give YOU notice.

iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 01:12:47

Thanks Pombear - your post makes sense

aurynne Sun 16-Mar-14 01:13:20

A majority of rapists are men. By your own reasoning, you would be reasonable to reject a male co-worker whom you haven't even met yet due to the risk of being raped by him.

See how it sounds? Now please apply this to your OP.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:13:36


Ohbyethen Sun 16-Mar-14 01:14:02

You know that the greatest risk to your dc are those male family members, you said so in your op. Yes I think yabu, not because it's politically correct but because it's completely irrational.
I'm surprised your DH hasn't told you to cop on to yourself.

I would hope the nursery would support their staff member and politely request you move nurseries if that is how you feel.
I second Abbirhodes hmm

worridmum Sun 16-Mar-14 01:14:14

thats right skinny but those 50% could all be potencal pedos we cant be to careful need to get CRB checks for the childs dad cant be to sure can we (sarcasm)

Its such a shame that the view that its weird that men cant be in a caring postion its so sad. It is also hypicritcal as well as there would be outraged if someone said its weird for a women doing any job she wants to do

MissieEverdeen Sun 16-Mar-14 01:15:06

My DP had this attitude 15 years ago from some neurotic mothers when he used to go into DSS's class helping kids to read.

Some of them thought it was "odd" a Dad would want to do it. But it was fine for Mums hmm

It made him feel awful. He was a dad who worked in the evenings, separated from DSS's mum and it was a chance for him to help out at the school, and help DSS and his classmates learn to read.

Sad to see there are some bigoted people still around after all these years. Makes me fucking furious.

ItsNotATest Sun 16-Mar-14 01:16:45

It has nothing to do with being politically correct, and everything to do with not being utterly ridiculous.

Cookiepants Sun 16-Mar-14 01:17:59

YABU. This post makes me very hmm. You have 2 sons. What age is it that they will have to be kept 200 yards away from all under 18s lest someone has a bad "gut feeling"? This worker will have been through all the same checks (CRB or non-uk equivalent ) and training as his female colleagues.

I have an infant DS and sometimes reading the all men are rapists/abusers - in - waiting posts that you see on MN makes me sad for his future.

MissieEverdeen Sun 16-Mar-14 01:22:26

I've just relayed this thread to DP, he's fucking outraged on the lad's behalf.

As he said - if you've met the male worker and you felt something was not right, that's one thing. But you haven't even met him!

Ploppy16 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:24:14

I have actually worked with a male nursery nurse. He left the job mainly because of the suspicion and name calling he got from people who don't have a clue about why the majority of NN's go into the job.
It's a shame because he was excellent, popular with the children, the staff and most of the parents but he was young and couldn't handle the accusations of paedophilea. The sadly rare group of men who could provide a nursery with a strong male presence will hopefully go on to have their own children bu they will know that they are seen as weird and suspected of having ulterior motives.
YABU. in the strongest possible terms, You are very definitely being Unreaonable.

a1992 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:25:39

I think that its rather ignorant just because you haven't met the male worker and are basing this feeling on him being male, and working in childcare.

I work in childcare and I loved doing placement in a centre that had 2 full time male teachers who worked in the room together because there was never any of the gossiping that goes on when its a room full of female workers at the same centre. and they interacted better with the children. Being in that room taught me alot seeing them with the children and how the children loved it that they would get down and play and run around with them

Being the teachers in the room they done all aspects of care, toileting, changing children, cleaning them up, feeding them etc.

Can I ask why you would have an issue with a male worker changing your child after an accident? or him being at the centre working makes your child any less safe than it being sole female workers? Because to work in childcare you have to be CRB checked, police checked, qualified and will have experience as well.

Sorry, but yab completely u! There is absolutely no reason for you not to trust this man, you haven't even met him! Why on earth should he not work with babies or help children in his care get changed? Madness!

Caff2 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:29:46

Oh dear God. Is this real. My husband and father of my children is a male primary school teacher, and I've been telling him no one thinks like this!

ZingSweetCoconut Sun 16-Mar-14 01:31:55

sorry, but not liking the fact that this nursery worker is male is not a gut instinct.

if you don't like something about him that's different.

but I think you are overreacting just because he is male....very irrational

iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 01:32:33

Ok ill try to take on board what you all have to say because obviously my views are off the wall

worridmum Sun 16-Mar-14 01:34:46

My faith in humanity has been restored with everyone in total agreement about being unreasonable about men in care roles. I just wish we could have a re education centre for all the bigots that chased my little brother out of his job because of this parnoia and threaterning to remove children (so nursery had no choice but to end his contract as the number of people saying that nursery was on unsteady ground hiring a male for the role).

My brother faught to keep his job and in the end had to go to tribunal and won a sex discrimation case which cost the nursey huge amounts of cash and apprently was blamed for the closure of it much to the disgust to most of the villegers in served

Ploppy16 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:35:25

Caff parents at my DD's school were so pleased when we got a new male KS2 teacher and a male NQT KS1 teacher. The previous 2 had retired and the staff were 100% female. There was something missing from the school that many of us couldn't put our finger on until the new staff started. Thankfully I think the OP is in the minority x

ZingSweetCoconut Sun 16-Mar-14 01:36:43

you know if after meeting him you can not stand the fact that he is there just switch nurseries, but don't say a thing, because I doubt anyone will understand you or sympathise with you.

best just to leave,

and I hope it doesn't sound rude as I'm not meaning to be.

worridmum Sun 16-Mar-14 01:36:59

Ploppy sadly she isnt in the minority everywhere in the country sad

macdoodle Sun 16-Mar-14 01:37:26

OP are you completely mad? Of course yabu....and crazy.

ZingSweetCoconut Sun 16-Mar-14 01:41:54


why the name calling? OP has already said she'll try to take everything on board.

I know people think AIBU=fight club, but if OP felt weird about aale carer than it's a valid question and worth checking, isn't it?

now she knows she IBU.


It's already been said very eloquently but how dare you think of complaining about the new nursery worker based on gender? Your attitude is appalling and it's also appalling the people who are trying to be softly softly about telling you so.

You know what? The first nursery abuser who pops into my head is that WOMAN a few years ago who allowed the abuse of children in her care, in the nursery where she also placed her own sons, happened. A woman.

You don't have a gut instinct about this individual at all, you are being sexist. Grow up and be grateful that your sons see a male in a caring role - he is being a brilliant role model for them. Or, move. And don't say anything in case you put an innocent person's career in jeopardy

ZingSweetCoconut Sun 16-Mar-14 01:42:14

*a male

Yabu totally. at ds nursery there was a male nursery nurse. The kids loved him. He cried the day he left for a new job because he loved it so much. That's who I want looking after my kids, someone who cares male or female. You are being irrational.

Ploppy16 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:44:24

I don't know worrid, I think it may be a vocal minority. It tends to be the same type of 'hang them and flog them' lot who would protest outside a paediatricians house...

LettertoHermioneGranger Sun 16-Mar-14 01:45:11


If you actually met him and had a gut feeling, I would say yes, take your children out, but this isn't the case, this is just a preconceived and incorrect idea of male nursery/preschool workers.

I'm in the field and it's incredibly sad when I see my peers, men I've gone to school with, excellently educated and dedicated teaching professionals, met with distrust and fear and struggling to even be hired despite their qualifications.

Don't forget, they go through the same screening/background check/fingerprinting as any female worker.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 16-Mar-14 01:45:59

YABU, hugely so.

skitter Sun 16-Mar-14 01:46:36

I agree with other posters that a gut instinct has to be based on actually meeting the person, not just on gender. My ds has had several male childcare workers in his room at nursery. They have all been great, but if I met a childcare worker and felt uneasy about that person (rather than their gender), then I would speak with the centre managers. Suspicion of an entire gender is crazy.

Ploppy16 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:51:10

Another view. My nephew was extremely ill some years ago and totally dependant on medical staff for everything. The nurse who dealt the most with him in the HDU was male. This bloke, an old school friend of mine actually did everything for him when his parents were taking a much needed break. Is this weird or wrong? This man helped my nephew in every way and was responsible for dealing with intimate needs such as helping him to get to the toilet.
What would you do in that situation?

cafecito Sun 16-Mar-14 01:52:11

YAB very Unreasonable

By far the best staff in DS's nursery are men

I would also draw your attention to the recent nursery prosecutions - where WOMEN were abusing the children

go see your doctor and get some benzos if you are this anxious about a non event

Morloth Sun 16-Mar-14 01:53:38

OP what age will your children change into predators?

iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 01:56:50

OP here

In relation to a male nurse looking after my child - for some irrational reason this would not bother me

Ok so maybe I'm crazy!!

But I think all humans are irrational about some things. I'm terrified of spiders - I don't know why -rationally I know they can't hurt me but sometimes you feel a certain way even though you know it makes no sense!

LuisCarol Sun 16-Mar-14 01:58:33

Thank you, mn.

Ploppy16 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:58:40

Not crazy but buying into the myth that all men are bad. Read Morloth's post. Would you want someone to think of your own Sons in that way?

AveryJessup Sun 16-Mar-14 01:58:43

I hope nobody ever takes that attitude towards your sons if they choose to work in a caring role when they grow up. What an odd paranoid attitude you have.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 16-Mar-14 01:59:49

YABU for the reasons already stated.

A better way to reassure yourself is to ask what safeguarding policies the nursery has in place. Abusive staff can be male or female and any decent nursery should have firm policies in place to protect both the children and staff.

JapaneseMargaret Sun 16-Mar-14 01:59:56

I thought you were going to tell us about an actual gut instinct, (as opposed to an out and out prejudice), but you haven't even met the man.

Be reasonable.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 02:02:15

Is there a primary school in the land that isn't falling over itself to get male teachers or , the ultimate asset, a male head?

There was almost a riot at my son's school when his Primary 3 male teacher left.

iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 02:09:28

Op here again

I'm drip-feeding now -(but anyway)- we have had a previously very bad experience with childcare to the extent that I strongly considered giving up my job because DH & myself were very nervous putting our children back into childcare. In the end we decided that financially it was not realistic to do this so we put them back in childcare. It took a long time to feel comfortable with this - I felt very guilty and worried about them.

Maybe the above explains a little why I'm being irrational or anxious

I'm not trying to use this as an excuse for my views but just trying to give a fuller picture.

NobodyLivesHere Sun 16-Mar-14 02:24:17

Yabu and yes you should ignore your 'instinct'.


UncleT Sun 16-Mar-14 02:42:22

You're not just unreasonable but also downright offensive. You haven't even met the guy. Shame on you. You have sons? How would you feel if someone basically treated them like a presumed pervert simply because of their gender? God above...

jellyandcake Sun 16-Mar-14 02:55:11

I can honestly say that if there was a male worker at my son's nursery, the thought of him being an abuser would not even occur to me. I find it bizarre that this was your first thought!

It isn't a 'gut feeling' - as others have said, it's irrational and unfounded prejudice. It isn't 'political correctness' to prevent yourself from expressing such blind prejudice, it is simply 'being a sensible person'.

It would be very sad if you were to speak to the manager expecting that this worker was to be treated with suspicion on his workplace and not allowed to fulfill the normal duties of his job in case he is a paedophile. Ridiculously insulting and an outright bizarre assumption to make.

schlurplethepurple Sun 16-Mar-14 03:03:49

I second UncleT's post.

I've read some disgusting and offensive tripe on AIBU but this takes the biscuit. Shameful, absolutely shameful.

Actually I've just realised that the only male at my DS2s preschool is the owner/manager. I wonder if that is because of views like yours?

How about you get to know him, find out his qualifications and what experience he has, and then decide if he is suitable to teach/care for your child.

Brabra Sun 16-Mar-14 03:38:38

Is that previous bad experience that was not enough to make you give up work connected to this young lad? You are being completely irrational and also offensive.

OP, you are probably being overprotective, but if something strikes you as fishy, you should your son for your own peace of mind. You can't leave your kid with people you don't trust. End of.

you should move your son*

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 03:57:34

Absolutely disgusting attitude to have.

I'm sorry but there must be some issues you have here.

Dirtymistress Sun 16-Mar-14 04:02:10

Ds1 (2.5) has a male key worker at nursery. He is wonderful and ds1 responds really well to him. Ds2 (1) is at the same nursery and will eventually also be cared for by the same nursery nurse. I couldn't be happier. Dp is currently training to be a higher level ta, and will hopefully work in a primary school. That doesn't make him weird, just someone who wants to work with kids and has an aptitude for it.
It is no wonder that many young men still grow up with the attitude that caring for kids is a woman's job when their own mothers perpetuate such nonsense. How very sad.

TraceyTrickster Sun 16-Mar-14 04:04:43

my daughter had male workers from aged 1 (in nappies) to age 5 (toilet trained) and they were often the most fun from kids point of view. Men have a different approach and tend to play more than 'care' as such, so kids generally love them.

