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Sunday, June 17, 2007
(9:38 AM) | Stephen:
Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. It's a fairly bogus holiday when you think about it. Mother's Day, at least, had fairly noble origins in this country, promoted as a way to unite women in a cause against war. But according to Wikipedia, at least, Father's Day seems to just have been started in order to make sure that fathers didn't feel left out of the holiday allotment.

Oh, and remember kids, every day is Children's Day.

There are dads out there, of course, who could use a little bit of recognition. Unfortunately, the way our culture works means that there's a whole lot more dads out there who could be reminded on this Father's Day that they have responsibilities to their families that go far beyond earning a paycheck and taking out the garbage.

What bothers me the most is that this holiday, like Mother's Day, is not only an excuse for a consumeristic frenzy, but a frenzy based entirely upon the worst gender stereotypes our culture has on offer. So for Mother's Day we get advertisements for flowers and bedding, and for Father's Day it's all about power tools and fishing equipment. Even the dads I know that are really into power tools - and actually know how to use them - would still be pretty happy with a new blender or better food processor or something like that. I've found that individuals can be pretty adept at dismantling gender myths and barriers even as our society grips them ever more tightly.

All of that to say, I do hope that today is a good day for dads and their families, where neither one nor the other feel resentful or put upon, where both can show appreciation and love to one another. My daughter made a card for me upon which she actually wrote "Happy Father's Day," her name and those of my wife and son, and drew a picture of all of us. Complete with backwards "a" and "s."

Also, my dad reads this blog every once in a while, and your granddaughter also signed a card from her and your grandson, and there's even a card from me. I bought them early this last week, and they're signed, addressed, stamped and sitting on my desk. Oops. But then, if I've never sent a card on time before, why start now, right?

Happy Father's Day.

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