Victoria records 16 new local Covid-19 cases, lockdown extended

'Mommy's Tiny Helper' toy accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes

A family-run business has been forced to defend the name of their children’s toy after it caused a stir in Facebook parenting groups, accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes.

Created by a Perth-based brother and sister, “Mommy’s Tiny Helper” is a toy car that a child sits on, and underneath the car is a set of sweepers that cleans the house as it gets driven around.

Described on the website as having developmental benefits for children – such as improving mobility and spatial awareness, increasing ambulatory and rotational skills and teaching responsibility and tidiness – some parents have instead focused on the toy’s name, taking offence and saying the small business is implying “that it’s a woman’s job to do the cleaning”.

“Yeah, that’s a no from me. I love the idea but mummy’s helper, no,” one user wrote in a Perth mother’s group on Facebook.

'Mommy's Tiny Helper' toy accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes

“It’s 2021 it isn’t mummy’s job to clean the floor.”

“By calling it ‘mommy’s’ you aren’t being gender inclusive at all,” another said.

“Something more gender/parental role neutral would be better … Do same-sex parents, single dads, grandparents, non-binary parents not exist?”

'Mommy's Tiny Helper' toy accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes

“I don’t like it. What if there isn’t a mummy around and dad does the cleaning and housework? It shouldn’t be aimed at mothers and it’s very 1950s, only women are cleaners of the house,” wrote one woman.

'Mommy's Tiny Helper' toy accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes

But others defended the toy, writing that “people are so easily offended”.

“Call it f***ing ride-on sweeper and be done with it. God forbid we rock the gender equality boat or upset the fems! Any cleaners or hired help out there want to jump on and have their say about it rattling their chains too? WHO F***ING CARES! I’d call it a great idea and leave it at that! I’ll take two please!”

“Can I get one for Christmas,” wrote one woman, while others wrote the toy was an “amazing” concept.

The toy’s co-founder, Samantha Minniti, told she was “quite shocked” that the toy’s name had been poorly received by some, saying she “would never suggest such gender stereotyping”.

“We are not implying that it’s mum’s role to do the cleaning. I would never suggest such gender stereotyping,” Ms Minniti said.

“We are realists and know that, based on statistics, 86 per cent of women do the majority of the housework in Australia, while 73 per cent of men are the primary breadwinners. Simply put, women need more help around the house so they can return to work, if they choose to.

“Ask any woman in Australia and they would love more support around the house – and yes that can come from their kids or partners.”

'Mommy's Tiny Helper' toy accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes

'Mommy's Tiny Helper' is aimed at helping the developmental skills of kids. Photo / Supplied

Minniti said the business has “big hopes” for the toy around the world – even debuting it at the prestigious New York Toy Fair – which was also why they used the American spelling for “Mummy”.

However, she said they were now worried about the negative feedback they’d received.

“I hope this isn’t cancel culture in action because it wasn’t our intention,” she said.

“I feel that once the same people understand the motives behind the product and how strongly I feel about women needing more help around the house, they will feel differently.”

Mommy’s Tiny Helper is also a unisex toy, she said, “so your little boys will love it as much as little girls”.

“And who knows, if we introduce house cleaning to little boys from a young age and make it fun, maybe more men will start doing their fair share of housework when they have families,” she said.

Other users called on the business to simply change the name to “something like ‘sweep and ride’ … concentrate on what the product does and not who it’s helping”.

“Personally I think Mummy should be taken out, just have Tiny helper. In our house we do 50/50 share of housework, cooking, looking after kids etc, so I don’t think it’s a good name to assume only mum does the cleaning,” wrote one.

“Also a lot of kids don’t have mums, if you are absolutely sold on using that name then I think you might get some backlash – also change to ‘Mummy’, ‘mommy’ is American.”

Minniti said while their feedback had been taken on board, “we don’t have any intention of changing the name”.

“We’ve invested a lot of time and money to get to this stage and really believe in the product and what the name stands for – mummies need more help,” she said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the critics either don’t have children, have the luxury of being able to afford a cleaner, or are one of the few households where the mum gets a lot of help so she can be the breadwinner.”

She said she hoped people criticising the toy’s name would “understand that mums work bloody hard – and many of us are trying to juggle so many balls”.

“There are so many women out there who would love to get back to the workforce, but they need support for childcare, equal pay, and then there’s all the challenges involved with running a household,” she said.

“Products like ‘Mommy’s Tiny Helper’ should be celebrated, not cancelled.”