Two were musicians and the daycare job paid the bills while they were free to play music (and often did do to the children and got them to dance). Another was a pediatric student chiropracter...he was gorgeous and used the time to understand kids better. The last one was a gay man who desperately wanted to be a dad. They were all fabulous in different ways and my daughter loved them....never had a moments doubt about them.

And the toilet area was designed so that staff could see in ...made it easier to manage adequate staff numbers/ensure kids did not play in toilet area and of course assuage any concerns about improper behaviour.

Think you are completely irrational unless you ensure your child is NEVER alone with a male who is not their father.

RealAleandOpenFires Sun 16-Mar-14 04:11:52


If my son (when he's a adult, of course!), wanted to work with children of both sexes as a career, should I tell him to get all his bits removed, otherwise he will automatically be considered a pervert? After all...no bits (balls & knob) no threat...yes?

Or would you prefer an un-remobable male chastity device placed on all males dealing with children, until they retire?

Maybe the guy is gay, but that doesn't mean that he wants to have sex with children DOES IT?

Lastly...have you heard any rumors going around the gates? If so report them to the nursery as you might save a guy's life & career.

If you can't be arsed not too, then you'll have "blood" on your hands, when the poor bloke is "sacked/asked to leave" & commits suicide.

Harsh post?...maybe it is? I'll leave that up other people to decide.

innisglas Sun 16-Mar-14 04:14:39

The male worker in my daughter's creche was just lovely. The other teachers complained that as soon as he arrived on the premises all the children would leave them to crowd around him.

As I was a single mother I was even more delighted, obviously.

I'm a great believer in gut instincts, but you haven't even met this man

Gullygirl Sun 16-Mar-14 04:20:15

Joining the chorus of YABUs.
You have a gut instinct about a man you have never met ffs.Wind your neck in,OP.

As a side note, my children's primary school has an equal number of male and female teachers.
We consider the children to be very lucky indeed,they have positive role models of both sexes working with them, helping them to develop into confident, happy,well educated children.

Russianfudge Sun 16-Mar-14 04:34:49

I think that given the lack of make role models in many children's lives it is a shame there aren't more make nursery workers.

Your husband is right and you are wrong, OP.

UncleT Sun 16-Mar-14 04:48:38

Not at all harsh Real. Any kind of perceived or direct undeserved accusation against such a man could have truly devastating consequences. Do you know if he has kids of his own? Do you know his experience, qualifications or references from former employers? Do you know ANYTHING much about him other than his gender and where he works?? I hope to God you keep this kind of crap to yourself. The starting of any kind of rumour on this basis really could ruin a decent person's life, or even end it. It's probably one of men's worst nightmares to be wrongly accused of sexual abuse of any kind. So long as the guy does a good job, let him get on with it and show him some respect.

Whowouldfardelsbear Sun 16-Mar-14 04:54:22

This makes me so sad. DDs' daycare (nursery - also not in UK) gave out notices advising of a new staff member due to start soon. This was standard practice but also had a line about how if any parents had any 'concerns' they should speak with the manager. This line had never appeared in any similar notices before. I can only assume this line was added as it was a male worker.

Happily, the manager reported that she had had nothing but positive feedback from parents, mostly delighted that the children would see a male in this role.

This seems like the bad old days when women were ridiculed if they wanted to work in engineering or other traditional 'male' spheres. Nobody would think it reasonable to question a woman engineer these days.

EatDessertFirst Sun 16-Mar-14 05:19:41

YAB beyond U OP! I was hoping this was a wind-up!

Already really eloquently put by PP but I just wanted to add that I hope this bigotry won't pass to your son. Maybe you should get help. People like you are part of the reason highly skilled and qualified chaps must be reluctant to work in childcare. Disgusting attitude.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 05:22:01

you are being totally unreasonable to be so fearful, but if you are so concerned, to put your mind at rest, why don't you simply ask the nursery what background checks they do on staff before they hire them. Don't ask specfically about this man as you will come across as a lunatic. But at least they can reassure you as to the process of police checks etc they go thru before hiring someone.

You do need to get a little perspective though as to how likely children are to be abused by a stranger because you are going to drive yourself absolutely mad if you continue to react in this way towards innocent men who are simply trying to earn a living.

Bearandcub Sun 16-Mar-14 05:22:11

Iphoneaddict perhaps you have other issues you feel anxious about in regards to your children's safety?

Maybe you would benefit from discussing these fears with a healthcare professional

RuddyDuck Sun 16-Mar-14 05:45:53

YABVU, Op, because you are not talking about "gut instinct" but about your bigotry and prejudice.

I have 2 ds, in their teens. One regularly babysits, he has also volunteered to help with the local cub group as part of his D of E. If he decided he would like a career in childcare, teaching or nursing children, I would be fully supportive. However, I would have some trepidation because of the fact that he might face irrational prejudice from people like you.

You haven't even met this nursery worker, you have jumped to conclusions and said you will act upon your prejudice ( you will switch nurseries if this worker is put in the same room as your ds2???).

As others have pointed out, your ds will one day be grown up -will you then tell them to keep away from children because some people will believe them to be child abusers purely because they are male?

gamerchick Sun 16-Mar-14 06:33:09

Op do you have a touch of anxiety anyway when it comes to the kids? Sometimes our instinct to protect can get a bit out of kilter and we see danger in places we don't need to.

Meet the dude.. you'll probably be alright or better than you feel now.

Bonsoir Sun 16-Mar-14 06:44:23

If the nursery is generally well-managed and you trust the owners/managers you should do as everyone else says and relax.

If you don't trust the nursery you should withdraw your DC.

Rosa Sun 16-Mar-14 06:51:20

Honestly get a grip. We have a male assistant at dd nursery / pre school he is adored by the children and respected by the parents. When dd had a temp and I was called DD was obviously ill he was caring for her in a way I would hope anyone would when I was not there. Why don't you meet him first before going off in the deep end.

Kytti Sun 16-Mar-14 06:57:19

Are you taking the piss? You don't like him because he's male? FFS. Get a grip, you stupid woman.

GiraffesAndButterflies Sun 16-Mar-14 06:57:51

I kind of get where the OP is coming from- if you read certain media you get a constant 'drip' of "all men are pedos" so I think it's easy to mistake prejudice for a justified concern.

But it's not rational OP- your fear is simply not based in reality. The overwhelming, massive likelihood is that this guy is in childcare for the same reasons any woman would be.

But you have sons OP - would you want their career path closed to them because they must be a rapist / paedophile?!

Springcleanish Sun 16-Mar-14 07:10:49

Ridiculous! So, my 15 year old son helps at beavers and cubs, loves working with young children, is fantastic with them, and thinking of this for a career. He needs to think about being blocked from this if he does follow this path because of his gender? Yet my daughter will be actively encouraged to look at careers like engineering, to even out the gender divide.
My son was in childcare from 6 months old due to me working. Some of the main influences in him being the caring boy he is, we're childminders older sons and husbands whom he played with when they were around. For me the lack of male role models at nursery and throughout primary school was a real shame.
I think you are really lucky to have a positive role model for your son at that age, and if you really don't like it find another nursery, don't jeopardise this poor man'scareer with your unfounded prejudice.

Bornin1984 Sun 16-Mar-14 07:16:33

You actually sound slanderous and your"views"can cost a very capable and qualified person a job! Perhaps you should deal with your anxiety instead of taking it out on this poor bloke! Your children are
Going to come across male I any aspect of their life... School mainly! Is there a problem with that??

Just in the interest of fairness which country are you based? Is it a country fill of bigotry and poisonous opinions?

Sadly I can't help but feel sad for this poor man because the op has
Already judged him so when he does meet her he's already on a loosing battle!!

grizzabellia Sun 16-Mar-14 07:17:54

I think you are being ridiclulous - your 'gut feeling' seems to be based purely on this poor bloke's gender! If you had met him and had 'distinctly creepy' vibes then it would seem more understandable. When my little girl changed nurseries at 18 months she took ages to settle and the only person she seemed to attach herself to at nursery was this lovely young guy who was a bit of a goth, very kind and gentle with the kids. We thought it was quite amusing at the time. He left and I was actually quite gutted as I had been particularly impressed that the nursery employed a male worker.

It is ridiculous to suspect all men of being child abusers, nurseries have v strict policies on things like nappy changing anyway, in ours it is always done in full view of other staff. Are you going to complain if they end up with a male primary school teacher too? Personally I think more men should be encouraged into childcare as a lot are naturally good with young children,

TheKnightsThatSayNee Sun 16-Mar-14 07:17:58

There is a 2 men at my dd nursery and they are both lovely and hey are extremely popular with the kids.
Nurseries are very safe places with lots of safe guarding (in the uk anyway) also sadly for him his colleges are probably watching him like a hawk because even though this thread does not reflect it I'm sure lots of people feel the same way you do.
I really think you'll feel better when you met him and he is no longer just a unknown make looking after your child but is a real person. I'd be nervous about anyone I don't know looking after dd especially if I'd had bad experiences in the past.
I think you might want to examine the reasons you feel so nervous about men as well.

Sirzy Sun 16-Mar-14 07:18:42

I really feel for any man trying to build a career in childcare as they are going to spend their whole career being judged like this simply because of their gender sad it's no wonder so few men pick childcare as a career.

oohdaddypig Sun 16-Mar-14 07:22:04

I feel for the OP here.

The fact remains that the vast majority of people who sexually abuse children are men. That is fact.. Very young children are more vulnerable in this regard. There are particular circumstances at nurseries eg help using toilet etc meaning a direct comparison with football coaching, say, is not relevant.

I feel desperately sorry for the vast majority of men who aren't abusers but the fact remains that a nursery is an unusual place for employment of men.

My DH and I discussed this very issue last year and he would not be happy with a male nursery worker. For me, I would be more comfortable if I met the worker, spoke to the nursery etc. we are both entirely sane people who discussed this rationally and sensibly.

I think you have been brutally honest OP and I respect you for it. You aren't allowed to express opinions any more that have a whiff of prejudice about then. But your concerns are not unreasonable IMHO.

lavenderhoney Sun 16-Mar-14 07:22:32

I can't think of anything to say except one day your ds will grow up, god willing, and work, how would you feel if someone like you stepped in to torpedo his hopes for a career in his chosen profession because he is male?

And what makes you so sure all the females there are so perfect? Woman can be abusers as well.

You are lucky your ds has contact with another male role model except his father. Think of the women there as female role models for him as well.

If you think this nursery is so lax with hiring then move him. I'm sure they are happy with this carer.

TinyTear Sun 16-Mar-14 07:24:14

I am quite fortunate to have a male worker at my daughter's nursery. He is lovely and caring and comforted her when the old school closed and some kids and staff moved to the new one. I was glad he was one of the staff members who moved with the kids.

chrome100 Sun 16-Mar-14 07:24:31

YABVVVVVU. Your post has made me angry.

Electryone Sun 16-Mar-14 07:26:57

This attitude appalls, disgusts and worries me all at the same time, as my DH is a male childminder. Initially he didn't have mindees for a year but is now full, and in fact busier than most other female cms. Because its about the personality and nit the gender, and thankfully local parents don't hold such prejudiced views as you OP. You will leave them with male relatives yet worry about male childcare workers changing them? Irrational.

ilovecolinfirth Sun 16-Mar-14 07:28:13

When my son's nursery got a male worker I was pleased. It adds a different and important dynamic, and the children adored him. If you're concerned about a male member of staff without meeting him, I suggest that maybe you're concerned with the whole nursery. My sons' nursery is so open-plan that changing facilities can be seen, and the staff are so professional I have no doubts about whistleblowing. You don't sound like you trust the nursery in general.

Mumof3xx Sun 16-Mar-14 07:29:50


But I do think your reaction is due to it not being as common for men to work in early years. Early years need more men.

My ds2 was cared for by a male nursery worker when he was a baby. Ds1 had a male year one teacher (he was 5)

They both adored these men! The nursery worker changed my ds2s clothes and nappies. The teacher supervised ds1 change for pe.

I really don't think this should be an issue
How would you like it if someone told you you couldn't do your job because you were a woman?

If less people had this attitude more men would probably take early years as a career choice

MiserableCowWhenUpTheDuff Sun 16-Mar-14 07:32:37

I have teenage boys and a 4 month old baby, and nephews aged 3 & 1, my boys are absolutely fantastic with all the little ones, my 15 year old especially.

I tried to encourage him to take childcare as a GCSE option and to eventually work with children as I genuinely believe this could be a brilliant career choice for him that he would get a great deal of job satisfaction from and he refused on the basis that 'people' will think its weird.

It is people like you op that influence children, how will you feel when your boys are older and someone accuses them (which is essentially what you are doing) of being a peadophile because they are male? I know I would be devastated.

Oh and for what it's worth, I think yab incredibly u!!!

Beachcombergirl Sun 16-Mar-14 07:33:31

My dd attends nursery and has a male key worker. It has literally never occurred to me that this might be a problem and cause some sort of thread to my dd. I would feel sad if I started to fear every man who had a responsibility for caring for little ones. Why is it that you think you have this gut feeling?

foreverondiet Sun 16-Mar-14 07:34:31

Your gut instinct? Yet you haven't even met him? Listen to yourself. And even worse you have a DS and not a DD so even less reason for your concern (maybe 5 year old girl might not want help in toilet from a man?) Sorry can't believe you even posted this.

