Isn’t sensitivity grand?
That’s what Scottish school authorities said they were doing when they prohibited little kids from making Father’s Day cards in school last year. They were being sensitive to the children of single mothers, or so they claimed. Read about it here (Telegraph, 6/22/08).
But about five seconds’ thought tells you that’s nonsense. In the first place, they felt the need to keep their touching sensitivity a secret. They didn’t tell anyone what they were doing. Some dads raised a ruckus when they didn’t get their cards, forcing the anti-dad cops to come clean. If sensitivity was what it was all about, why the secrecy?
By the way, according to the Office for National Statistics, 75% of Scottish children live with both parents. Of the remaining 25%, who live with single parents, presumably some live with fathers.
The mere fact that a child lives in the custody of an unmarried woman doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t have a father. Unless the guy is dead, the child has a dad somewhere. Now, the mother may have chosen any of a wide variety of options to exclude him from the child’s life. Maybe she just moved away and “neglected” to inform him of her pregnancy. Maybe she told him another man was the father. Maybe he’s got a visitation order that she routinely violates without consequence. Maybe she got a bogus restraining order against him. Maybe she’s had him jailed on trumped up charges of rape or DV. In those cases, the school’s new policy can best be seen as promotion of the mother’s behavior.
And maybe he’s not part of the child’s life because he’s an irresponsible jerk. So that’s a reason to prevent all children from honoring their fathers? One dad in a hundred is a bum, so let’s punish the kids of all the other dads. This makes sense? In fact, to read some of the many good reasons to celebrate Fathers’ Day even for children who don’t have involved fathers, read this article (Examiner, 6/9/09).
But the most obvious reason why the school policy is nonsense is that they didn’t do the same thing on Mother’s Day. What, there aren’t any custodial fathers in Scotland? There aren’t any kids with absent mothers who might feel slighted when the other kids are making out their Mothers’ Day cards? Sure there are, but for some reason schools in Scotland are still honoring mothers. For some reason it’s the dads who miss out.
What surely must be the next step is to do away with Fathers’ Day altogether. The argument made by the authorities about school children is equally applicable elsewhere. If children in school without fathers would feel badly on Fathers’ Day, wouldn’t children elsewhere? So in the interest of the feelings of all children, shouldn’t we just scrap the whole idea? Shouldn’t we just forget Fathers’ Day altogether?
Who do these people think they’re kidding? This isn’t about protecting children, it’s about attacking fathers. It’s one more message to children that fathers aren’t important. If single mothers haven’t gotten that message across, school officials are happy to step in and help.
And into the bargain they try to pretend it’s about sensitivity.