It’s Father’s Day season! So, in honour of the day where we show the father figures in our lives some love, lemme tell you about that time when myself and some other dads got no love.
I’ll error on the side of vagueness, to protect the innocent.
J is in a club with some other little girls, which gets together weekly, to hang out. Because of my work schedule, K almost always take her to their get togethers. The few times that I’ve picked up J or dropped her off, I’ve noticed the occasional dad, but it’s almost always mothers.
A couple of months ago, a message was sent out to the parents, about an event. Basically, the group was going to have a big sleepover at a local tourist attraction, for the girls and one parent. They would stay up late, do a bunch of fun activities, and sleep on the floor in the main area, in sleeping bags. Some other groups would also be there. It was definitely going to be a unique, memorable outing.
Because K was more involved with the club, she was the one who was going to go to the sleepover. However, a few weeks before the big night, something came up, and K wasn’t able to take J any more. No problem, though. I’d go instead.
And then the message about the details pertaining to the event came out.
In it, it specifically said that it was for the girls and their female parent or guardian only.
Now, in my mind, that was pretty discriminatory. Not every child has a female in their life who could participate in an event like this. Why should they be punished? What difference did it make, too, whether a dad or male guardian came?
Suppose that you had an opportunity to do something really cool with your kids. Not just cool, but something that was an unforgettable experience, the likes of which would create memories which would last forever.
Now suppose that you weren’t allowed to partake in this opportunity because of your gender. This seemed like a backwards-thinking, judgemental, sexist wrong. Was the club really some bizarro version of Al Bundy’s “NO MA’AM” organization? I was pretty upset, people.
I went on the attraction’s website, to see if maybe there was a gender policy of some sort, for the sleepovers they hosted. No dice. In fact, pictures of previous sleepovers on the site clearly showed men in them, alongside women. Making it a man-free zone must have came straight from J’s club.
On the Facebook group for the club, I politely posed the question, to clarify that dads weren’t allowed. Someone posted that it was true.
The weird thing, though, was what occurred next. Do you know what happened?
No one replied, no one commented. Again, my interaction with the club was limited, so not wanting to rock the boat and ostracize J, I dropped the issue. And that was that.
In the days following, I can’t say that I was angry. Sure, I was disappointed for J, since she would miss out on the fun night with her friends. And yeah, it was a bit outrageous, that in an era where it’s easy to outrage us, this little moment was met with a giant shrug of indifference.
However, I accepted the fact that the club probably, in their mind, had a valid reason for excluding dudes. Maybe there was a bad incident of some sort, in the past. Maybe they took a poll of the fathers of the girls, and the majority of them voted that they weren’t interested in going. Maybe it just came down to a comfort level thing, for the club. Who knows.
I guess all that I’m trying to say here is, sometimes dads…… just want to be dads. Nothing more, nothing less. Point blank and the period. Just being there for their kids and bonding with them, creating memorable experiences. Really, is that so wrong?
Anyway, Happy Father’s Day, peeps. Here’s to creating some long-lasting memories!