Timetoask Sun 16-Mar-14 07:38:04

You haven't met the person. This is completely unreasonable.

DoYonisHangLow Sun 16-Mar-14 07:43:18

When DD1 started preschool (she's now almost 5) there was a lovely young guy who worked in her room, always smiley and chatty had lots of time for the children/ parents. Very obviously gay and seemed fantastic at hs job. About 6 months after he was arrested on the nursery grounds and suspended (subsequently fired) due to suspicion of child abuse. That shook me up a lot and the nursery didn't deal with it very well IMO.

Having said that, I don't think it's changed my opinion about male workers, though certainly I feel more comfortable once DC are verbal now as I was confident nothing untoward happened with DD as her speech was fab. DD2 is younger and less verbal but there are no male orders at the nursery now.

Funnyfoot Sun 16-Mar-14 07:56:02


Your child is 5 so I would assume at school (or given that you are in a different country will be soon) half the teacher could me male. What will you do then?
Go to the school and say your child can only be taught by female teachers?

sparklyma Sun 16-Mar-14 07:57:24

Yabvvvvu. I work in a primary school. We have an incredibly good male ta and several very good male teachers. The male ta is an incredibly good role model, a fabulous educator and such a downright lovely bloke that every child deserves someone that good in their lives.
It saddens me that parents might think that about him. He's awesome.

WaitMonkey Sun 16-Mar-14 08:00:10

You are going to look unhinged, if you go into the nursery and say you don't want this worker to change your sons clothes. I really feel sorry for this man. You don't have a gut instinct. You just don't want him to care for your son because he is a man. Totally vile.

kozmicblues Sun 16-Mar-14 08:05:19

Whoa! I don't know why you are getting such a hard time OP. Surely, this is one of the greatest fears of any parent. Partciularly when your child is at such a young age and is incapable of communication or knowing about "stranger danger" etc. Children are most vulnerable at this age. People don't walk around with 'PEODO" on their foreheads. If you were an abuser, wouldn't you look to work closely with children? Childcare, schools, Churches etc - there is a long standing historical pattern of abusers in these settings. I'm not saying this is widespread, but it sadly does happen.I would not be comfortable with a male nursery worker when my child is that age and too young to communicate. I couldn't give a fuck if that makes me sexist. Obviously you can't avoiid it for life - there are bound to be male teachers in school. But at least your child is old enough to be educated on these dangers. I'm with you on this OP.

Op dfod. And find something proper with actual risk to worry about than this fabricated thing.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 08:08:19

We have been fed this stuff by the media - there was a program about cognitive bias a few weeks ago and how risks are taken out of all proportion because of news reporting - whereas the real risk is very low.

And I know all about being judged because of "what I am" and the fact I work with children. I am transgender and yes - I have worked in a nursery. I wouldn't change children because of people like the OP who assume the worst.

Mumof3xx Sun 16-Mar-14 08:09:43

Some of the cases of abuse in child care settings have involved women

So would you not trust any setting kozmicblues

Sirzy Sun 16-Mar-14 08:10:54

I hope nobody educates their child that "men are dangerous" or any similar ways.

Some of the attitudes on this thread are really sad. I am assuming approximately half of us have sons - how would you feel if they were stopped from persuing their career of choice because of narrow minded individuals who are assuming they must be abusive and avoided at all costs?

My son went to an outstanding nursery which employed a male nursery worker.

It's not far from a nursery where a female worker is now serving a long sentence for child abuse.

My eldest son is a teenager who is non verbal. Many of his carers at school and respite are male - & fabulous they are as well.

If a provision is well run then there will not be opportunities for abuse as there will be rigorous procedures around personal care. If there aren't & you want to indulge in paranoia then you should be worried about the men & the women (& move your child to somewhere better run)

HairyGrotter Sun 16-Mar-14 08:13:51

Oh Mumsnet, you never fail to make me have a face like this hmm...

YABU! You've not even met the fucking guy?! How on EARTH can you have a gut feeling about someone you've not been on actual contact with?! I think you need to out the newspapers down, have a little moment of self reflection then snap the fuck out of it.

You will pass these fears on to your boys, how would you feel if another person felt the same about your boys?!

Some of the shit on this site is phenomenal, glad it's not a good representation of the world. confused

I wouldn't be remotely surprised if my middle son ends up working with kids - or children with disabilitirs - he's very good with them. I hope in ten years time people will have put down their pitchforks.

MrsSparkles Sun 16-Mar-14 08:14:47

I think it's a bit hard to understand how you can have a gut feeling without having spoken or interacted with the poor guy at all. I think that society has conditioned us to be suspicious of any men who work with children (similar to how women who work in male dominated environments are criticised), and that isn't right.

There are 2 guys at the nursery my DD goes to - they only work in the preschool room - to avoid nappy changes (which I think is sad , but they are fantastic. The kids love them, and I think they bring something important to the room.

Try talking to him, and hopefully it will put you at ease!

aquashiv Sun 16-Mar-14 08:14:59

I am always happy to see lads where the children attend holiday clubs. Its a good dynamic. I don't want my kids thinking only women are adequate child carers.

You sound like a sexist nut job.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 08:16:54

What an odd post! There was a Nursery Worker convicted of paedophilia offences in recent years. She was a woman. Unless you're going to start viewing all women workers with the same suspicion YABU. Heaven help you when DC starts school. My DCs school has a lovely mixed balance of Male and Female Teachers and it has never once crossed my mind.

shakethetree Sun 16-Mar-14 08:18:59

Some child abusers deliberately seek out jobs working with children, that is a fact, & it is still unusual to find that many men who'd want to work in a nursery - but I'm not sure I'd worry too much about it, over thinking can drive us mad can't it.

dawntigga Sun 16-Mar-14 08:22:49

Actually, I have a spare grip for you, take it and use it.


Recently there have been several high profile cases involving women who have abused children on the behest of peadophile men. One of these cases was a female nursery worker. You are far better protected by asking about their safeguarding and child protection procedures. In the nursery case there was something very wrong when the woman was able to get children alone for long a ough to abuse them and photograph it - I did some observation at my DS nursery (in a professional capacity, not as a parent! But it might reassure some of you to do so) and I didn't see any opportunity for a predator to abuse a child if they had wanted to, they were never alone for long enough. They did change nappies in the office but the door was always open and they had free flow of staff and children so nobody would have had the opportunity iykwim.
This nursery had a male staff member who was amazing. My DS just loved him. He had such a nice way and as a father of two young children himself he was very experienced and professional. It would not have crossed my mind that he was a peadophile, and I work in the child protection arena so I'm not clueless.

ineedsomeinspiration Sun 16-Mar-14 08:24:32

yabu sorry You haven't even met this man. What are you going to do when ds starts school there will be male teachers there anx they'll be in the changing rooms for pe etc.
My ds childminders son sometimes helps her. He is CAB checked and my ds loves him. They play football and he watches him play drums and guitar.

Paedophile, peadophile? I thought it was the first one but my iPad seems to think it's the second confused

Another YABU though I do see you've taken it on board. There was a young male worker at DD's nursery and the kids all adored him.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 08:31:32

CRB / DBS checks mean nothing.

What is important is the setting has procedures so abuse by anyone is unlikely to happen - so no worker is left alone changing a child for example.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 08:36:01

Why is it unusual?...

kozmicblues Sun 16-Mar-14 08:38:28

That is very true mumof3! Female abusers exist. A smaller percentage, but they do exist. This woman was charged on distrubuting indecent images to a male peodophile. Which is positively vulgar and makes my stomach drop - If my child had been at that nursery I don't even know what I would have done with myself. As far as I know there was no physical abuse. That is my prime fear. I know that isn't a very strong argument but I'm saying I sympathise and understand where OP is coming from. As someone who knows several people who have experinced sexual abuse and know people who work is social service roles and deal with sexual abuse cases often, I am perhaps over-cautious about this topic. My boyfriend thinks, I am a bit OTT, but I don't care. The sad facts are it does happen and I would do whatever I could to minimise the risks. I haven't looked into putting my child in nursery yet. She is one and a half. But I said to my partner I am not comfortable putting her in a nursery until she can communicate and I don't want male workers. I do feel badly for genuine male workers who are fabulous with kids. I have heard of a nursery that has cameras hooked up and you can check in on your laptop to see how your little ones are doing. That would put me at ease when the time comes, so would probably look into that. This thread isn't hepled that last night I watched an FBI case file about Jessica Lunsford which was absolutely devestating to watch. I cried and cried. This man wasn't a teacher or nursery worker. But I could not sleep after watching it. There are horrific people in this world sad

IAmNotDarling Sun 16-Mar-14 08:41:16

Glad to see you are thinking more deeply about this OP.

My DD had a nursery assistant who was male in her previous nursery on placement if ring his early years education degree.

He was just as good as the other carers. The kids loved him and he will make a great teacher.

I think we need a better balance in early education.

PetShopGirl Sun 16-Mar-14 08:41:25

Funnily enough, I noticed a new man at my son's nursery on Friday (in a different room, so no particular reason for me to have been introduced/spoken to him). Literally the only thing that went through my mind was 'oh, that's nice'. Seems very odd to think anything else.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 16-Mar-14 08:42:33

Skipping straight to the end:

YABVU. MissieEverdeen's post resonated, because I used to help with reading at DD's primary and I got a few funny comments from both genders.

Well, fuck 'em. Honi soit qui mal y pense. And from my Scots ancestry Nemo me impune lacessit. But what I would usually say was "go and get a mate with a hammer and say that again".

overthemill Sun 16-Mar-14 08:47:45

Wheres nannynick when you need him? OP YABU obviously. If your country of residence has effective methods of checking on workers then all workers in the nursery are likely to be ok. If you don't trust the system, remove your child

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 08:50:12

That woman was entrusted with the care of another persons child (well many) she abused that trust and wrecked those children's lives. What she did was just as bad as the rest and I hope she rots in hell. The OP has never even met the man but has already judged him. My sisters last midwife was a male. The midwife that looked after my son when he was a day old was male. 3 Teachers in my Primary were male. 5 Teachers in my DCs primary are male. Why is it so odd? For a man to do a 'womans job'. I thought we had moved on from the 1920s?...

Branleuse Sun 16-Mar-14 08:50:55

there was a lovely male nursery worker at my dcs playgroup. His daughter went there too. Kids all loved him. I think its nice to have a balance.

tripecity Sun 16-Mar-14 08:51:41

Are you a troll OP? Or just very a very foolish sexist bigot?

Catsize Sun 16-Mar-14 08:52:44

I had to read the OP a few times to work out on what basis this gut feeling was based. Nothing, other than gender. Just shocking. I would love to see more men in these roles.

Kozmic, I don't know the details of that case intimately of course but as far as I remember she abused the children and took photos of the abuse. She also used objects ( sorry) that she had easy access to in order to abuse, which should not have been accessible to her, nor should her mobile phone. These were all unsafe procedures which are not allowed in decent settings.

Catsize Sun 16-Mar-14 08:54:15

I wondered that too tripe. Can't believe someone can write this with sincerity.

formerbabe Sun 16-Mar-14 08:55:40

How can you have a gut instinct over someone you have not met?!

What you actually have is an over active imagination influenced by the media particularly the tabloid press.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 08:57:17

Just picking up on this bit "I'd be extremely unhappy fo. A male worker to change his clothes". Eh? Where are you from again OP? As you said you're not in UK. Even the woman workers In Ds Nursery werent allowed to change their clothes after an accident. Put gloves on and child has to change themselves and they would bag clothes up for them etc in case they got accused of something sinister. Then again they're not allowed to put cream on when a child's eczema is flared up neither...because of attitudes like this.

Sirzy Sun 16-Mar-14 09:02:05

Miss - there is no reason why childcare workers shouldn't be helping children change, or putting on cream when they need it - as long as they have proper safeguarding systems in place.

That is why in most early years setting the childrens toilets are 'open' so the area outside the cubicles can be easily seen into by anyone

UriGeller Sun 16-Mar-14 09:02:31

My son trained to be a nursery worker and did an apprenticeship in one and has now started to train to be a Child Psychologist.

The blatant discrimination he came up against from parents and other nursery staff was horrible. I'm glad he doesn't do that job anymore, I feel genuinely sorry for any man who has the ability and drive to work with children, when a lot of children need a responsible, consistent male caregiver in their lives but has to put up with discrimination and being told daily that "You're a weirdo" and "we're all keeping a close eye on you incase you do something inappropriate".

Most children have a Dad who loves and cares for them. He's a man too.

PunkrockerGirl Sun 16-Mar-14 09:04:25

Yabu. What happens when dc starts full time school and possibly has a male teacher? Would you refuse ds medical care from a male doctor/nurse? This gives me the absolute rage. My own ds aged 22 has just started work as a teaching assistant with a view to doing his pgce next year and he wants to teach primary age children aged 4 upwards. He is male, this does not make him a child abuser.

