For many, Father’s Day is just another innocuous day of the year in which cards or presents are gifted, perhaps a restaurant booked and general declarations of appreciation and love expressed. However, for many others it is not a day of celebration and in fact can be a day of more sinister emotion. While I am incredibly lucky to have a great father, one who I am both family to and friends with, there are many others who do not have the same good fortune. In many cases, a father may have never been present or have passed away. In which instance, this day of card-giving and familial celebration becomes a constant reminder of loss and absence. Similarly, many children who have strained relationships with their parents may feel uncomfortable at the societal pressure placed upon them to thank and praise their mother or father.
I have long believed that the concept of having a Father’s or Mother’s Day is either unnecessary or damaging. For those without a parent, it seems not only undignified but also callous for society to have a day dedicated to communally celebrating a person they have lost. For those with tenuous relationships with their parents, the day can likewise be a display of the loving, nuclear family our society has governed to be not only the ideal but also the norm. It forces children to not only address the fact that their family is not as perfect as their friends’, but also forces them to pretend otherwise and mask their true emotions.
For those like me, who are fortunate enough to have father’s they appreciate and praise, the day is simply unnecessary. I don’t feel as though I need a day of the year where I buy a card and elaborately express my gratitude and love. There is no day for my friends, for my sister or other members of my family, and yet the implication that they should feel less appreciated or loved is laughable. Relationships are defined by your actions, words and behaviour towards the person. It is easy, perhaps subconscious, to demonstrate to someone how you regard them through your interactions, without the need for it to be paraded on a special day of the year.
The fact is simply that Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are constructs of companies who want to make money. It is one of the purest examples of commercialism and marketing, rooted in an insensitive capitalist society. These dedicated days are in my opinion wholly irrelevant and unnecessary, and yet we are all bullied into partaking through social pressure and our love. We are all taken advantage of, and in many cases even damaged, by this ridiculous social construct.
The fact that I don’t agree with Father’s Day does not in any way mean I love, appreciate or respect my father any less. If anything, it shows that I am confident enough in the integrity of the relationship with my father that I don’t need to demonstrate it to him. If anything at all, there should be one ‘Special Person Day’, as suggested by many activists, which allows you to appreciate those people in your life who you wish to, without persecuting those in a less fortunate position. In my opinion, however, the entire concept should be scrapped.