I attended Dad 2.0 Summit in NOLA as a guest of Kia Motors USA
Yeah, you read it. I went to a Dad conference.
No, I don’t have anything to hide or any surprises for you, I was invited by Kia to attend the 2018 Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans and figured I’d give it a shot. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect at a conference targeted at men in the social media space.
I went in with an open mind knowing that I might only get out of the conference time spent with great friends, and perhaps a beignet or two, (it wound up being 5).
I didn’t go with my husband in tow, or as his special estrogen-filled guest. It was just me.
I guess it could be said that I hoped to talk to some of the sponsors and come out with a partnership or two, but what I found at the conference wasn’t what I had hoped.
It was more. So much more.
What I found was love. And not like what you’re thinking, Kyle and I are still very much in love and unfailingly happy.
I saw men loving one another.
I saw grown men with overgrown beards embracing one another with joy as they greeted one another. I saw grown men in tailored suits and casual clothes and all the in-between weeping because they were touched by something a panelist had said.
I witnessed men having an open conversation about #MeToo. I met men who were proud to stay at home with their children while their wives went to work every day, and men who have full time jobs but blog full time on the side too, all while loving their families without reservation or apology.
I met men whose husbands or wives were left at home and had no interest in anything but connecting with other men, retelling their stories, learning new skills, and becoming better versions of themselves – professionally and personally.
I witnessed these same men capable of having friendly relationships with beautiful women that had no expectation beyond friendship.
Seeing what I saw filled my heart with joy and my eyes with moisture.
In a time where men are portrayed as pussy-grabbing pigs who cannot keep their hands to themselves. In a time where to even have a penis surely means you’re an aggressor. In a time where men feel they have to take pictures with their hands raised above their heads; it was refreshing to see that good men do truly exist.
You see, I’m raising two boys to become men myself.
One of them is a teenager who will soon cleave from his dad and me to go make his way in this world. I needed to know that there are men out there who respect women. I’m doing all I can, but in this time – in this day and age – can you ever really be sure that your efforts are enough, or are men just intrinsically dirty?
Am I raising a man who will be respectful of women?
This boy is an outstanding human, of that I am certain, but I didn’t really do anything to make him that way.
He just is what he is, he was born that way.
The other boy is rowdy and rambunctious and he loves his penis. He’s what many would consider a “boy’s boy”. Are there men out there who are sports lovers, who like to laugh and have a good time and crack jokes, who are unapologetically MEN and can still be respectful of women?
It was refreshing to see that I’m not the only woman in the world married to a unicorn.
It turns out they’re more common than we once thought.
Now that I’ve seen with my own eyes a large group of men hugging and laughing with one another; men eager to learn how to become better bloggers, husbands, and dads; while remaining boisterous, loud, and proud, I can say with absolute belief:
Good guys do exist.
And all I had to do to find them was drive my Kia Optima SXL to Dad 2.0 Summit and observe.