DrOwh Sun 16-Mar-14 09:09:18

I don't know if the OP is real or not but I know a person in RL who totally thinks like this.

Her husband BEST friend is a lovely guy who is a sahp with two daughters and she also think this is very wrong because the MAN should be the breadwinner and the woman should cook and look after the children. This guy us trying to become a CM and she is utterly disgusted by this.
She also is racist and homophobic and hardly socialises outside her religious group.
Unfortunetely she is my neighbour and I work with her husband sometimes and our children are friends and do one after school activity together so it is diffucult for me to go NC with her.

kozmicblues Sun 16-Mar-14 09:11:54

Of course men can do a 'womans job.' What used to be assocated as being a heavily dominated female profession - sewing, cooking, hairdressing, care work etc - these stereotyped female roles, should no longer exist. That mindest doesn't exist in my world anyway. No one cares if a male sews or cuts hair anymore - why would you? I really am not stuck in a 20s mindset. What I am specifically talking about is roles that involve working closely with children. Young children. Nursery age and younger. I know you can't wrap your children in bubble for ever. I had a lot of positive male teachers. And a few creepy ones. One of my high school teachers was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a student. One of my primary school teachers used to talk about women in a very sexist and sexual way. He used to draw lude drawing and make crass jokes. Everyone seemed to know that he was a bit off but nobody ever did anything. Sorry, ramble, just got me thinking.. But I am saying I get why the OP feels uncomfortable. I hope that woman rots in hell also. What she did was appaulling, putting it lightly. I know what I am saying is not politically correct, when I say I wouldn't use a male nursery worker. But people specifically ask for female doctors rather than male doctors all the time. Is this not being sexist or discriminating in some way? I am not saying these two things are the same. Probably a bad example. What I am saying is, I choose to have female staff over male. As you can see, a lot of people disagree with me. But it is my right to make that choice, even if it makes me look like an arse.

perplexedpirate Sun 16-Mar-14 09:12:26

OP, you have 2 sons.
Fast forward twenty years and imagine someone having this attitude towards them.
Stinks, doesn't it?

puntasticusername Sun 16-Mar-14 09:13:15

OP, I'm glad you now realise that you were being extremely unreasonable in this matter.

I'm very sympathetic about the fact that you have some unusual levels of anxiety about your son due to the past events you allude to, but you should be addressing these anxieties in the proper manner rather than by channeling them towards random strangers who are, in all probability, entirely innocent of the crimes you are imagining thanks

susiey Sun 16-Mar-14 09:17:58

You are being so unreasonable !

I work in child care and see the effect a male worker has on a room the kids love it!
The facts are you are more likely to be abused by a close family member or family friend. I really dislike this not trusting males to do childcare thing in society .

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 09:19:16

Prejudice: 'preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience'

24 hour TV news and shows like CSI which present psychopaths murdering strangers as common in every neighbourhood have created a nation of terrified and paranoid parents who believe they are keeping their children safe by controlling every aspect of their lives.

You are not keeping you children safe - they were already safe.

They live in the safest society we have ever created!

Unfortunately the OP is simply the rather frightening and logical end result of the risk assessing, litigation fearing, bogey-man spotting culture we have created. We have lost the ability to actually assess risk. We see it everywhere - from carrying a cup of tea in McDonalds to having warnings on washing machines not to switch on with a child inside. We are bombarded with parenting books which tell us if we just do things this way we will get it right.

Men are not a risk to children. Period.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 09:20:57

No one cares if a male sews or cuts hair anymore so why should you precisely. So why should people care that a male has entered into Childcare world. It's just silly to mark them out as 'potentially off' just because of their gender as the OP has done here...especially considering she hasn't even met him!

Tanith Sun 16-Mar-14 09:23:17

I'm concerned by some posters stating that most abusers are male. That's actually not true. Most are female.

Regarding sexual abuse, we don't know. Most convicted paedophiles are male, but there was a widely held belief until very recently that women simply weren't capable of sexual abuse. Many victims of female abuse were disbelieved.

Logically, it's likely that there are as many female sexual abusers as male. However, the vast majority of men and women do not sexually abuse children.

Op, by the way, you are being unreasonable. I work with my DH as childminders. Neither of us are abusers.

RuddyDuck Sun 16-Mar-14 09:32:43

As others have said, sexual abuse is incredibly rare. Of course it is horrific and no-one wants their child to be at risk from it, but the most likely perpetrators are within the family or close network of friends. OP would you not let your ds go to a friend's house if an adult male was going to be there? How are you going to protect them from these potential male abusers you think are lurking everywhere?

I think it is so sad that the OP and some others here hold outdated and frankly dangerous attitudes about what is a "correct" job for a man.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 16-Mar-14 09:40:25

No kozmicblue it is not your right to ask not to have a male worker look after your child, just because you feel it is your right to be a bigot doesn't make it true. Just like I couldn't demand a 'foreigner' didn't look after me in hospital

Stinklebell Sun 16-Mar-14 09:44:20

This attitude makes me really sad.

DH used to be a football coach, we have 2 girls who aren't interested in football in the slightest, and he was subjected to all kinds of gossip and speculation as to why he would coach a football team when "he has girls"

And more recently as a School governor, he helps in out class sometimes, has helped on school trips, etc - he has always refused to go into the classes our children are in so it's "weird", "why would a man do that?"

DH loves kids, is a massive kid himself and enjoys it. It's sad that he is subjected to this narrow minded nonsense

Greenkit Sun 16-Mar-14 09:45:33

My daughter did a Level 2 childcare course with a 22yr old man as she said he was amazing with the kids.

shakethetree Sun 16-Mar-14 09:58:10

When my son was 4 he had a male swimming instructor, he would get in the pool with the children to show them the correct arm positions etc, ( this was 10 years ago so not sure that's allowed now? ) the parents were able to sit & watch from the viewing gallery but most didn't. I never once thought my son was at risk, it didn't even cross my mind. My son absolutely adored him & still remembers him to this day. Ds has ( & has had ) fantastic female teachers too of course, it's great that he's had a good mix from such a young age.

Icimoi Sun 16-Mar-14 10:02:28

What bothers me about OP's post is that mention of "politically correct". It's the standard terminology used by people to sneer at perfectly rational views, particularly those which are tolerant and rational, and I'm afraid it doesn't sit well with the suggestion that her views are the result of a previous bad child care experience. As people have pointed out, accepting male nursery workers has nothing to do with political correctness, it's simply rational and sensible.

kozmicblues Sun 16-Mar-14 10:04:55

I just thought that people were being pretty harsh to the OP.

Calling her a troll etc

People were accusing her of being a sexist bigot and then calling her "crazy" and "mad"

These are offensive and derogitary terms used relating to people with mental health issues

I just thought I'd share my view, as it is obviously the minority, as she seemed to be jumped on.

And I could see where she was coming from

It is one thing to say someone is being unreasonable and then there are those just saying she's 'crazy' and not really offering a different view point or helpful advice.

Apologies about sounding incensitive about the female nursery worker - I may have misunderstood some critical details of the case

I have had experiences and know of male sexual abuses, so yes, that may colour my opinion

I still think it is understandable for people to have these concerns about young children being put into care for the first time, even if it is considered Un-PC

It is one of my biggest concers, and a lot of people sound like it didn't even enter their minds - or ask about safety procedures, test how easy it would be to walk in and take your child out of nursery without anyone questioning etc

It might make me sound neurotic - I am actually pretty chill in general really, but surely this is one of the biggest cocerns of any parent and everyones like "pffft you're cray"

MushroomSoup Sun 16-Mar-14 10:09:20

I had a parent come to my school to tell me that under no circumstances should her child be in a male teacher's class. Her reasoning was similar to yours - men aren't to be trusted with children.
I told her that I didn't think my school was right for her child.

MushroomSoup Sun 16-Mar-14 10:11:13

On the other hand, I've had parents coming to talk to me who say 'we know we are BU, paranoid and overly protective but we have issues about our child being in a man's class. Please help us manage our own anxieties.'

That's much easier to do.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 10:11:40

I know I've had parents complain about having a person like "me" teaching their children. And I suspect I have not got jobs or repeat supply because of prejuduce and worry about what the parents might think..

I am now self employed as it's the only way to escape some real prejudice out there that you will not realise until you are in that situation.

DoctorTwo Sun 16-Mar-14 10:15:07

I sort of see where the OP is coming from. Back in the mid 80s my first job was in childcare. I was the only male member of staff, and all the parents looked at me like hmm the first day. Their attitudes changed completely by the end of the first week, their DCs apparently all loved me to bits.

What a shame we still live in a society that looks askance at men who work with children.

Greenkit Sun 16-Mar-14 10:29:19

What a shame we still live in a society that looks askance at men who work with children

I think it disgusting we have these views about men who work with children. I guess that means all fathers are abusers of their children, utterly stupid.

WaveorCheer Sun 16-Mar-14 10:33:53

What an ignorant and bigoted set of opinions you seem to hold.

maillotjaune Sun 16-Mar-14 10:38:20

HairyGrotter you said you're glad MN does not represent the real world - I know you were talking about the OP but actually I think the fact that 99% of replies have been basically 'YABU get a grip', I'd say this was a fair reflection of life in general.

OP - of course YABU and need to get a grip.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 10:40:53

I remember a thread where a man was asked to move on a plane because he was sat next to an unaccompanied minor.

Some people on here agreed that because incidents have happened in the past on planes, the staff were right to ask him to move.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 10:45:21

I'm with those who say this isn't a gut instinct but offensive prejudice and bigotry. It's because of views like yours and people who share them that there exists a climate where caring men are looked at askance if they want to pursue a career working with children. If I was responsible for an establishment serving the children of people like you and I heard a sniff of such views I'd tell you to remove your children forthwith. Oh and of course your sons will grow up to be - gasp - men...

Honeybear30 Sun 16-Mar-14 10:50:48

OP please do speak to the nursery manager. Would be interested to hear what they said to you. If it was me I would ask you to remove your child with immediate effect. I would back my staff 100% and opinions such as yours would not be worth the fee you contribute.

I struggle to believe this is real?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 10:51:45

That poor nursery worker. He's done nothing to warrant any suspicion you haven't even met him. Dds nursery has a make worker I've never even thought about it. It's disgusting that a penis instantly has you pegged for a pervert.

All those with children/family who work with children or in "women's jobs" hmm please don't let anyone push you off your path. You must do what You enjoy and are good at!!!!!

And kim don't care "what you are" you have always come across as a decent kind person who cares about children and I'd be delighted if my dds had you for a teacher!!

Please op do not breathe a word of this to anyone as you could cost this man his job and he's done nothing wrong!!

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 10:53:09

And we'll said icimoi

I loathe the term PC which ime is used mostly by people who sneer at rational and decent behaviour and want to justify bigotry.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 10:57:34

Well said I mean.

I hope if this is real the OP is told to remove her children. I feel sorry for the sons and husband of someone expressing views like that.

And having met kim I can't express my disgust for those parents and headteachers who've hindered the career of a fine teacher and person.

squishysquirmy Sun 16-Mar-14 11:09:26

YABVVVVU, and sexist.

Fusedog Sun 16-Mar-14 11:10:11

If you don't trust men around small children I presume you supervise your husband at all times around your child hmm

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 11:22:30

As for the OP 's comment about someone
finding and looking after her son for a few minutes if he'd gone missing in a shopping centre I'm beyond shocked. Surely if you were reunited with a lost child in those circumstances you wouldn't be pondering the gender of the rescuer.

AmysTiara Sun 16-Mar-14 11:48:56

Awful attitude op. Google Vanessa George then bang on about preferring women in a nursery

Perfectlypurple Sun 16-Mar-14 11:53:05

Come on - the op has accepted she is bu. There is no need to keep slating her.

Impatientismymiddlename Sun 16-Mar-14 11:54:49

my son had a male worker when he was at nursery, he was without doubt the best member of staff in that room. It didn't even occur that I should have been suspicious and felt uneasy because he was a man; but I like to think that I am usually rational. We need more men in nurseries and child care.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 16-Mar-14 11:56:54

There is a male NN at my DS's nursery and they all love him. YABVVVU.

I'm a nurse and work with kids and have plenty of male nurse colleagues. Would you not let them look after your child? What about male doctors or teachers? My DH also is a hcp, would you refuse his treatment because he's male?

Your attitude quite frankly needs changing as it makes me angry. No wonder men are put off working with kids with prejudices like yours.

I wouldn't want my friends looking after your child.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 11:58:23

Her thread title said "Even if IABU" then she wanted to know if she was ok to act on her "gut instinct". I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to continue to say what they think of this kind of bigotry and to go on challenging it.

Perfectlypurple Sun 16-Mar-14 12:00:38

But later in the thread she says she needs to reevaluate her thinking. I doubt she will be back now. There's no point carrying on challenging it when she has admitted she needs to re think.

