An Australian activist has caused outrage online after she suggested Father’s Day should be renamed “Special Person’s Day”.
Dr Red Ruby Scarlet, who has a doctorate in early childhood studies, believes that the change would be beneficial to many children, as well as wider families. During a recent appearance on Australian television, she said her proposed name would be more inclusive, especially for children who do not have a dad and feel bad when Father’s Day arrives. Changing the name would engender feelings of belonging among children from all kinds of families, she insisted.
The activist said:
“There are children who have a dad, who also have a grandfather and also have an auntie and also have other kinds of relatives … There are also a huge range of different family structures, so we have single parent families, satellite families, extended families, lesbian and gay families.”
During her appearance, Dr Scarlet did not say whether she thought Mother’s Day should also be renamed. Unsurprisingly, it did not take long before her comments were widely condemned online. Her idea was called “offensive”, “sexist” and a something from a member of “the PC brigade”.
New South Wales Education Minister David Elliot weighed in on the controversy, writing on Facebook that many “still celebrate fatherhood even after their father and grandfathers have passed away”. Father’s Day was “a wonderful time of reflecting and remembering” for a lot of people, he claimed.
Meanwhile, Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O’Connor called it “yet another attempt to further undermine and marginalise fathers by a repugnant, fatherphobic minority”.