There’s nary an occasion that exists today where some ‘woke‘ Social Justice Warrior (SJW) doesn’t want to ruin it for the majority in the name of inclusiveness or some other meaningless brain fart. This time a school in Brunswick, Melbourne, decided that Mother’s Day was simply too ‘binary‘ and non-inclusive and so had to change it to ‘appreciation’ day. Or more precisely, a stall that used to be called a Mother’s Day stall was renamed to an ‘appreciation stall’. But the intent is exactly the same, remove all reference to Mother’s Day because it’s considered extremely offensive. Once again something that celebrates a normal relationship has been erased, at least at this woke school, and the entire aspect of motherhood demeaned. And given that no SJW wants to be left out (there’s a pun there), I’m certain that this move will be followed by many more woke schools and whatnot in the name of inclusiveness.
But not to be outdone in the woke stakes, I noted that our very own woke Pravda on the Yarra (sometimes known as The Age) needed to publish a story on how difficult it was for one particular mother to celebrate Mother’s Day because her mother had passed away; in this case at 80 years of age. Strangely, there’s no mention of a father or husband in the story. Now I’m not trying to belittle the passing of anyone’s mother, father, son, daughter etc, but why such a negative story about something that’s a fact of life? Is Mother’s Day any more difficult for someone who lost their mother, who was 80 years old and who’d clearly had a good life with their daughter, or someone who had never known their mother, their mother died at an early age, their mother never cared for their children, or their mother has dementia and is in aged care or anything similar? If you want to be woke, then consider those who are far worse off than the subject of that particular story. From personal experience, having a mother who was anything but close, has dementia and is now in aged care, The Age story isn’t particularly heart-rending.
A study by researchers Bethwyn Rowe and Bronwyn Harman from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia about “motherless mothers” – women who lost their own mother before becoming a mother themselves – suggests grief is heightened around specific occasions including birthdays, Christmas and Mother’s Day.
Grief also expresses itself in strong feelings of “missing out” – for themselves missing out on having their mothers around at an important time in their lives, for their mothers missing out on getting to know their grandchildren, and for their children missing out on a maternal grandmother.
But ironically, the article goes on to pretty much completely destroy the woke attitude of the Brunswick school by noting the contribution of mothers (sadly not fathers) in a family relationship. So which party is the most woke in this case? Perhaps that’s why The Age appears to have let the Brunswick story go past the keeper, lest it appear somewhat contradictory or hypocritical given the other story (I certainly couldn’t find a link to the Brunswick story). It must be difficult to be so woke and yet have to juggle which side of the SJW fence you’re on from one day to the next, so as not to offend. But as to fathers, how many fathers are in a similar situation? I can’t recall such things ever being discussed as a matter of importance. If anything, I’ve noticed a rather sad decline in the appreciation of the importance of fatherhood and the role of fathers in a family. Something that The Age article pretty much validated in this case; perhaps too much toxic masculinity for the woke generation it seems.
The only reference I’ve found in Australia about dads is Dads4Kids. We see these ads constantly on TV, but even those ads appear to be pushing the narrative that dads need to put in more effort, and in fact the background to the site seems to emphasise that dads need to be more involved. But let’s not forget the situations where dads are denied access to their kids or where kids don’t even have a dad. There is no doubt that a father figure in a child’s life is as important as a mother figure, but the former is all too often maligned in so many ways. The bad examples seem to be emphasised and so all fathers are tarred with the same brush. A very recent example experienced by a friend, the details of which I won’t go into, reflects how today’s society views all men with more than just suspicion. Yet look deeper and the current trends in what constitutes parenthood and especially the role of fatherhood is under threat.
Study after study shows the tremendously negative impact of not having a father present during childhood. While the damage is especially evident with boys, girls also suffer the consequences — hence the unfortunate phrase, “She has daddy issues.”
Despite the significant evidence that biological fathers are critical to healthy childhood development, our culture doesn’t seem to value fathers. Some would argue that the popular culture actually denigrates fathers, pointing for example to how fathers are often portrayed in TV shows and ads as idiots and buffoons.
Online, when Intellectual Takeout publishes articles that reinforce the importance of fathers, we often find significant pushback. Perhaps the most popular argument that we encounter is that, “A child only needs one loving adult.” We’ll also see arguments from single mothers who say that their children are doing just fine in school or that a single mom raising a child is a better situation than being in an abusive relationship.
Without a doubt, the topic is an emotional one and there are children who break the mold as well as single parent situations that are better than two parents staying together. The existence of those situations, though, doesn’t disprove the findings of studies that show on average children doing worse than their peers if their fathers aren’t around.
We would be wise to ponder more deeply these seemingly every-day occurrences and their impact upon the psychology and well-being of children. Consider, too, the thoughts of Joost Meerloo no matter how much they clash with our society’s current thinking. If the father is the natural intermediary between the child and the world as a result of the biological differences between the mother and the father, then that is not a role to toss aside lightly.
But it’s not just fathers being denigrated, mothers are also in the same boat as evidenced by the Brunswick story. It sometimes seems that everything that we have (or had) as a healthy western society is rapidly being torn down in an effort not to offend anyone and turn everything into the vision held by just a few. Yet when it comes to those who cherish these and other such events, their feelings don’t seem to matter. It’s only the minority groups today that seem to have a say in things and they have gained a voice far greater than they deserve. Rather than being offended, reasonable people will look at such things in a completely open way and accept that life is what it is and not start campaigns complaining of being left out or demanding special treatment. But then we were once made of much sterner stuff.