May 22, 2013
Father’s Day move over, welcome Parent’s Day
By Dr. Isaac Tylim
For The Herald
It is estimated that almost 50 percent of families in New York City are single parent households. Most single parents tend to be women, but a large number of men are also opting to raise a child without a partner. Single parents must perform the tasks of mother and father to their children. Considering this current trend one wonders why Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are celebrated separately.
Has anybody wondered how a child of a single parent may feel when confronted with the marketing and cultural avalanche that promotes Mother’s or Father’s day? Wouldn’t it make more sense to celebrate Parents Day instead?
From another angle, in today’s world fathers have increasingly assumed roles once were deemed the exclusive domain of mothers. Even the most devout feminists would agree that clearly demarcated gender boundaries have been progressively eroding. The days when fathers used to introduce the “law” in family dynamics has long been challenged. It used to be that fathers were mandated to break the “natural” mother/child bond, fostering separation and individuation. Single parent families, same-sex marriages, and communal living, all highlight the fact that those roles are merely social constructs, and are not the exclusive prerogative of one sex or the other.
In vitro fertilization with donors’ eggs and surrogate mothers for hire emphasizes the difference between biological parenthood and the psychological one. A woman may choose to have a baby without a man, that is, by running to the sperm bank and reviewing a catalogue of potentials. Conversely men may choose to be fathers and raise a child without a mother.
Nurturing or establishing “law” does not respond to gender stereotypes.
Happy Father’s, I mean Parent’s Day.