The online parenting community is up in arms this week over the discovery that Cara Dumaplin—the Cara behind the popular sleep-training course and Instagram account Taking Cara Babies (TCB)—donated to the Trump campaign. This makes her persona non grata. Amidst the calls for unity and understanding during the inauguration this week, they’ve decided it’s time to cancel Cara.
It’s not entirely clear who first thought to search for Dumaplin on the Federal Election Committee website or why, but news spread quickly. Dumaplin’s business is about as non-political as they come: she offers classes to help parents get their babies and toddlers to sleep through the night. The TCB Instagram account even provides a variety of free tips and resources and is full of positive posts. It is not a place people go to discuss politics—it’s just parents who want a good night’s rest. What is alarming is that someone felt the need to search out and “expose” Dumaplin and go after her business. She shouldn’t help families sleep better because she supported Trump. When news broke of Dumaplin’s past donations, several parenting accounts on social media immediately started distancing themselves from her. Some people called on their followers to stop supporting her and encouraged asking for refunds if they had purchased resources from her. Several said she preys on sleep-deprived parents by offering sleep training classes for sale. Her detractors have used her donations as an excuse to freely share online all the materials she sells; no need for anyone to pay for her product anymore (ironically this is a tacit acknowledgement that her product is useful)!
Now that we hate #takingcarababies where can I find her informational materials online? Cause I’m no longer giving her a dime— Olivia (@LB251_) January 20, 2021
[Full disclosure: I purchased a Taking Cara Babies newborn course when my first child was born and used it to help him be an excellent sleeper. Like any other consumer, I was not coerced into buying this product—I chose to purchase it.]
Influencers insist they are not canceling Dumaplin—they go so far as to say they are exposing her and cutting ties with her because they support empathy and inclusivity—this is simply the consequence of her actions.
These measures against Dumaplin are in striking contrast to President Biden’s remarks this week in his inaugural address, where he said “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue… We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility. If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes.” Amidst the rush to bury Cara, the popular account Feeding Littles seems to have taken those words to heart. In an Instagram story, its creators stated their shock and disagreement with Dumaplin’s donation decision but said, “We love our friend. We believe in having relationships with people who have all sorts of beliefs and lifestyles. That’s how we all learn. That’s how we grow. The internet has become such a yucky place. We need to commit to listening more, learning more and loving more.” That sort of attitude will help end cancel culture.