Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Father's Day Recant

OK, if I had anything to do with this, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm SO freaking, fracking sorry! I know that I said that I wasn't thrilled with the whole "Father's Day" thing. I know that I said I was over it and I was tired of being bombarded by advertisements from every retailer on the planet telling me what to buy for my Dad. I know I said I just wanted it to be over and done with. I know. I KNOW! Look, it was just my way of saying that I miss my Dad, is all. It was just my way of saying that hanging out with my Dad and having a little Kentucky Colonel was way better than just handing him a card. I didn't mean for things to go completely whack-a-do over there in Scotland. So if I had anything to do with it, again, I'm sorry. With what? Oh, sorry. Yeah, the Scottish schools prevented thousands of students from making Father's Day cards at school because the administration was afraid that it might embarrass those students who live with single mothers and lesbians. Wait. What?

Correct. According to our friends across the pond at the Telegraph, "The politically correct policy was quietly adopted at schools "in the interests of sensitivity" over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households. " Um, WTF? First of all, I hardly see this as "politically correct". Second, how is it "sensitive" to intentionally not acknowledge something that has absolutely nothing to do with something else? Are they going to fore go Christmas this year as well? I would imagine so (unfortunately).

The Office for National Statistics over there found that one in four British children lives with a lone parent. This is apparently twice as many as it was 20 years ago. I wish that they had a statistic for the number of soft-headed educators currently working administration jobs in the school systems in Scotland. But back to the one in four statistic...the last time I checked, one in four was still not a majority. But yet they're going to take ridiculous measures to ensure that the minority population of their students (who haven't said that they had any problem at all with the whole Father's Day card making thing...because they DON'T!) are not "embarrassed". Well, great. What are they going to do about the rest of the human race who IS "embarrassed" that they would engage in such asshattery?

According to a parent of one of the children at Edinburgh's Blackhall primary school, "The teachers are aware of the family circumstances of the children in each class and if a child hasn't got a father living at home, the teacher will avoid getting the children to make a card." The same school had previously enacted other asinine procedures, such as the removal of Christian references from festive greeting cards, by the way. (Twisting....off....NOW.)

Naturally, those in charge of the implementing the asshattery defended their change, saying that "the teachers needed to act "sensitively" at a time when many children were experiencing family breakdown and divorce." And a spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council said, "Increasingly, it is the case that there are children who haven't got fathers or haven't got fathers living with them and teachers are having to be sensitive about this. Teachers have always had to deal with some pupils not having fathers or mothers, but with marital breakdown it is accelerating." And then, with the most ironic of all defense statements, we have Jim Goodall, head of education at Clackmannanshire Council, who says that "teachers are expected to behave with common sense but be sensitive to "the changing pattern of family life." And then the practice that contained the least amount of common sense ever was introduced and implemented in the schools. Grand.

I'm not quite sure HOW the swaddling a child in a thick, insulating wrap of overprotectiveness by removing any sort of conflict or difficulty from the child's life is in the least bit sensitive. I find it highly insensitive that the soft-headed educators over there (just those who think it's a good idea to do this; not ALL educators.) are refusing to do just that. EDUCATE! If the child doesn't learn that the world doesn't revolve around them and that other people with cause to celebrate something are going to do so in spite of their individual circumstance, then they're going to be in for quite the rude awakening one day. It doesn't sound very "educational" if you're asking me.

I can think of many, many ways that one might be "insensitive" to a child's situation at home. (Comments that include the term "little bastard" for one.) But making Father's Day cards isn't one of them. And just so I'm clear, I have a problem with the capitalistic properties that have overtaken Father's Day (at least in the US), not so much with the day itself. I also don't have a problem with other people who have fathers and who are celebrating Father's Day. But what I do have a problem with is people who think that if everyone isn't the same, then they should make it appear as if everyone IS the same, even if that means taking away from those who "have" so that everyone can be a member of the "have nots". Because I'll tell you, if it was an option to spend Father's Day with my Dad, that would be awesome. And it would be so awesome that I cannot imagine depriving someone else of the thing that I would want more than anything else. Because if it's that cool, why would I not want someone else to experience it, despite the fact that I can't (anymore)? So, yo, Scotland. Make it stop. Just please make it stop.

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NoExpertsNeeded said...

...just had to take time out to say that I enjoyed your post. I understand about missing your Dad. It's been 13 yrs. since my Dad passed and sometimes (like F/Day), it feels like only yesterday. But I still have "conversations" with him, so that helps. Do you?

And about Scotland and kids and how schools/society handle differences...well, it's too early to get on my soapbox. But I do worry about the future when I hear parents tell me that their kids receive blue ribbons/gold stars just for showing up. It will be interesting to see how this will benefit kids/society when they have to navigate in the "real world".

Anyway, thanks again!

take care,
Louise Lewis, Author
No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You!
Free copy at: www.noexpertsneeded.com

Mare said...

Thanks for the comments. And yes, I have "conversations" with my Dad on a daily basis (which I think is fine as long as I don't think that he's talking back). My way of summing the whole thing up is "One day, you will eventually stop crying. But nothing will ever be the same." It sucks, but it's true.

All of the precious little snowflake and dandelion children out there who think that they should always win, never lose, and be praised for the expected and the required are going to be one of two things some day. Either very surprised or very confused. Whichever it is, I don't see either one as a motivating factor for them to change. (I just try to not think about the fact that they are the ones from which our armed forces in the future are supposed to be composed of. That frightens me.)

Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment about me and my Dad. (I really do wish that he could come back, though I've stopped asking for that.) It really helped.