At the end of Weekend Edition this past Sunday, Fathers' Day in the USA, the hosts signed off and read the credits following a pattern of "Our X is Y's daughter/son, Z..." as a way to mention all of their fathers. It's been mentioned elsewhere that in the world of television the day is a handy excuse for the patriarchy to show off its total dominance of the media. On NPR, though, this was almost the only nod at the existence of Fathers' Day, and as such struck me as wholly unremarkable.
Then a quixotic bit hit me. Someone had to go around and collect those names. Even in a diverse shop like NPR News, every single credited person was able to name a male whom they were comfortable identifying as their "father" (minimally: all the names sounded traditionally male). Even given that the headliners who've been there long enough to reach said status are also old enough to derive from a far more socially secretive generation, the list was long enough to expect some diversity in age and background. Where are the children of single mothers, of same-sex couples? Did the ones with a constellation of step-parents, foster-parents, god-parents, adoptive and biological parents, resent having to pick just one? It occurred to me that having a father might be more optional than it's ever been, and so too the choice of where to pin that label more problematic.
So do we need a Parents-of-all-other-descriptions Day? A "Pat yourself on the back -- you're raising a kid -- no matter who you are" Day? Village Day?