September 3, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Father’s Day is coming up in Australia and with it an unusually strange set of anti-father messages. Here in the U.S., overt hatred of fathers is at low ebb. From one day to the next, including Father’s Day, the general discourse on fathers has changed a lot over the past, say, decade. Much as I hesitate to suggest it, it’s almost as if people, including creators of pop culture, have actually gotten the message that fathers are vital to children’s well-being and that we’re all better off with dads actively involved in their children’s lives.
Australia? Not so much.
First out of the gate is a sort of public service announcement by the non-profit organization, Dads4Kids, extolling the virtues of fathers. The entire video consists of, first, a crying baby, and then its father’s voice singing the lullaby “Hush little baby, don’t you cry, daddy’s gonna sing you a lullaby…” And the baby quiets down. Then there are short clips of fathers playing with their joyful children. That’s it, a nice gentle portrayal of fathers’ love.
So, a great many people were astonished that Free TV Australia refused to run it. Others found it remarkable that this article referred to the spot as “controversial.”(9News, 9/2/17) Really? What’s “controversial” about such an anodyne little video?
Well, it seems that the powers that be at Free TV Australia decided that the video needed to be accompanied by a statement about what organization produced it. That’s nothing more than the organization’s policy; all political videos have to do the same thing.
But wait! The Dads4Kids piece is “political?” How so? It doesn’t advocate a political position, doesn’t urge us to vote for or against a candidate or give money to a candidate or political party. It takes no position on any bill before Parliament or any legislative body. One dictionary I have on my desk defines “political” this way: “Of, relating to or dealing with the structure of affairs of government, politics or the state.” In short, the Dads4Kids spot is in no sense “political.” Nevertheless,
“The advertiser was requested, but declined, to add an identification tag to the commercial to comply with Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act.”
The act requires advertisements “that contain 'political matter'” to “identify the body responsible for the commercial”.
Free TV said “political matter” refers to “any matter that appears to comment on, encourage participation in or attempt to influence a certain outcome within a political process”.
And that outcome supposedly is that the spot attempts to influence a vote on same-sex marriage. Of course Father’s Day is coming up and the ad says nothing whatever about same-sex marriage, but apparently those painfully obvious facts don’t matter. As a Dads4Kids statement said “Not everything is about same-sex marriage.”
Apparently not everything is about sanity or words meaning what they mean and not what the PC crowd wants them to mean.
Which brings us to our next outrage (PJ Media, 8/31/17).
An “academic and social justice activist” named Red Ruby Scarlet (really, I promise) went on television recently with the bright idea to change the name of Father’s Day to (again, I promise) Special Person’s Day. Her “reasoning?”
If we think about children's rights and how they get to participate in a community and feel a sense of belonging, sometimes shifting the language around those emotions and important days can be significant and more inclusive than the current way that we describe them.
OK, I’m going to take a deep breath, hold my nose and guess that that means something. Somehow children’s rights are impaired by calling Father’s Day, you know, Father’s Day. Do I have that right?
But of course it’s the word “inclusive” and the fact that Red Ruby Scarlet is “an academic and social justice activist” that I think are the keys to figuring out what she’s talking about. Because some kids don’t have fathers because they’re dead or because they’re being raised by two women, they’re not “included” in Father’s Day.
That of course is just so much screaming nonsense. It’s transparently a cover for anti-father/anti-male bigotry on the part of a social justice nutcase. How do I know? Let me count the ways.
First and most obviously, if she’s really concerned about kids without a parent, she’d have called for changing the name of Mother’s Day, but of course she didn’t. The only parent to lose a commemorative day is the male one. Why are we not surprised?
Second, kids whose fathers are dead aren’t going to be helped with their loss by changing the name of the day. Call it anything you like, and they still don’t have a father or a special person other than Mom, who’s already had her day.
As to kids with two mommies, they celebrate Mother’s Day, perhaps for both of the adult women. Those children come to understand that they have two female caregivers and the fact that one of them isn’t male isn’t made more difficult by the name Father’s Day. What if neither Mom nor Dad is a veteran? Should we change the name of Veteran’s Day? What if little Andy or Jenny isn’t a Catholic? Should we change the name of St. Patrick’s Day? Will space aliens be offended by Earth Day?
But perhaps most obvious is that most kids in Australia, as elsewhere, have fathers. So how “included” are they going to feel if the name Father’s Day is abandoned? Assuming any of Australia’s children ever give a second thought to the name of the day (which I suspect they don’t), changing that name for the benefit of the, say, 1% of kids with two female parents to the detriment of the 99% with fathers isn’t exactly “inclusive,” now is it? In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
Again, Red Ruby Scarlet’s proposal has nothing to do with being “inclusive.” It has everything to do with attacking fathers. We’ve seen too much of this to be confused by her patently absurd claim.
BTW, if you’re thinking Red Ruby Scarlet is but a lone nutter babbling away with no real effect, think again.
According to the interview, Scarlet has been successful in getting many primary schools in Australia to embrace this movement.
Never mind that Scarlet’s idea has been savaged far and wide. Never mind that it has essentially no backing among Australians. Schools apparently are going with it anyway. After all, as is so often the case, what do the opinions of everyday people matter? Social Justice Warriors know what’s good for us and we all just need to take our medicine like good little children.
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