News Related


Australia eyes Christmas overseas travel

Australia’s tourism and trade minister believes international borders will be open in time for Christmas. © Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS Tourism Minister Dan Tehan says Australia’s international borders should reopen by ... Read more »

NSW hair salons and tattoo parlours could go bust after lockdowns end

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Local hair salons and tattoo parlours across New South Wales fear they could soon go bust due to strict post-lockdown rules.  NSW Health ... Read more »

Reserve Bank says Australia's house prices could pose ‘risk to financial stability'

Australia’s ballooning housing prices – and the associated household debt for mortgage holders – could pose a risk to the economy’s financial stability in the event of a sudden downturn ... Read more »

Morrison launches congressional charm offensive to land subs pact

© AP Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden held their first bilateral meeting in New York. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will go on a bipartisan charm offensive ... Read more »

Explainer: Exactly what happened in Melbourne yesterday, and why.

On Wednesday morning, Victoria’s Police Minister Lisa Neville warned that police were ready to respond should protestors take to the locked-down city’s streets yet again. © Getty Images Explainer: Exactly ... Read more »

Scientists say quake probably caused by tectonic pressure from NZ

© Getty Buildings along Chapel Street in Melbourne were damaged in Wednesday’s earthquake. The earthquake that hit Victoria on Wednesday morning is probably the result of tectonic plate pressure in ... Read more »

Mob makes way to Vic Shrine of Remembrance

A mob that has spent days rioting in the Melbourne CBD has made its way to the Shrine of Remembrance, surrounded by armed riot police. © James Ross/AAP PHOTOS Protesters ... Read more »

WA pair smash tons against SA in one-dayer

Western Australia’s Josh Philippe and Mitch Marsh have smashed centuries against South Australia in the domestic one-day cup opener. © Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS Josh Philippe was one of two centurions ... Read more »

Voss to meet Blues about AFL coaching job

Michael Voss has touched down in Melbourne as the Brisbane Lions legend closes in becoming Carlton’s new AFL coach. © Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS Michael Voss is the warm favourite to ... Read more »

Rare spring snow forecast for Tasmania

Rare low-level springtime snow is forecast to fall in Tasmania towards the end of the week, with some likely to settle in the hills above Hobart. © Andrew Drummond/AAP PHOTOS ... Read more »

Clive Palmer company Waratah Coal's coal project awaiting Barcaldine Regional Council decision

© Provided by ABC Business The proposed power plant would be built 30km from the town of Alpha. (ABC News: Chris Gillette) Clive Palmer’s company Waratah Coal is quietly seeking ... Read more »

Policy must drive jobless rate down: RBA

A Reserve Bank of Australia official has again stressed the central bank won’t be jacking up interest rates to cool a heated housing market. © Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS The Reserve ... Read more »

Sidoti corruption probe to resume hearings

The NSW corruption watchdog is reopening public hearings into allegations former Berejiklian government minister John Sidoti failed to disclose property interests and misused his position as an MP. © Dean Lewins/AAP ... Read more »

Push for widespread rapid antigen tests

Australia is being urged to adopt widespread rapid screening to pick up fully vaccinated coronavirus carriers without symptoms who could unknowingly transmit the disease. © Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS Canberra recorded ... Read more »

Covid-positive woman who sparked Byron Bay lockdown now faces charges

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A Sydney woman who travelled to Byron Bay to work on the reality TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of ... Read more »

Walgett community COVID-19 scare prompts team effort in vaccine uptake

The New South Wales town of Walgett is facing an anxious time amid dozens of active COVID-19 cases in an already vulnerable area. The vaccine rollout in the largely Aboriginal ... Read more »

Dan Andrews wants mandatory jabs for ANOTHER group of workers

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Dan Andrews’ government is preparing to mandate Covid-19 vaccines for teachers and early-childhood educators – just days after rolling out the measure across ... Read more »

Map that lays Australia's history of earthquakes bare

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck east Victoria today is not the first, or most destructive, to strike Australia. Geoscience Australia said the country is relatively safe from quakes as ... Read more »

Harvey joins Hawthorn AFL coaching panel

Former Collingwood AFL caretaker coach Robert Harvey has joined Hawthorn, where he will serve as part of a new-look panel under Sam Mitchell. © Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS Robert Harvey has ... Read more »

COVID exposure at Top Top warehouse leaves some regional areas short of bread

Supermarkets across regional Victoria have reported missing deliveries of bread as a result of a COVID exposure site at a major Melbourne bread warehouse.   Tip Top’s warehouse was attended by a ... Read more »

