Every year, the internet comes together to disagree on renaming Father’s Day. But I suggest we should entertain the idea, as tradition is only what we make it.
Every so often I stumble across a thinkpiece that calls for the changing of Father’s Day to a more inclusive, daresay, PC equivalent. Now, while I agree, people either nod their heads or shake it, and each year presents the same problem, unsolved. I do, however, believe that it deserves its place in the glare of the public forum.
I know that this sort of non-denomination Father’s Day works, as it has been a tradition in the Wicks household since the birth of my daughter. When today swings around there’s no exchanging of gifts, no saccharine social media posts or breakfasts in bed, we let it pass without revelry.
The subtext, of course, is the fact I don’t feel I need to be celebrated.
The main reason is that we agree a baby daddy frequently is not a Father. The head of the nuclear family is something that sells insurance, or holds television plots together. It doesn’t exist. To be entirely truthful, we’re already celebrated enough. In a hetero-normative relationship, particularly mine, I’m expected to do less work, and indeed, I’m socially celebrated for doing the same acts my partner is not. Therefore, a day where we can put our feet up, grates.
While I realise that Father’s Day has morphed beyond a Hallmark holiday and has become a celebration of the sacrifices ours made, but while some can award crockery which extols a worldwide ranking of their excellence, not everyone needs one. You can grow up with two mums (or two dads) without both or either, and still end up fine.
Perhaps then, today should be an exercise in self-reflection. Realising that what we do is important, but not exclusively our property. While anyone can be a dad, not everyone can be a parent. Perhaps today should be a great paella of many flavours, containing whatever and indeed, whoever you define your parents as.