I’m going to make a bold prediction. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will outlive the social engineers who want to reconstruct or deconstruct or remove or redefine these special days. That’s because moms and dads are here to stay, no matter what society says.
Earlier this month, KXTV in Canada reported that, “An elementary school is cancelling Mother’s and Father’s Day events in an effort to celebrate diversity and inclusivity after a traumatic incident involving one of its students.” (In case you’re wondering, this is not a satirical website. This actually happened.)
The school would not reveal what the “traumatic incident was,” only that it involved “a student and its parents.”
In a letter sent to parents, the staff explained, “As Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approach we have met as a Primary (Grade 1 and 2) team to discuss our core values. In an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families, we have decided to encourage those celebrations to take place at home. Due to this, the children will not be making gifts at school to give on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We feel each family knows the best way to celebrate with their own family.”
So, in order “to celebrate diversity and inclusivity,” normalcy is ignored and a very tiny tail (consisting of one student and its parents) now wags a very large dog (the rest of the school). Perhaps there should be no Christmas breaks because of one non-Christian student? Perhaps there should be no sports games because of a child with physical handicaps? Perhaps there should be no music classes because of one student who is hard of hearing?
One parent posted a response to the school on Facebook, and the post was shared by hundreds of people. “I think disapointed [sic] is an understatement. This will be the first year that we don't get gifts crafted with love from our kids, and since we only have one little one now it makes it all that much worse. I don’t understand why we, as Canadians, need to give up our traditions that have been passed through generations. I welcome all races and ethnicities, but forcing us to give up things that are important to us as Canadians is crap. And it doesn’t even have anything to do with religion? You can’t celebrate your Mom and Dad?”
Apparently, you can’t, because it’s possible that this might be traumatic for little Johnny and his two dads should he have nothing to do while the other kids made Mother’s Day presents. (I don’t know that this is what happened; I’m using it as a potential example.)
Yes, this is how you “celebrate diversity and inclusivity,” by punishing the 99 percent who do not fit into your “non-traditional” categories.
What’s interesting is that, over the years, there must have been kids from single parent homes who were unable to celebrate either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, yet the school-wide celebrations continued. But in today’s bizarre new world, the rule (like girls using girls' locker rooms) must conform to the exception to the rule (like a boy who identifies as a girl sharing those locker rooms), no matter how much it inconveniences or hurts the rest.
You might say, “But why make such a big deal out of this? This is just one school in Canada.”
If only. How about this headline on the Daily Caller? “The New York Times Celebrates ‘A Gender Fluid Mother’s Day’,” by posting “a video of a drag queen reading a story to a little boy.”
So, a school in Canada wants to remove Mother’s Day celebrations while the New York Times wants to . . . . Well, how shall we describe this? What, exactly, does the Times intend to do?
“The video, ‘A Gender Fluid Mother’s Day,’ features drag queen Ona Louise reading to a child as part of Drag Queen Story Hour. In the video, Louise declares that there are multiple ways to celebrate mothers because family dynamics have shifted.”
In the drag queen’s own words: “I guess the social construct of Mother’s Day is this gender role of domestic work, women’s work. Traditionally you give mom a day off because she does all these domestic things for the household. But things are different and some families don’t have moms at all. They either have two dads or different people who play that role for them, and it’s important to experience different gender and what that looks like.”
But of course. How could we have been so insensitive and so locked into our traditions. Before celebrating these important family days, we should ask ourselves penetrating questions like, “So, what does Father’s Day now look like in the Kardashian household, and what can we learn from their example now that Dad is a woman?”
Over at The Star, national columnist Emma Teitel wrote that when it comes to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, “rather than make people feel good, they tend to make them feel bad or excluded.”
She continues, “For example: Both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are extremely difficult for people who have lost parents or children, a reality that many who have experienced stillbirth pregnancies, for instance, have begun to write about openly in recent years. The gendered holidays are also generally a drag for non-binary parents who don’t identify with a single gender. Some of these parents have even begun advocating online for the creation of a brand new holiday to recognize parents who aren’t male or female. (A proposed date for ‘Non Binary Parents Day’ is July 17).”
What does Teitle suggest? “. . . I’d like to propose that we scrap both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for good. And in the spirit of both inclusivity and selfishness, I’d like to propose a new holiday called “Guardian’s Day.” Guardian’s Day, which has a nice sci-fi fantasy ring to it, will be a rotating statutory holiday — meaning you can celebrate it any day you please, and you can interpret it any way you like. A guardian can be a mom, a dad, a non-binary parent, a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a pet owner, or why the heck not — somebody who takes really good care of his houseplants.”
All of which brings me back to the prediction I made at the beginning of the article, but I’ll fine tune it a little now: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will outlast “Non Binary Parents Day” and “Guardian’s Day.” The gender binary is here to stay, and no amount of protesting its normalcy and dominance will undo the basics of biology and the foundations of family life. We can show compassion to those who are on the margins without turning the world upside down.