RuddyDuck Sun 16-Mar-14 12:01:38

This reminds me of a situation I found myself in about 20 years ago, where I came across a toddler wandering alone by the side of a country lane ( no pavement, road was nsl). . I stopped the car, hunted around, decided she must have wandered out of the woods by the road and set off to find her parents, carrying the the child because that was quicker. Came across a very distraught mother within a couple of minutes, child reunited, no harm done.

When I told this story to work colleagues the next day, all the men said they wouldn't have stopped or tried to help the child in case someone thought they were abducting her. shock I explained she stood a very high chance of being run over but they were adamant they wouldn't risk it because people might jump to the wrong conclusion. I thought that was appalling, but I guess my male colleagues had in mind attitudes like the OP.

TiggyCBE Sun 16-Mar-14 12:05:45

Cooperative childcare are trying to get 10% of their workforce to be male by autumn. Not sure how they can do that, but it's an interesting aim. Watch the little film at the bottom.

Oodfanjo Sun 16-Mar-14 12:07:59

Haven't read all the posts but why are they there on a Sunday? hmm

Groovee Sun 16-Mar-14 12:10:51

I need to ask OP, having not met the male nursery worker, why do you have a horrible gut feeling about it despite having not even been in the same room as him or being introduced?

I'm an early years practitioner and have worked with some fantastic male staff, they are always understanding to the needs of the child. Unlike some females who I wonder why are doing this job or why they considered they were suitable!

I've only once had a gut feeling from originally an email and the wording and then the actual person. I felt he couldn't be trusted and sure enough, he was found out to be defrauding and went on to do it to 2 more sets of groups because they wouldn't listen to the chairman of our group.

Perfectlypurple Sun 16-Mar-14 12:10:56

If you read the thread you will see the op isn't in the uk

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 12:12:16

It should be debated and challenged whether the OP and her bigotry return or not. The issue is bigger than her and her small mindedness, regardless of why she reckoned she needs to reevaluate. Kim and her experience tells us that there are still too many people with closed minds around and those people are denying others the right to equality of opportunity in the workplace and perpetuating the idea that decency can be sneered at as PC thinking.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 12:13:52

So she's not in the UK. Such closed minded prejudice needs challenging worldwide.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 16-Mar-14 12:15:40

Yabu. Very.

Perfectlypurple Sun 16-Mar-14 12:16:14

But it's not being debated. Its just people saying the same thing over and over. I do think she was bu but she accepts that. There is a back story she briefly mentioned which may cloud her thinking. It doesn't mean she is right but I still think there is no need to keep on with some of the nastier comments.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 12:18:04

If you were male, would you want to work in a childcare setting or would the possible judging and prejudice put you off?

Kim147, my DH works in childcare and the judging and prejudice very nearly put him off going in to it.

antiabz Sun 16-Mar-14 12:22:29

YABU op.

Ok if you had met this man and THEN had a gut feeling I would say go with it.

But you just can't assume a man you have never even clapped eyes on is a child abuser.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 12:22:46

No kim I wouldn't. We need high quality staff in all areas of caring, regardless of gender and background. Challenging small minded ignorance like that expressed in the OP is just a start.

Sunnysummer Sun 16-Mar-14 12:27:11

It's not a gut instinct if you haven't met him or even heard anything about him except his gender, it's just prejudice.

You may or may not like this (and I really do sympathise, I am also always warier about male carers, which isn't always fair) but you shouldn't justify it to yourself or others as an instinct.

TiggyCBE Sun 16-Mar-14 12:28:49

There have been a couple of people to side with the OP so far.

BTW, if anybody would like a man to work in their nursery, just ask.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 12:30:55

And I'm still thinking wtf about the OP 's attitude to her child being potentially lost and found by a member of the public in a shopping centre.

K8Middleton Sun 16-Mar-14 12:32:48

Hmm some of the logic on this thread is a little fuzzy to say the least. Thankfully most people on here are rational, but to address some of the more, erm, interesting points:

Men are statistically more likely to be abusers. Well they are more likely to be rapists that is true. When it comes to emotional and physical cruelty women appear to have equality with the men sad But it is also true that more children are abused by their own parent than a paid childcarer. Fuzzy logic would have us do away with parents then, or at least dads because they are men.

Trusting a gut instinct is usually a good thing to do but for that to be possible you have to have some experience of the behaviour either first hand or second hand. The op has neither so cannot "trust her gut" because her gut has not been tested, just her prejudice.

Op why not meet this man and see how you feel? Try to ignore some of the more hysterical or hectoring posts on here and focus on the sensible suggestions and advice.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 12:34:32

Risk is the main issue here.
Most abuse takes place in the home. With adults known and trusted by a child.

But "we" believe that it's more likely to be in different settings because we don't hear about most of the abuse.

Hardly any children are abducted by strangers. That is incredibly rare. The chances of a random stranger finding a lost child and abusing them is incredibly rare. Or of that male who finds them being an abuser / abductor is so so rare.

But people can't see that. They do not understand the actual risk and chances because of what the media have fed to their own perceptions.

Nennypops Sun 16-Mar-14 12:35:04

OP isn't asking whether she should ignore her gut feeling because it's a totally irrational and unjustified feeling, she is asking whether she should ignore it "because it's the politically correct thing to do". I.e. she doesn't apparently genuinely accept that it's unreasonable, she thinks she might have to do it to fit in with what she seems to perceive to be a silly, trendy-lefty, lentil-knitting sandal-wearing agenda. So, kind as Perfectlypurple is being to her, I would like to see some sort of explanation of that before completely believing in the Damascene conversion.

HadABadDay2014 Sun 16-Mar-14 12:35:51

I say grow up.

If your car needed fixing and the mechanic was a female would you go else where.

One of my hates is discrimination, and this is pure gender discrimination

Ghirly Sun 16-Mar-14 12:35:55

My dd has a male nursery nurse in her room and he is fabulous. He is young (probably about 19/20) and all the children love him!

I wish there were more male nursery nurses but I guess a lot of men are apprehensive of the minority of parents' unreasonable views and opinions.


TheDayOfMyDoctor Sun 16-Mar-14 12:37:42

DS had a male nursery worker. He was fantastic and I was really pleased that the nursery had a male worker. Likewise I'm pleased he has a male teacher now at primary school.

Incidentally, DS was at nursery until he was 5 - perfectly common in Scotland for spring/summer born children.

PiperRose Sun 16-Mar-14 12:41:43

Your post has left me completely outraged. The level of bigotry and stupidity is amazing. Whilst there has recently been a push for male nursery workers and primary school teachers it's attitudes like yours which are keeping them out of the profession. I have a friend who at 21 was in the final year of his teaching degree and was almost bullied out of his placement by parents and other members of staff. YABU.

Thetallesttower Sun 16-Mar-14 12:46:27

What is so weird is that this thread is running at the same time as the one about 'am I unreasonable not to think this TA isn't amazing just because he has an XY chromosome' or whatever it is called.

In that one, the OP is complaining that the new male TA receives heaps more compliments, of a certain type, when he's just a bog standard TA.

There seems to be a tipping point for some about when men are good in childcare- it also seems that they can't be just seen as people, but as offering very specific benefits and threats.

The little boy in this OP is 5, so would be in school in the UK, where he may indeed have a male teacher. The OP is so out of order it's untrue about these baseless suspicions, I equally dislike the fetishising of male teachers at primary ('he's so much firmer/better discipline/more sporty/everyone adores him) that seems to go on.

Males in childcare are people first!

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 12:50:35

Anyone is a person first in any job and should be judged on their personal qualities not on their gender or background.

And with regard to the OP I agree with nennypops.

Oh and I'd agree with those who say it's not a gut feeling, it's a prejudice. I think pretty much everyone has, at some point in their life, met someone who just gives them a bad feeling that they can't quite pinpoint. That's a gut instinct.

Deciding you don't trust someone to care for your child because they have a penis is not gut instinct. It's pure gender prejudice which you should be utterly ashamed of.

LessMissAbs Sun 16-Mar-14 12:56:09

An irrational suspicion of all men near children is not a gut feeling.

Get a sense of perspective.

Sirzy Sun 16-Mar-14 12:58:42

My Dad was a nurse and had 30 years of people questioning why a man would want to go into such a career. Its a shame some people still haven't moved forward enough to realise that men are as able to provide high quality care to people as women are.

oohdaddypig Sun 16-Mar-14 13:00:03

I am one of the few to understand the OP's point.

Let's be clear - we are not talking about male teachers generally, or sports coaches. We are talking about nursery staff. Working in environments with very young children, many of whom cannot speak.

Secondly, paedophiles are almost always male - this is fact - and are attracted to working environments with children. You only have to look at the scandals in the 80s involving ritualised abuse at various special schools/foster homes to see this.

So is there a risk that a paedophile might want to work in a nursery? Yes there clearly is. Are there sufficient checks in place? Who knows. There are loopholes in the current disclosure scheme even in the UK.

Is the OP right to question this - and every other - aspect of her child's care? Yes, absolutely. Like everything else this is a risk and I don't think it's as minuscule as it is made out to be. Especially with children who can't yet verbalise or understand.

Some of the language used against the OP has been completely out of order in this thread. As one poster said, whose nursery had to sack an abusing member of staff, the abuser came across extremely well. So the fact she hadn't met him wasn't the point of her query in the first place.

gordyslovesheep Sun 16-Mar-14 13:01:59

my step father started off as a nursery worker then went into teaching - he was not a child abuser - YABVVU

poor man

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:04:16

One of the kindest and most gentle nurses I've ever met was my male nurse on my mental health ward.
I've met some superb and some awful care workers both male and female.
The trouble is there are rather a lot of small minded prejudiced people out there expressing views like the ones in the OP.

Sirzy Sun 16-Mar-14 13:04:21

Of course you should question your childs care BUT you shouldn't question the suitability of a staff member you have never met based simply upon their gender.

You should question the policy and procedures in place within the nursery and ensure that they are implemented correctly of course. You should raise any concerns you have as they rise of course. You shouldn't judge a staff member based upon their gender.

TruffleOil Sun 16-Mar-14 13:06:31

oohdaddypig, how do you propose that one copes with the risk of women paedophiles (5-10%)?

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:07:36

oohdaddypig where do you stand on male carers working with non verbal autistic adults? Or adults with dementia?

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:08:29

Absolutely Sirzy

OK OOHDADDYPIG, look at it this way. According to official UK figures, black people make up 2.7% if the UK population over the age of 10, but 8% of arrests and nearly 14% of the prison population. Is it acceptable to not employ a black person because they are more likely to be a criminal?


Then it's not acceptable to discriminate against men in childcare either.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Mar-14 13:11:09

"Secondly, paedophiles are almost always male - this is fact - and are attracted to working environments with children"

It is not a fact it is a statistic, nobody knows how many of each sex is a paedophile/Child abuser.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:12:23

Yes perhaps oohdaddypig will use that to challenge her child's school if they have the temerity to employ a black teacher.

Tanith Sun 16-Mar-14 13:12:34

No Daddypig, it is NOT a fact that paedophiles are almost always men: far from it.
To continue peddling this myth is to deny the many victims of female sexual abusers a voice.

Thetallesttower Sun 16-Mar-14 13:13:28

oohdaddypig- I don't get your overall point really, because the OP's child is 5 and not pre-verbal and it was the sight of a male in that child's room that disturbed her initially.

It is a mistake to think only preverbal children are at risk, most paedophiles have a preferred age range (sorry to have to say this) and you could easily argue that indeed they do tend to congregate where children and young adults are found- so scouts, schools, sports clubs.

Unless you honestly believe it is reasonable to not have men at all teaching anyone under the age of consent, then your argument about nursery doesn't really stack up- plenty of verbal aged kids are abused sadly as your examples of children's homes show.

The good point you made though is about child protection procedures.

But this ridiculous polarized view of men 'all men in childcare are paedos/all men in teaching are brilliant/sports/better at discipline than the women' is silly.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:14:00

And by oohdaddypig reasoning a young black man wanting to become a nursery nurse is well and truly screwed.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:14:58

Well said Tanith

Nennypops Sun 16-Mar-14 13:15:15

paedophiles are almost always male - this is fact

Well, no, it isn't fact, which knocks out one of the foundation stones of your argument, oohdaddy. And i don't understand why you lay so much stress on the fact that the children can't talk when the thread relates to a male nursery worker looking after 5 year olds.

Sallyingforth Sun 16-Mar-14 13:15:55

It does my heart good to read this universal response to the OP. I've nothing to add.

oohdaddypig Sun 16-Mar-14 13:16:18

In terms of actual numbers - how many female paedophiles in that statistic are teachers etc having relationships with 15 year old boys (that's a debate for another day) as opposed to childminders etc? Statistics, damn statistics.

I would not want a man, other than her father, taking my 3 year old daughter to the toilet, wiping her genitals. No. As a female, a male doctor cannot examine me without a female present, even with my consent. Why do children not benefit from something similar?

There was a recent debate similar to this on netmums and - shock horror - what a calm pleasant discussion it was.

