Are dads important?

Statistically, they are vital.  Not only is life impossible without them, kids who have fathers in their lives stay out of jail and have far more stable lives.

But one woman is starting a crusade to denigrate the father’s role in their children’s lives by bringing an end to Father’s Day.

In Australia, there is a campaign to rename “Father’s Day,” and the head-turning idea is gaining a lot of support.

The move to rename the iconic day is being spearheaded by Dr. Red Ruby Scarlet, who has a Ph.D. in early childhood studies and is a self-described social justice warrior who runs “Social Justice in Early Childhood” in Australia.

Scarlet thinks “Father’s Day” is unfair for kids who don’t have dads. What does she want to do about it? She wants to change the name of the holiday to “Special Persons’ Day.”

During an interview with Adelaide’s “Today Tonight” TV news show, Scarlet was asked if “Special Persons’ Day” was just for children without dads.

From Australia TV:

“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.”

According to “Today Tonight,” the support for Scarlet’s idea is growing in Australia, having been implemented in some schools in the country.

Scarlet doesn’t agree that it’s political correctness, either. “Why are we calling this political correctness when in fact it’s about our rights?” she said.

Well, what about the rights of dads and their kids?

She stated there is a lot of research to back up her claims and that it shouldn’t be labeled as something controversial.

There’s a lot of Australian research that has actually informed a lot of international research that has demonstrated children’s capacity to be really inclusive, once they know about these ideas. And they think, ‘Wow, why are people seeing this as a controversy?

Further, Scarlet’s politically correct campaign in the name of not offending others will still undoubtedly offend a lot of families.

There are kids who don’t have their mothers for a variety of reasons.  Shouldn’t she be concerned about those kids?

While this may seem like symbolic social justice warrior silliness, the impact may be greater than you might think.

According to National Geographic, “It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna’s mother—held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Largely through Jarvis’s efforts, Mother’s Day came to be observed in a growing number of cities and states until U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.”

This was the Progressive Era, and the biggest change in family law happened at the same time.

Prior to this time, if a couple were divorced with children, custody of the children almost always went with the father.  But women’s rights advocates pushed the “tender years doctrine” which resulted in mothers getting custody nearly 80% of the time.

This was replaced by a legal doctrine called “best interest of the child” which was pushed by fathers’ rights groups.

Despite the change, women still retain full custody 65% of the time even with dad’s petitioning for custody, effectively removing the father from their children’s lives.

So, there may be a more sinister motive of these self-described social justice warriors.  If they were really interested in protecting the feelings of children, they would also be pushing for an end to Mother’s Day.

What do you think?  Should we leave it alone, or get rid of all the holidays?