Literally. Happy Father’s Day to everybody.
Twitter is a blessing and a curse. On the upside, it’s an amazing platform for the mingling of new ideas, a hub of creativity, and a great way to kill time and avoid all your offline responsibilities. At worst, it’s a microphone for the small minded, who have loud fingers and unlimited access to
Mind you, I’m a bit biased. I have some rather unpopular ideas about parenthood, many informed by my time spent in a single-parent home. These ideas are as follows:
1. Mother and father are pretty much biological terms. Anyone can be a mother. Anyone can be a father.
2. Women can raise good men, and men can raise good women. This is because being a good man or woman means only being a decent, upstanding person, regardless of sex or gender.
3. If we abolished Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and replaced them both with Parent’s Day, that would be just swell. It would be more inclusive of all the different types of mothers and fathers out there.
I dread Father’s Day on Twitter every year because there’s always a huge outcry against people who dare take the opportunity to thank their single mothers for playing both roles. People who do that are almost unwaveringly seen as “bitter” rather than appreciative. Apparently, appreciating women on Father’s Day cheapens the importance of the day and weakens its sanctity (gee, where have we heard that rhetoric and language before?). You don’t see anyone wishing single dads a Happy Mother’s Day, they argue (which is actuallycompletelyuntrue — it just doesn’t happen en masse because there are far more single mothers than there are single fathers).
Parenthood transcends sex and gender. Sometimes the people who play the role of father in our lives are women. Sometimes our mothers used to be our fathers. Sometimes our aunts and cousins are better mothers to us than our birth mothers ever were.
Moms and dads don’t always look the way you want them to look; sometimes people’s definitions of motherhood and fatherhood may make you uneasy because they challenge your own. In that case, it’s not the job of those of us who love our unconventional parents to curve our adulation to make your more comfortable. It’s your job to let people be who they are and love how they want, across the board.
What is important isn’t that the terms of parenthood are rightly prescribed and assigned; it is that those charged with the duty of parenthood are deserving of any congratulation at all. In a perfect world, we’d all be too busy celebrating the fathers in our lives — whatever form they may take — to worry about how everyone else is celebrating theirs.
Brokey McPoverty is a writer and humorist whose work can be seen at The Root, The Huffington Post, PostBourgie, and Uptown Magazine, among other publications. You may also follow her on Twitter at @brokeymcpoverty.