And this is where harder-core feminism can devolve into "everything men do is wrong". Notice that a woman is a woman and you're patronizing/harassing/"othering". Treat her as one of the guys and you're being deliberately exclusive and maintaining a boys club.
>FWIW some people would consider that unwelcoming/harassing--I think the term is "othering". i.e. what's treated as important is not the person or their skill but their gender.
>And, yes, it can be annoying for guy in a "traditionally female" domain as well.
I think I'd prefer to have people pay attention to me for a particular characteristic if that meant that you could then demonstrate you're more than just that characteristic once interacting.
I'm dad to an 18month old. We use a sling rather than a buggy. No one ever holds a door for me or steps aside, stepping into the road with a baby because jerks won't let you past on the pavement ... anyway, I'm coming to a point here somewhere ... I've been to a few meetings where I'm the only man and I just get ignored. I find group social situations pretty hard anyway but I only get included if I break the ice and usually the only interaction I get is scowls for playing with their kids.
I think I'm ranting, hang on, yup ranting, I'll just sit over here.
Sorry to hear your experience as a father is less than positive, socially-speaking. As a mother of an 18-month old whose father is currently taking care of him full time, our experience is quite the opposite. My husband gets more compliments in a day than I do in a month, I think largely because of the "otherness". He is is also a very popular member of the local "mommy" group. Perhaps it has something to do with where you are? As an ex-New Yorker, I've found the city to be unfriendly to parents of either gender.