We are not "allowed" to have these discussions on mumsnet any more - no whiff of prejudice - but these are very real issues. The disclosure system is completely useless if any time has been spent out with the UK.

Cookiepants Sun 16-Mar-14 13:17:06

Oohdaddy hmm. Please tell me exactly when my DS will turn from a lovely little boy into a potential predator and I will start building him a cage.

99.999999% of men are perfectly normal people. If we are to start thinking in terms if potential risk, maybe we should all withdraw from society and live in a bubble with our families - oh wait that's not safe because in most abuse cases the abuser is a family member anyway.

Is anybody who sees the OPs point worried about other professions. Would medicine attract people with a Munchausans (?) type illness for example (Colin Norris and Beverly Allit anyone?). Do police / army type jobs attract people prone to violence?

If you feel that strongly about your children being around completely innocent members of society (just because you don't have a blow by blow account of their every movement since birth is not resonable grounds for suspicion) then your only option is to remove your child from society.

Research, take precautions and raise VALID concerns, but try and believe that most people aren't out to murder / abuse / steal from you.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:19:20

I agree thetallesttower

It's on a par with my last line manager complaining that my offender manager team needed "more testosterone" I don't have a personal caseload now but I was the OM most generally recognised amongst our service users as the toughest to manipulate and mess around. I found his remark unacceptable and said it perpetuated stereotypes.

Nennypops Sun 16-Mar-14 13:19:22

There was a recent debate similar to this on netmums and - shock horror - what a calm pleasant discussion it was.

Do tell us where this thread has become less than calm? Or is a thread only calm in your view if the majority of posters agree with you?

oohdaddypig Sun 16-Mar-14 13:21:33

Sooty - how exactly is someone being black remotely relevant to this discussion?

What - so because I am "prejudiced" against men in a nursery setting, I am therefore racist? Pull your head in.

Thetallesttower - I don't disagree with your point re sports coaches etc. however, for me, I feel that is a risk I can try to mitigate by speaking to my (older) child. I am not sure i would have any control over this particular risk although in my case I completely trust my nursery, which might be a factor.

And that, after all, is what this thread is about - our attitude to risk as a parent. So let's have sensible debates and not crucify anyone who dares to raise them.

Nennypops Sun 16-Mar-14 13:21:44

I would not want a man, other than her father, taking my 3 year old daughter to the toilet, wiping her genitals. No. As a female, a male doctor cannot examine me without a female present, even with my consent. Why do children not benefit from something similar?

They do. A male worker in a nursery would not change a nappy or take a female child to the toilet without being fully visible to the other workers there.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:22:28

oohdaddypig I hope any nursery where you expressed that view would tell you it was unacceptable.

And male doctors operate under restrictions because of unwarranted prejudice and the need to cover their backs.

Thetallesttower Sun 16-Mar-14 13:22:55

No. As a female, a male doctor cannot examine me without a female present, even with my consent.

That's because doctors are scared of being sued, not because your risk of being molested is extremely high. They do this for their own protection against false allegations- can you not see the irony?

I'm also not sure this is true, my GP examined my chest for an infection a year or two ago and there was no chaperone and neither should there be, what a waste of NHS resources that would be unless the patient actively wanted one.

NiaceGuidelines Sun 16-Mar-14 13:23:11

WTAF you avent even met this person! Get a grip!

DS interacts regularly with our male relatives and friends so he is not missing out in that regard.

You do realise statistically speaking it's far more likely your son would be abused by a male relative/friend than anyone else?

lilola Sun 16-Mar-14 13:24:13

I'm glad you're getting a royal flaming over this, you should be utterly ashamed of yourself. By your reasoning, your own SONS may well turn out to be child abusers later in life.

Absolutely disguising attitude angry

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:25:28

oohdaddypig rtft. It was in reference to your poor understanding and application of statistics. Try looking at your capacity to follow a discussion before telling someone to pull their head in.

ohdaddypig, we are capable of having a discussion but you now seem to be suggesting that men should not be permitted to look after (female only?) children as they might have to clean their genitals. Do you honestly think that banning 50% of the population from childcare roles is something children would benefit from?

And where do you draw the line, out of interest? Is DH allow to wipe our DD (also 3)? What about her uncle? Grandfather? DH's best friend who he has known for ~35 years and who sometimes babysits? Or is it only men who actually work in childcare who you object to even though family and friends are more likely to abuse?

oohdaddypig Sun 16-Mar-14 13:27:32

Sooty - it was actually a very badly made point by you then - and insulting to me, to boot.

No, ohdaddypig, I was comparing your gender prejudice on the basis of statistics to racial prejudice on the basis of statistics and asking what makes one acceptable to you, and the other not.

UncleT Sun 16-Mar-14 13:28:43

Perfectly there's every reason in the world to 'keep slating her' for this blind, offensive prejudice. Would you be saying that if someone was making such an assumption about a woman purely based on her gender?

ComposHat Sun 16-Mar-14 13:29:08

Op you are mixing up gut feeling with moronic knee jerk prejudice.

oohdaddypig Sun 16-Mar-14 13:29:14

Signing off now. Off to netmums!! Much nicer over there, dont you know. Less pent up nastiness.

Good luck OP. FWIW perhaps a quiet word with the nursery might alleviate your concerns.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:30:47

oohdaddypig Perhaps you'll find StatisticallyChallengedand her point easier to understand and less insulting to you.

Don't let the door hit your (ill-informed and prejudiced) arse on the way out!

gordyslovesheep Sun 16-Mar-14 13:33:30

yes I think Netmums would suit you better ohhdaddypig - a bit more easy for you to understand and a bit more peadow hysteria for you to tap into

enjoy xxxxxxx

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:33:53

I'm sure you'll be happier at Netmums if they're ok with blind prejudice over there.

If the OP has a quiet word with nursery along the lines she suggested I hope they'll alleviate her concerns by suggesting she takes her children elsewhere.

gordyslovesheep Sun 16-Mar-14 13:34:08

'more easy' oh my dear lord - easier I meant easier!

A quiet word to say what exactly?

Cookiepants Sun 16-Mar-14 13:35:13

Bugger, both oohdaddypig and the OP have left the thread without answering my question. When do I have to start building my DS a cage? grin

That's ok Cookiepants, they couldn't answer my questions either. Funny how when you ask people to clarify and explain prejudices and their boundaries they suddenly become unable to.

Cookiepants Sun 16-Mar-14 13:37:06

On second thoughts my DH is a nure and leads a children's activity group, maybe it's him I should be worried about.

Cookiepants Sun 16-Mar-14 13:38:54

Indeed statisticallychallenged, funny that hmm

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 13:38:58

cookie but they can still interact with people in a cage.

A cabin in the woods surrounded by poison ivy, electric fencing, Barbed wire and a force field should work better.

Damn these boys being born

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:39:38

And oohdaddypig never did say whether she thought it was ok for men to look after non verbal and otherwise vulnerable adults. Perhaps the question was too taxing for her.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 13:42:58

oohdaddypig I'm not sure why you say you are 'not allowed' to have these discussions on MN. Seems like this is a discussion? Just because there are not equal numbers for both sides doesn't mean it isn't a discussion.

The OPs original point was to ask if she was being unreasonable and 'politically correct' to ignore her 'gut instinct' about a man working in her 5 year old DS's nursery. She has never seen the man, never mind met or spoken to him.

She has no 'gut instinct' - she has an irrational fear, fueled by the perception TV shows and 24 hour media have given us that our children are at constant risk from predators.

I do not have an issue with male members of staff changing or cleaning my DD. I do not mind them wiping her bottom. I do not see them as predators. I see them as fellow human beings who are as repulsed by the idea of child sex abuse as I am. I am not repulsed by the idea of child sex abuse because I am female, but because I believe with every fibre of my being it is wrong. I do not believe I hold the moral high ground over men because I am female - I think they will all believe the same as me. Except for that very tiny, tiny percentage who are paedophiles. Safeguarding, in terms of back ground checks, is fool proof in no country. However to work with children in the UK (I appreciate the OP is out of the UK) you must provide police checks from your own country/last country of residency if you are coming from abroad.

It is very sad that the motives of men who want to work with children are questioned. There are so many wonderful male teachers, nursery workers, disability workers, youth volunteers, nurses, paediatricians etc out there. Must we question the motivation of every male who wants to work with children, or only the ones with 'lower level' qualifications like nursery staff or TAs? Is a male paediatrician above suspicion because of his level of education?

Of course we find, on their arrest and prosecution, that many paedophiles have sought jobs and volunteer opportunities in areas where they will have close contact with children. We also see many, many cases were paedophiles groom women and enter into relationships with them purely to gain unsupervised access to her children. So whilst it is therefore accurate to say that male paedophiles often seek to work or volunteer with children it cannot be presented as a de facto argument that, in consequence, men who seek to work with children are more likely to be paedophiles. Just as we cannot say that men who date single mothers are more likely to be paedophiles.

I understand why you fear a male may abuse your child. Everyone of us, deep down, probably fears the same. Just as we fear the child-snatcher and the terrorist. However if we are to give our children healthy role models in life and not transmit unreasonable, biased, prejudiced and unfounded ideas about others to them as they grow, we must also try to develop the insight into our own attitudes that allows us to identify when we are being reasonable. And when we are not.

Cookiepants Sun 16-Mar-14 13:43:12

True Giles, maybe a males only commune high in the alps, surrounded by high and spiky fences.

Although I may have identified a problem with the continuation of the human race, although scientists could work on that right?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 13:45:05

If they can clone a sheep I'm sure they can deal with a male free procreation problem!! smile

UncleT Sun 16-Mar-14 13:45:44

If I were in charge of the place and a parent came to me and said "I'm concerned that you have a man working here" instead of something like "I'm concerned about the conduct of x member of staff" then I too would show the bigot where the door is.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 13:46:55

I really think it is important to understand relative risk. Not to be led by media fear.

I know several male staff in nurseries who seem to do a good job. I know male staff in KS1 who also seem to do a good job. But it's unusual.

Do they bring a different dynamic? In as much as it's good for children to see men reading, doing caring and nurturing stuff etc.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:47:40

Great post adoptmama

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 13:48:08

I was advised to be careful in an assembly that some parents were attending because some parents were unhappy at having a transwoman as a supply teacher. Not because I was a bad teacher. No. Because I was trans.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 13:51:49

I've heard people say the same about a gay male colleague. They 'wouldn't want their sons' taught by him.

Because, you know, being gay means being attracted to children. hmm

TeaAndALemonTart Sun 16-Mar-14 13:52:26

Can't be arsed doing an advanced search but assume it's a new poster?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 13:56:27

Why would their sons be in more danger from a gay teacher than they would from a Female teacher who wasn't gay? hmm

God people are idiots.

A good teacher is a good teacher regardless of gender or sexuality. As is a bad one!

On a wider/societal level, I think our children should learn that their gender shouldn't define their aspirations and so I want my DD to see men and women working across whatever role they want to. Whether that's a man in childcare, or a woman on on oil rig/under a car bonnet/managing a company in a traditionally male industry.

On an individual level, I want my child to be cared for by someone who is well suited for the role - who is empathetic, caring, fun, stimulating, entertaining and who wants to be in that line of work. I'm fortunate - her dad meets that description and so she spends her days predominantly with him while I work outside of the home. She's also been to nursery - I got a call once to pick her up as she wasn't feeling well and arrived to find her cuddled in to the male nursery nurse who at she clearly adored and who was able to meet her emotional and physical needs very adequately. This was before DH got in to childcare, and I couldn't have cared less that her nursery nurse was male. I noticed it, but only because it's still relatively unusual.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:58:33

Giles if only people really all believed that.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 14:03:59

How do people find out anyway?

I mean I have no idea about any part of any of my dds teachers lives. The only thing we ever found out was if one had a baby.

As for any of the others I have no idea who they go home to and it's none of my business.

OwlCapone Sun 16-Mar-14 14:06:24

OP, are you usually this sexist?

NancyJones Sun 16-Mar-14 14:17:28

I don't understand why posters like the OP and ohdaddypig, would be fine with a male nurse or doctor treating their child yet not a male childcare worker. That doesn't make sense.

My. 8 and 10yr boys use the men's toilets by themselves when we're out and they get changed in the men's changing rooms at the gym for swimming and tennis. They are not always together either. Statistically there is probably more risk in public toilets and changing rooms because the majority of men using them will not be crb checked but that risk is so minimal that we can't life our lives around it nor scare the shit out if our kids by talking about it constantly. I also think that statistically they have more chance of running out if the gym afterwards and being hit by a car but I don't let that fear take over my rational thoughts either.

Sovaysovay Sun 16-Mar-14 14:52:31

You haven't even met the guy. Are you going to have 'gut feelings' about his male football coach, male swimming teacher, male Tenth garde Biology teacher? How would you feel if your friends told you they had 'gut feelings' about him being a paedophile too? Are you looking forward to supporting a future where your son is assumed to be a paedophile if he enters teaching?

