I am always foxed by Father’s Day. I don’t know where it came from or when its going to be. It wasn’t around when I was growing up so I never honoured my Father with a homemade card or posy of wild flowers.
People have told me that it is an American thing, invented to support the card and gift industry. But I can see more to it than that, and suspect it to be a ‘Dadist’ response to Mother’s Day.
I mean ‘Dadist in positive way – like ‘feminist’, not like ‘racist’. I am a very positive Dadist and am delighted to see the way in which men are being liberated into richer and more integrated parental roles as time goes by.
Which sounds a bit worthy and pompous, so let’s balance it out by looking at Father’s Day cards. Correct me if I’m wrong but have I not observed a tendency towards irreverent jokiness in Father’s Day card’s which is utterly absent from the Mother’s Day range? Card’s for Dad can spoon on the irony where Mother’s Day cards ladle in the slush.
I mean, whoever would send their Mum a card which says, ‘You Are One of My Favourite Parents’ or even ‘Dad, ignore what Mum says, I think you’re alright’, spelt out in the fridge magnet alphabet?
Anyway, here are my questions. I am genuinely puzzled by Father’s Day and its attendant rituals and values, and whether or not it helps the Dadist cause.
- Who invented Father’s Day and why?
- Do Father’s Day cards really tend to be more jokey than Mother’s Day cards?
- Is it Dad’s role to help a child develop a sense of irony as they grow up? (I mean someone has to stop us taking ourselves too seriously)
- What does any of this mean for the million UK kids growing up today in fatherless homes?