Simon Ragoonanan

Father, Blogger at manvspink.com

I'm a former TV producer who quit interviewing Hollywood celebs to stay at home with my less demanding daughter.

I blog about being a stay-at-home geek dad of a fangirl daughter, and our ongoing struggle against pinkification.

Letters Of Life

Bit of a bummer I know, but as I've told you in the past, death is part of life, and that for something to be alive it also has to die one day. So don't dwell on the death part, think about my life - and how happy you made me. Being your dad - and being at home with you for pretty much the first 5 years of your life - made me the happiest I think it's possible for a person to be.
04/10/2017 10:24 BST

Can You Explain Donald Trump To Your Little Girl?

My wife and I like to engage our daughter in politics and the political process in general. I have always taken her to vote with me (and we always vote). If this were a 'normal' US election, I would happily let her watch and listen to news reports and the like, and answer any questions she may have. But not this time. This is far from a normal US election.
01/11/2016 17:16 GMT

Are Superheroes for Girls Too?

Most men always note my daughter's superhero t-shirts. The reactions vary. Most think it's cool. Some are jealous ("My wife would never let me dress my daughter in that"), but others are incredulous.
22/08/2016 16:34 BST

Dads Don't Babysit (Apart From When We Do)

Expectations for dads are so low, that fathers get plaudits for simply doing what mothers do as standard. I think we're rewarded for showing just a little engagement, because our role has become so emotionally removed from the nurturing aspect of parenting.
03/05/2016 16:43 BST

When Did Valentine's Day Become a Family Day?

As far as I'm concerned, every day should be a love day when it comes to how you relate to your child, who should never doubt that you love them. But that is not the same love I have for her mother, and I want our daughter to understand there's a difference.
10/02/2016 17:50 GMT

Don't Ignore the Lonely Dad

You try making conversation, but none develops. Your hopes of meeting new people, making new friends, forming bonds with other parents for the sake of your child are dwindling. You end up sitting alone in a corner, watching your child play alone while all around a community you long to be a part of continues on oblivious.
31/01/2016 19:56 GMT

Should Kids Under-12 See 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'?

It's finally official in the UK - Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been rated 12A. While children under 12 are permitted, they have to be accompanied by an adult. More than that, it means as far as the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) examiners are concerned, the new Star Wars film is unsuitable for children under 12.
11/12/2015 12:05 GMT

"But Where Are You Really From?"

I haven't really spoken to my nearly 4-year-old daughter about race that much yet. She has previously stated that she is "white like mummy". I responded with "No. you're <i>light</i> like mummy, but <i>brown</i> like daddy", which she accepts.
20/11/2015 14:45 GMT

"We Don't Eat Peppa Pig... Do We?"

I assumed that a knowing question about where chicken or lamb comes from would be first, as they don't have a secret identity in the way beef/steak (cow), venison (deer), and pork/ham/bacon (pig) do. Chicken is chicken, and lamb is a baby sheep (awww).
19/08/2015 17:58 BST

Daddy Swans Can Raise Their Kids Too

I've been home with my daughter since she was six months old, but despite having a stay-at-home dad for most of her life, she still defaults to the assumption that the adult looking after their children must be the mother.
18/06/2015 13:22 BST

When You Grow Up, I Want You to Be a Voter

You see, there are many things I want my daughter to be when she grows up - happy, confident, strong, passionate, free. But this morning, more than ever, I also want her to be a voter.
07/05/2015 11:53 BST

"Girls Rule!" - Until They Grow Up

A slogan like "Girls Rule" seems little more than a lie in this context. It implies that women leaders are respected, listened to, and rewarded for their hard work, talent, and intelligence - when that is clearly not the case. Perhaps the slogan "Girls Rule!" was created as a way of hiding the sad reality of gender inequality.
08/03/2015 20:42 GMT

Why We Need to Stop Talking About Working Mothers

This week there was a report about the rising costs of childcare in the UK, which is indeed a big problem for parents. Yet I kept reading how this was an issue for working mothers or mothers returning to the workplace, never about fathers.
23/02/2015 17:34 GMT

Is Labour's Paternity Leave Policy Progressive or a Poll Bribe?

While this Labour policy may seem progressive, reflecting the reality that many fathers want to be at home with their newborn too, I feel what it's really reinforcing is that after four weeks a man's place is still at work while a woman's is at home with the baby.
09/02/2015 17:41 GMT

Halloween: Don't Underestimate the Empowerment of the Force

The question I should have asked my daughter was "What fancy dress would you like to wear?". What I actually asked was "Would you like to wear your Darth Vader costume?". Halloween week at pre-school was an opportunity to enlighten her peers that I couldn't let slip by.
29/10/2014 15:38 GMT

The Mum-Hub: An Exclusive Parental Social Club

I have never seen any dads in the hub. Not even partners. The hub is usually a child-free zone too, a place of mothers in conversation while their children fend for themselves. This day there were lots of crying and distressed pre-school children who needed the attention of scattered lone parents, before their actual parent in the hub noticed.
09/10/2014 14:48 BST

What's Wrong With Gendered Marketing to Children? This...

They have a bright, bold, and delightful daughter called Zoe - she amused me no end when inventively used our toys to enthusiastically stage a river raid on Noah's Ark by Spider-Man & Hulk to rescue the animals from the clutches of supervillains Annihilus & Joker. Sitting cosily inside the marketing category of 'Girl' is seemingly not for her.
02/10/2014 15:28 BST

I Abandoned My Daughter Today... (at Preschool)

My daughter is now over two and a half, and is ready - needing - to learn to interact with new children on her own. Playgroups are fine, but I'm always there. Same goes for playdates, and our frequent playground visits. It's time to play away from daddy.
26/09/2014 14:55 BST