NewtRipley Sun 16-Mar-14 14:55:23

Gut feelings are based on at least some evidence. You have not evidence, OP, you have prejudice.

My gut feeling is that anyone who uses the term "politically correct" in a first post is out to cause a ruckus or is doing a bit of research smile

GimmeDaBoobehz Sun 16-Mar-14 14:58:57


sashh Sun 16-Mar-14 14:59:50


Just for a moment imagine you intend to abuse a child.

Where are you going to go? Are you going to go into an environment where your background is checked and you are never alone with a child?

giggleshizz Sun 16-Mar-14 15:01:35

Haven't read the whole thread so apologies but...this makes my blood boil.

Ds 16 months has a male nursery nurse where she goes and I am delighted to have both male and female workers around her. Mentioned it in passing to another mum who made a similar comment/assumption as youOP. What a ridiculous thing to say to assume any man who wants to work with children is an abuser. Hope you don't raise your kids with these prejudices!

People like the OP is exactly why my brother decided against a career caring for children.

Even as a child himself, he loved looking after younger kids and would babysit around our street for pocket money.

But even then, 20+ years ago, people had begun to take against the idea that a MAN could look after kids.

I do wish there were more males in nurseries, primary schools, etc, we do need more male role models of caring men for the children.

Sadly, attitudes like the OP's does make me think it'll be a long while yet.

Melonbreath Sun 16-Mar-14 15:17:07

it's people like you op who make it impossible for my lovely male friend to have and stick at a job as a primary school teacher. He has had SO many mothers say they are uncomfortable having him look after kids and the reactions he gets has to be seen to be believed.
So much so he's now teaching abroad.
It's a shame
He's a lovely guy who had to relocate his family from people wanting him out of a job for sheer sex discrimination.

EvenBetter Sun 16-Mar-14 15:35:27

I don't think people saying things like 'well there's a male member of staff at my nursery and he's great' is that useful. You aren't dealing with a rational person here and anecdotes aren't going to change the OPs sexism.
Gut feelings are indeed useful, but only when you've actually met the person. This poor staff member will have been trained, got qualifications, criminal record checks and that still isn't good enough for this mother (OF MALE CHiLDREN!).

Topaz25 Sun 16-Mar-14 15:43:02

YABVU. You have not even met this man. How would you feel if your sons wanted to work with children when they grow up and had to deal with judgements like this? Your attitude to men is much more damaging to them than a male nursery worker.

A friend of mine has 2 sons who have gone into childcare profession. ..everyday they face parents like you...who think they are only in that profession because they are attracted to the children or want to do something awful to them

what the parents fail to see is that they are both phenomenal with children...kids love them, they are brilliant at what they do and are the kindest, most caring and fun young adults ive ever had the pleasure of knowing and we so need more people like them in childcare.

Its a crying shame that people like you feel you have the right to automatically think something that, if you falsely accused someone of, could ruin their career and their life

Delphiniumsblue Sun 16-Mar-14 15:50:30

I think that it is terribly sad. We need more men in the care and education of the early years and yet we will never get them with attitudes like this.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 16:00:07

As Even says we aren't hearing rational concerns here though...

blueshoes Sun 16-Mar-14 16:05:59

OP, what you have is not "gut instinct". It is prejudice, pure and simple.

Figster Sun 16-Mar-14 16:07:29

As a mother of 2 boys you should be utterly ashamed of yourself OP.

Not read all the way through but glad 99% of the thread disagrees with you.

Electryone Sun 16-Mar-14 16:13:42

I would not want a man, other than her father, taking my 3 year old daughter to the toilet, wiping her genitals

So Daddypig would you let a woman do this? If so whats the difference?

Charlie01234 Sun 16-Mar-14 16:18:10

Get a grip op and then go and get help for your ridiculous ideas. They are offensive.

BoredNinja Sun 16-Mar-14 16:38:40

So statistically, what proportion of paedophiles are women? I'd always believed that the majority were men, so am genuinely interested to know the (statistical) facts. I would just google it myself but don't want to stumble across anything triggering for me.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 16:44:15

A better question is what proportion of male nursery workers have been found guilty of abuse.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 16:47:06

boredninja, from what i can see looking at research organisations, it is estimated that up to 20% of offenses against boys and 5% against girls are carried out by women

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 16:53:29

Think the trouble with that kim would be that as male workers are less than female worked, that even a tiny number would give a higher percentage than woman even if more woman had been found guilty. If that makes sense.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Sun 16-Mar-14 16:55:26

I so hope there are 12 pages of YAB SO V V V U. I mean wtf. How awful. No wonder no good male role models for young boys and men when ppl with your attitude exist.

BoredNinja Sun 16-Mar-14 17:03:55

Thanks adoptmama. So it is still the case, statistically at least, that the majority of abusers are men. That's not to downplay the fact that women are capable of it too.

I agree with pp that it's the safeguarding policy in general that is important, not the gender of the nursery worker.

DoctorTwo Sun 16-Mar-14 17:08:54

To add to my earlier post, at family gatherings there is a standing joke that if I'm wanted for any reason they just follow the sound of children laughing and shouting. They're usually to be found sitting in a semi circle with me in the middle. Children love me for some reason, and I put that partly down to my first job.

Lucylouby Sun 16-Mar-14 17:10:12

Op, yabu. Men are just as capable of looking after children as women are. I work in childcare and one of the best nursery nurses I have worked with was a man. The children loved him and he was well liked by parents too. I wouldn't be concerned by his presence in my dc nursery, but I would be concerned about you if I was the owner of the nursery and you came to me with these views. He will no doubt be crb'd and trained to do his job.
Does your DH change his child's nappy/clothes? And you are happy about that? You see, not all men are waiting for a chance to pounce on societies most vulnerable. Some of the male nursery workers may even be fathers, shock, horror, they are normal people just like our DHs, doing a job, they enjoy, unfortunately having to put up with outdated views held by people like you.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 16-Mar-14 17:13:25

OP... You're being completely unreasonable and ridiculous. Whatever thought popped into your head should have stayed there and never been voiced, not unless you really wanted to come across as some kind of bigot.

I haven't read all of the posts on this thread but I'm sure somebody has posted asking you to swap the word 'male' for any other like 'gay' or 'black' or 'female' to illustrate the point.

How would you feel if somebody felt uneasy about your status as a parent just because you were a woman? Equally stupid - and equally invalid as your opinion.

I feel very sorry for anybody, of either gender, who has to deal with parents who think as you do. Completely unfair.

kim147 Sun 16-Mar-14 17:17:07

Imagine all the prejudice that many groups still face out there trying to get employment, housing etc.

So much prejudice goes on and you don't really realise until you either experience it or you hear people's views.

It's getting better but I bet some minority groups face a really tough time out there.

TheBody Sun 16-Mar-14 17:22:30

I feel sorry for your ds to be honest op as obviously he will only be allowed to take in a profession that suits you and his sex

do you think males should be doctors and females nurses?

your attitude is so old fashioned it's laughable.

if you mention it to nursery they will think you are mad and possibly ask you to find another nursery.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 17:27:13

At what age will the OP's son move from potentional victim to potential abuser in her eyes?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 17:31:30

And will they ever get to go on class trips or birthday parties incase men are there?

cochonette Sun 16-Mar-14 17:58:39

My DS has attended a nursery for the last year and a bit (aged from 18 months to 3) where he was looked after by some great carers of different ages and different origins from around the world - a couple of which also happened to be male.

His last key worker was a man who absolutely adored my DS and was adored by DS in return. It never once occurred to me to be worried about this male carer changing my son's nappies, helping him with potty training, comforting him when he cried and all of the other responsibilities that you entrust nursery workers with when you leave your children in their care.

I was really happy knowing that DS had different influences and people to learn from in his life and was not being taught that only women look after children.

YAB So U if you just once doubt a nursery worker simply because they are not a woman. Just as you would be if they were not of the same race as you, or religion etc.

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 18:11:22

have you wanted to see all the womens credentials and qualifications I guess not why cant men look after children why are the majority of men in your eyes abusers yes men abuse children but so do women the last time a nursery was involved in this sort of thing it was a women or 2 in a uk preschool , leave the poor man alone

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 18:11:58

what happens when your children go to school they might be male teachers caring for them

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 18:13:31

it isnt a gut feeling it is paranoia you have deal with that

GinSoakedMisery Sun 16-Mar-14 18:14:05

Wow Op, you've not even met the bloke yet you've already got him hung drawn and quartered.

You remind me of all the pearl clutching mothers at my ds3s school attached nursery who were frantic because a young gay male worker had started. A few even removed their children because of this. Luckily the school were on top of it all and the man has been there for nearly two years now. He is amazing with the children.

Do those opposed to male nursery workers also feel the same about male midwives? Not the same line of work, but still doing a job that is predominantly female.

rugbychick Sun 16-Mar-14 18:18:53

We have a male nursery nurse at the nursery my dd goes to. When we had a look around prior to dd starting I was a little surprised to see him working there, I didn't think anything else about it after that.

He is amazing, and brilliant with the children. He ended up being dds key worker. I was more than happy with that, and was great with dd

5madthings Sun 16-Mar-14 18:19:05

Pleased that the majority view is that you are being vvunreasonable.

My eldest son babysit and ds2 is fab with little children, everyone always comments on how good He is with them.

At what point will they suddenly become something to be feared?!! Op what about your own sons, what if they grow up and want to work with children?

So depressing,my own dp works with children and with four boys myself it's horrifying to think people have these kinds of shitty attitudes and see all men as a threat.

TheBody Sun 16-Mar-14 18:25:11

my dss babysat too for local kids when they were teens I was a cm too and they were lovely with the mindees. they were also CRB checked as over 16.

I would have been beyond livid to hear views about them from ignorant idiots like this op. you need to get a huge grip..

Poppylovescheese Sun 16-Mar-14 18:39:57

Sorry but you sound nuts. Your children are presumably cared for by their father who I take it is a man?? They will have male teachers, sports coaches,doctors etc etc

PeggyH Sun 16-Mar-14 18:49:42

Well, would anybody be claiming that mom should ignore her gut instinct if the nursery worker was a woman?

PeggyH Sun 16-Mar-14 18:51:55

Come to find out, every time I hear about a nurse sexually assaulting a patient, it's always a male nurse.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 18:52:05

But it's not a gut instinct peggy

She's not met him!!!!

YAB completely unreasonable. A persons sex has nothing to do with their ability to look after your child. Do you allow male members of your family to look after your child? What happens when they going to be of school age. Will you be objecting to them too?

As WO in we try to fight against stereotypes all of the time, as do other minority groups, yet you have made a judgement about someone before you have even met them!!!!

Grennie Sun 16-Mar-14 19:00:57

OP, this is your child. You need to feel comfortable with his care. It doesn't matter if others think this doesn't matter, it matters to you.

funkybuddah Sun 16-Mar-14 19:04:48

In the words of the genius Scroobious Pip
'Not every man over the age of 30 who plays with a kid that is not there own is a paedophile, some people are just nice'

funkybuddah Sun 16-Mar-14 19:05:28

Their not there. Sweet Jesus!

Iwasinamandbunit Sun 16-Mar-14 19:07:38

YABU but I feel the same way.

This is because I was sexually abused as a child and raped as an adult. The abuse was at home and also by a friends Father on what people call these days a play date.

Due to my experiences when young I am on high alert I do know that this is unhealthy and not right. However the abuse I endured as a child has made me what I am, someone that suffers from MH problems. Quite a few of the women I have met in hospital and through using services are ill because of what happened to them.

So what have I done ? I have had to allow my children to go on play dates and one even had a male nursery worker for a while. It made me feel ill, but it is something I endured.

Children are actually more at risk from people within their own families and social circles.

Bornin1984 Sun 16-Mar-14 19:07:55

Grennie how can that be said if she hasn't met the man!! Fair enough if she has met him but she admitted she hasn't!!

She's a stereotypical bigot who needs to deal with her anxiety!

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 19:09:44


But there is no concern!! The worker has not done a thing to Warrant the op to worry.

You cannot dictate the sex of employees of establishments that have children in them.
This is no different to her having concerns for someone being black.

Grennie Sun 16-Mar-14 19:13:02

No she can't dictate the sex of employees in a nursery. But I do think parents need to be happy with the childcare they use. Parents prioritise things all the time that others will see of no importance or even a bit strange. It doesn't matter. She needs to be happy with the childcare she is paying for.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 19:15:54

Child care means - taking care of the child. The child is being presumably looked after well. Fed, comforted, stimulated etc. They are doing their job. This isn't a child care issue.its a discrimination issue. The op has not even met him.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 19:16:38

Some people are paedophiles and some a people who are not paedophiles commit sex crimesa against children (a statement which is accurate but will no doubt confuse some people). Paedophiles and child sex offenders can be either gender. Some men commit sex crimes against children, women or men. However cleaerly not all men are sex offenders or paedophiles. Just as not all women are. And just as a woman has a right to seek employment as an engineer or astro-physicist or any other 'male' job or play football or rugby or any other 'male' sport without being labelled 'butch', 'lesbian' or viewed as someone who is about to rape the nearest man or boy, so too do men have the right to seek careers in caring roles which some outdated views would label 'women's jobs'. And they have the right be free from accusation, gossip, innuendo or vicitimised by vile suggestions when the do so.

