Some Australian schools and kindergartens are ditching the traditional Father’s Day celebration and opting for “Special Person’s Day” instead.
In fact, one advocate for children says the celebration -- which Australians mark in early September -- should be renamed nationally to ensure that children without dads don't feel excluded.
But Dr. Red Ruby Scarlet, an activist with a doctorate degree in early childhood studies, sparked a furor by suggesting on an Australian television program that the annual celebration to honor fathers should be renamed to avoid alienating some children.
The show’s host, Rosanna Mangiarelli, asked the activist whether the day is supposed to be about children without fathers – to which Scarlet responded: “Yes, but also 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. … We have single-parent families, satellite families, extended families, lesbian and gay families.”
Scarlet then fired back against critics, saying her proposal has nothing to do with political correctness and all about human rights and social justice.
“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?’
“Why are we calling this political correctness when in fact it's about our rights?"
David Elliot, a liberal minister in New South Wales, has called out the activist on his Facebook account, saying that changes will only inflame radicals, MailOnline Australia reported.
“Can't believe that someone who professes to be 'enlightened' would advocate such crap,” he wrote. “People still celebrate fatherhood even after their father and grandfathers have passed away, in fact for many people Father's Day is a wonderful time of reflecting and remembering.”
The minister then compared the proposal to changing the name of holidays commemorating soldiers to avoid offending draft dodgers – or abolishing Labor Day celebrations to appease conservatives.