‘Everyone was nervous': Victoria avoids serious damage after major earthquake rocks Melbourne

Victoria appears to have escaped widespread damage and no injuries have yet been reported after a major earthquake shook Melbourne. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: James Ross/AAP Geoscience Australia ... Read more »

Keating attacks Labor over China relations

Former prime minister Paul Keating has insisted China does not present a military threat against Australia in a strident criticism of a pact with the UK and US. © David ... Read more »

Canberra records 17 new coronavirus cases

Canberra has recorded 17 new coronavirus infections, nine of which can be linked to known sources. © Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS Canberra has recorded 17 new cases of coronavirus. Just one ... Read more »

ACT records 17 new cases of COVID-19, number infectious in the community 'of concern'

© Provided by ABC Health The ACT government yesterday announced additional funding for mental health support, more than five weeks into its lockdown. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore) The ACT has ... Read more »

Victorian town of Mansfield shaken by three earthquakes, with reports of damage to some buildings

© Provided by ABC NEWS The Victorian town of Mansfield after the earthquake hit near the town. (Supplied: Chris McConnell) Victoria’s State Emergency Service says there has been damage to some buildings ... Read more »

SA Ombusdman Wayne Lines refers state Liberal Party's use of NationBuilder to Office of Public Integrity

© Provided by ABC NEWS A South Australian Government website being redirected through the NationalBuilder website. (ABC News) The South Australian Liberal Party’s use of campaign software NationBuilder has been ... Read more »

Largest quake in Vic's recorded history

The largest earthquake in Victoria’s history has damaged buildings and the tremors were felt across Melbourne and as far away as Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide. © James Ross/AAP PHOTOS The ... Read more »

SA corruption watchdog lashes changes

Proposed changes to South Australia’s corruption watchdog would dismantle the office and rob the public of an efficient integrity agency, a state parliamentary committee has been told. © Morgan Sette/AAP ... Read more »

Queensland Premier demands an apology from Health Minister

© Getty In recent weeks, Palaszczuk raised the issue of when children would be vaccinated and questioned how they would be affected by changes to border restrictions. Queensland Premier Annastacia ... Read more »

Australia and US aiming for ‘same place' on climate, Morrison insists after Biden meeting

Scott Morrison insists Australia and the US are on the same page on climate policy after his first one-on-one meeting with Joe Biden, as the US president presses “every nation” ... Read more »

Riot police on Melbourne streets to prevent third day of protests

Police have turned out in force outside the CFMEU office in Melbourne on Wednesday to prevent a third day of protests in the city. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: ... Read more »

Community sport could restart VERY soon in NSW

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The NSW construction industry will return to full capacity from next week as the state’s vaccination coverage continues to grow, with hope community ... Read more »

NSW records 1035 new COVD-19 cases and five further deaths

© Brook Mitchell/Getty Police in Sydney are on alert for potential protests following violent clashes in Melbourne. New South Wales has recorded 1035 new local cases of coronavirus and five ... Read more »

Magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Victoria rocks south-east Australia

An earthquake has rocked south-east Australia, with reports of tremors being felt from Melbourne to Wagga Wagga. Geoscience Australia said the magnitude 6.0 earthquake was centred in the Mansfield region, ... Read more »

Senior Queensland police officer 'disappointed' by allegations officer snuck daughter over NSW border

© Provided by ABC Health Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman described the alleged border breach involved a senior officer as “extremely disappointing”. (ABC News: Kimberley Bernard) A senior Queensland police officer ... Read more »

NSW records 1035 new local COVID-19 cases

NSW has reported 1035 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and five deaths as double-dose vaccination coverage approaches 55 per cent. © Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS NSW has recorded 1035 new ... Read more »

Buildings damaged as earthquake strikes east of Melbourne

An earthquake has struck Victoria, causing damage to buildings across Melbourne. A number of witnesses filmed tremors and damage across Melbourne after a 6.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Victoria. ... Read more »

Cairns police probe 'suspicious' death at shopping centre

Queensland Police are investigating the suspicious death of a 35-year-old man at Cairns Central shopping centre this morning. One person is in custody and police are now working to establish ... Read more »

Queensland records one new case of COVID-19

Queensland has recorded one new local case of COVID-19. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the case was no cause for concern as they had been in home quarantine and were part ... Read more »

Serious delays expected as NSW train drivers plan to strike for hours

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo NSW train drivers will strike next week as part of an industrial campaign over pay and conditions. The strike on Tuesday, October 5, ... Read more »