PeggyH, it is not the case that people are suggesting she simply ignore a genuine reason - or gut instinct - about the young man in question. Gut instinct in generally accepted to mean a feeling you have which has developed in a particular situation due to previous experiences. So, if she had a 'gut feeling' about this man it would be because his actions or demeanor gave her a reason to feel something was not quite right.

The OP doesn't have a 'gut feeling' because she has never seen, met or spoken to the man in question. Her DH has, and she admits he thinks she is over-reacting and he saw nothing wrong with the nursery worker. I repeat - she has never. even. seen. him.

Her entire reason for taking against the nursery worker is because he is male.

He hasn't actually done anything wrong. He hasn't done anything suspicious.

Would posters advise her to ignore her so-called 'gut-feeling' (which is nothing more than paranoid prejudice) if the member of staff were a woman? Of course they would. Because she has no reason to think someone she has never met is going to abuse her child simply because they are of a particular gender.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 19:19:32

Iwasinamandbunit ((( ))) hugs.

I think you are exceptionally brave, not just in posting as you have done, but in facing unimaginable demons. You sound like a very strong and amazing mother.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sun 16-Mar-14 19:20:30

There is a male Nursery Nurse in the class/room where DD will be going from September. He is only young - around 18 to 20 I would guess but lovely with the children. The Nursery Manager did say to me though, that it was very rare to have a man applying for a nursery job nowadays - as they are put off by people's assumptions that they must be up to no good sad.

There are 4 members of staff in the room - I am not at all put off by 1 of them being male. Women can be "up to no good" too very sadly. All we can do is choose an environment for our DCs that we feel to be safe. Either that or keep them at home or ever, which isn't all that practical.

Grennie Sun 16-Mar-14 19:21:46

If the OP for some reason only wanted a man to offer childcare to her young child, I would support that too. Parents need to be happy with the childcare they are using.

GarthsUncle Sun 16-Mar-14 19:22:42

OP, YABU, but you admitted that relatively early on so hopefully you can work past your worries which you know come from your own fears not really from this person.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 19:23:44

Why would you support that?

Would you support her only wanting white people to look after her child? Or straight people?

itwillgetbettersoon Sun 16-Mar-14 19:24:29

Massively sexist OP.

If you don't like it please move your children from the nursery. Please don't raise your concerns with the nursery - you will look like a sexist nutter! I feel sorry for the poor lad - guilty in your eyes already. Can you imagine the fuss if a dad said he didn't want a woman caring for his son at nursery - would think he is bonkers!

Grennie Sun 16-Mar-14 19:24:45

I would think she is wrong to want that, but parents need to choose the childcare they are happy with.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 19:25:10

Surely it matters who clicks with the child. Who the child trusts. Who does a good job. Not what's between their legs.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 19:25:50

But how can she be unhappy with some one she's NOT MET!!!???

Delphiniumsblue Sun 16-Mar-14 19:26:51

I would hope that nursery/childcare work is going to stop being seen as women's work and that male workers will become very common and then you won't get OP's reaction.

pyjamaramadrama Sun 16-Mar-14 19:38:32

I haven't read the entire thread so sorry if I've missed anything but I think that this is really sad.

My brother was looking for a new career not so long ago as he was fed up and I suggested nursery nursing as he's great with kids, he said he'd have really liked to but wouldn't be able to handle the discrimination of being labelled a pedo, weirdo or doing a woman's job.

I think it's gender stereotyping against men but also women.

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 20:06:03

No she can't dictate the sex of employees in a nursery. But I do think parents need to be happy with the childcare they use. Parents prioritise things all the time that others will see of no importance or even a bit strange. It doesn't matter. She needs to be happy with the childcare she is paying for

If she wants to exercise prejudice against people she's not yet met she can remove her child, I suppose. Doubt she's get any kind of assurance her bigoted attitude will be upheld anywhere else though.

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 20:29:24

Well, would anybody be claiming that mom should ignore her gut instinct if the nursery worker was a woman?

her gut insticnt is this man is a pervert who is going to touch her son when he is changing his nappy , she is uncomfortable with male nursery workers because they must AL be perverts who play with little boys when they have no nappy on

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 20:33:45

OP if your son grew up and wanted to work with young children would your instant gut feeling be that of what is he up to why does he want to work with babies/toddlers ?

rhetorician Sun 16-Mar-14 20:35:03

I haven't read the whole thread, but as a lesbian parent of two girls (who have regular contact with their father) I would be delighted if they were cared by a male nursery worker. Not only because it would give them normalised contact with a man, but primarily because it would teach them that caring for small children is not, contrary to their experience to date, women's work, paid and valued accordingly. So YAVDBU

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 20:36:42

I went to college with a boy who worked in a nursery this was late 80s early 90s he had to move to working with older children (school age after school care) because where he worked parents were pulling out the kids out of the nursery, it was such a shame he was a great nursery nurse (as it was back then) and great with the kids all because he was a man

GarthsUncle Sun 16-Mar-14 20:38:21

I wish MNHQ would let some AIBU OPs be updated with UPDATE; OP agrees SIBU!

I don't think you are alone in that Rhetorician - DH seems to get a lot of enquiries from single mums and from lesbian couples who say similar things. i.e. more enquiries than you would expect in a random sample of the population iyswim!

ilovesooty Sun 16-Mar-14 20:43:02

She only agreed she might BU as she might not be PC enough. And there have been a few equally bigoted posts from others since. It's in my opinion a discussion worth having. If you don't like the thread the board is full of others Garth

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 16-Mar-14 20:43:11

Garth People have acknowledged her saying she realises she is BU but why should the conversation shut down there? Sadly, the OP is not alone in her thoughts about this topic. Personally, I find it fascinating.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 20:43:17

You don't go from supposed gut feelings and something she's clearly thought about for a while to the extent she threatened to leave the nursery of the worker went into the baby room. To completely realising YWBU and everything's ok.

If she didn't listen to her husband why on earth would complete strangers be able to change her mind. A&e may have said she realised she was BU but I for one don't believe she's actually changed her mind. And if this gets out to other parents it could cost him his job for nothing.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 20:43:39

She not a&e damn auto correct

Coldlightofday Sun 16-Mar-14 20:43:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShabbyChic8 Sun 16-Mar-14 20:45:14

YAB completely U. I think you need to introduce yourself to him personally. I'm sure within a few minutes you will be reassured that he is just a normal human being with an interest in working with kids. I'm sure they haven't dragged him in off the streets just because they were short staffed.

rhetorician Sun 16-Mar-14 20:47:43

It makes me very sad, actually, especially given that most abuse happens in the home. It is so unfair that men are the subject of such suspicion I this regard, not least because given all the opposition any man who goes into childcare must feel that he has some talent for crying for children, which is clearly not the case for quite a lot of the women who end up doing this hugely important job.

iphoneaddict Sun 16-Mar-14 20:53:53

OP here again
So obviously I see the overwhelming view is that I'm an off the wall sexist bigot. Fair enough, I see I have come across that way. I admit its wrong but I find it difficult to shake the feelings I have.

I see your point that I should not judge & dismiss someone I have not even met. That makes sense. The man in my son's room is not just a 'man' but a human with feelings etc.

But I see that many people have completely judged my character based on my admittedly irrational views on one topic. I'm not a completely horrible person. I have anxieties about a particular issue.

Maybe I've been stupidly swayed by all the horrific cases of abuse we hear about so much nowadays and now I'm a bit paranoid.

And I'm well aware women are no angels. We had an issue in a childcare setting when DS1 was a small baby where a women was being violent towards him. This was brought to our attention by another employee and the women admitted it and was sacked . The violence was what I'd call medium level - it was way worse than slapping but not so extremely violent that DS would have noticeable injuries. It shook me badly and I was terrified putting my child back in to childcare but I felt I didn't have a choice.

I had mixed feelings towards the women who'd been mistreating DS1. Everyone was surprised I didn't go in and kill her when I found out but I found it hard to just regard her as a completely evil person. And I know it's come across that I'm dismissing the new man looking after my son and I can see the double standards in this.

I don't trust the women in the childcare centre either by the way because of the experience I have. I know that that is also irrational - just because I had a bad experience with one childcare worker doesn't mean the others aren't good people. But I initially trusted & liked the women who turned out to be violent towards DS1. It was so strange that the women who seemed so lovely turned out to have been behaving so differently behind my back. It makes it difficult to place my trust in other strangers because just because someone comes across as genuine and caring its no guarantee that they actually are.

DH has always been extremely fond of children because he had little brothers that he looked after as a teenager. And that was one of the things I found endearing about him when I met him. Whenever he meets children he naturally gravitates towards them and engages with them and makes them laugh.

Anyway - I did acknowledge earlier in this discussion that I would take on board your comments. I want to overcome my anxieties because DS1 will be spending time with this person whether I'm comfortable with it or not

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 20:54:51

the onl reason the op tihnks she is being U is that she doesn't think it is politically correct to think the way she does, so infact she isn't changing her mind or re thinking anything she thinks this man is odd and could interfere with babies while changing nappies,

Coldlightofday Sun 16-Mar-14 20:58:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Qix Sun 16-Mar-14 20:58:10

If you don't trust the women either then that is a massive drip feed OP.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 16-Mar-14 21:00:48

What happened to your Ds is terrible. But that doesn't explain why this particular male is a problem. Surely all the staff would be. Which is far more understandable.

mrsjay Sun 16-Mar-14 21:01:26

a person assaulted your child did you get them charged tbh If you cant trust the women either why are your children in childcare

GarthsUncle Sun 16-Mar-14 21:03:48

I think she is acknowledging that her fears are irrational, not that they have suddenly gone thanks to all our posting.

I think it's fine to keep discussing but it would be kinder to do it more generally since she has acknowledged she's not in the right on this.

But to call her - to pick one - "a sexist nutter" after she's acknowledged SIBU seems far from general.

GarthsUncle Sun 16-Mar-14 21:06:20

For the record, I think she was BVU in her first post but is now having a rethink.

I can understand that you have general issues with childcarers after that. Just try to think that the man who will be caring for your DS1 (and potentially DS2) is probably a man just like your DH who naturally gravitates to children.

The way you describe your DH with children is the way I'd describes mine - once our friends (and then we) started to have children we discovered he was an absolute natural with them. He'd never been sure what to do career wise in the long term and suddenly he'd found something that just fitted his natural skills and personality perfectly. But he thought long and hard about taking the step and actually moving in to childcare because it was going against so many stereotypes and prejudices.

Going in to childcare is far less of a default/easy option for guys - it has to be something they really want to do to put up with the flack they will take from other people. So yes, there might be a risk just like there is with anyone, but there's also a very strong chance that you are getting someone who is working with children because it feels like the right career choice for them.

blanchedeveraux Sun 16-Mar-14 21:10:26

If you don't trust ANYONE in your DC's current childcare facility then this whole thread regarding "gut feeling" about a male employee is a red herring and makes little sense.

If your child was assaulted in daycare as you allege I find it very difficult to understand why you would continue using a nursery facility.

I don't buy the statement "I felt I didn't have a choice". You always have a choice, it may be Hobson's choice but it's still a choice.

How you could put your DCs in a situation you considered a potential danger every day is beyond me, but little of what you've said rings true anyway.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 16-Mar-14 21:17:50

Yabvvvvu all your reasoning is nit based on fact but your opinions and generalisations. What are you going to do when your child goes to school and shock horror could have a male teacher. There is a lovely male nursery worker at ds ore school, he is great with the parents and kids

Aeroflotgirl Sun 16-Mar-14 21:18:39

Oh and dd 7 has a male TA in her class is dear

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 23:57:57

Indeed blanche! My DD was looked after in a Day Nursery she went from loving it to HATING IT. I STILL feel guilty about leaving her in there for as long as I did before pulling her out rapidly once I had found replaceable childcare. My DS wasn't put in one for this very reason. The Staff at DDs nursery didn't assault her just half the ttime looked and acted like they couldn't care less. I most definitely not have left her in there if she had been hurt by one of them! confused

TiggyCBE Mon 17-Mar-14 14:05:37

Hi OP!

Read your last post, and as a male nursery worker, big netmums style hugs!

This is all getting a wee bit ridiculous now.

deakymom Mon 17-Mar-14 14:23:13

your problem is really the fact that it is not a common thing to see i had a male midwife pop in occasionally when i was in labour and male doctors i was fine but my husband was not at all he is used to female nurses and doctors dealing with me (we were out of area) he was most uncomfortable its okay to feel this but not to excess and not to the point of denying decent childcare etc because of it

scooterland Mon 17-Mar-14 14:31:46

So by 'gut feeling' do you mean just the fact that this is a man looking after the children rather than a woman?

Goodness you are completely YABU!

Makes no difference if it's a male or female who does the job.

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