Perceptions in the UK remain strong that childcare is the exclusive domain for women among both sexes. When questioned, parents would prefer that their nursery was staffed by women only, and were dubious and, in some cases, concerned, when told that men are being asked to work in the vocation.
Research by Ali G actor, Sascha Baron Cohen's cousin, Simon, shows that young children need a mix of male and female role models when growing up, and there are moves afoot to see more men employed in nurseries by a change in the law that mandates at least one male teacher in every nursery and primary school.
"Men are ideally suited for the job," said Jacqui Smith, home secretary. "They're generally nothing but big kids anyway."
"It's not natural," said Germane Green, popular feminist and Australian. "I wouldn't want my children in the presence of men who wanted to be around children. What are the government thinking of? When I said I wanted equality between men and women, I meant I wanted women in men's jobs, not vice versa."
The new law may be difficult to implement, due to the small number of men who are willing to have their entire lives scrutinised constantly in order to work around children.
"I tried it for a while," said Peter Dohfile. "But there was plain hostility towards me from parents. I cannot understand it. I love children, and they love me. In the end I got a job as a lorry driver. I get more respect now, with the added bonus of never being in one place for very long."