The Actual State
Pretty much all of us know the cliché: a bunch of men pulling a beer-packed handcart around the neighborhood and calling it “Men’s Day”. This is the opposite of Mother’s Day. Gender differences are particularly on display on these two days. Femininity through a quiet breakfast together and possibly a leisurely walk. Masculinity through excessive alcohol consumption, loud music and long walks. Giving presents to the parents is also done a little differently. When fathers receive gifts, they are usually impersonal things that can be found under the Google search “What do I give my father for Father’s Day”. The engraved whisky bottle is very popular, or for those who are really into fun, the miniature golf set for the toilet. Sometimes people wonder what exactly is being celebrated and what being a father means today. This blog article goes on a search for the new fathers, what masculinity actually means and what we should actually celebrate on Father’s Day.
The Men’s Day
Before talking shop about the target state, the origins of Father’s Day should be clarified. The exact history of the origin of Men’s Day and Father’s Day is still disputed. However, there is much to suggest that these holidays are partly rooted in religious customs. Ascension Day is celebrated 40 days after the resurrection of Jesus (Easter Sunday). It commemorates the return of Jesus to his Father in heaven, the most important return of a son to his Father in the Christian faith. On Ascension Day, it was customary to walk and ride through the fields. The origin of this custom is also not entirely clear. On the one hand, it could be a Germanic legal custom, according to which every owner had to walk around their property once a year in order to maintain their claim to ownership. On the other hand, the origin could lie in the so-called procession of the apostles. This is supposed to imitate the walk of the eleven disciples to the Mount of Olives for the purpose of sending them out. Regardless of where the Flurumgang comes from, the walks with alcohol became a humid and merry celebration as early as the Middle Ages.
In Berlin, after the Flurumge lost popularity, the Herrentag was introduced, which was strongly based on the old customs. Men got together at that time to drink and be among themselves while wandering. Men’s Day was then used as an equivalent after the introduction of Mother’s Day and is now dedicated to fathers. So the origin is clear, the question remains why we should continue to celebrate the day the way it is currently celebrated. After all, being a father is not what most people are concerned with. Childless men are also involved! In order to approach the question, we should take a brief excursion into sociology and ask ourselves what being a father means today and how the ideal of fatherhood or masculinity has changed in the last few years.
The Other Parent
In schools and kindergartens, it is still predominantly the mother who is addressed, as a society still sees her as primarily responsible for the offspring. The fathers are then the “other parent”. Even if they pick up and drop off the children from school/kindergarten/sports every day, the female parent is still labeled as the primary caregiver. The stereotype of the male family breadwinner remains partly in people’s minds. However, the role model function and legitimation have decreased in society as a whole. New fathers are in demand. Fathers who participate in childcare are just as caring as their mothers. These demands are unsettling, many do not know how to implement them. Role distributions have to be renegotiated, men now have to question their position in the social structure and this can sometimes lead to conflicts.
Nevertheless, a steadily growing number of men are willing to take over part of the childcare. The desire to play a greater role in their children’s lives is looming on the male horizon. However, this desire is made more difficult by employers, among others. Fathers who want to take parental leave for longer than 2 months find this difficult. They should rather fulfill their “role” of being available in the company and bringing the money home. A very outdated picture. But still topical.
So what should fatherhood be like? How can we support and celebrate fathers and those about to become fathers?
The Target State
For fatherhood to have any space at all, we should do away with the gigantic mother ideal of sacrifice. Take a look at the article on Mother’s Day.
The fundamental recognition and sharing of care work would be the next step toward better fatherhood. Caring, looking after and running the household is also work that deserves the same respect as gainful employment (and preferably remuneration). Socially, we should move away from the nuclear family ideal (mother-father-child). Because by the way, a family is still a family even if there are two mothers or two fathers if the mother or father is a single parent, or any other combinations because there are many different family models. Gender inequalities, whether that is on the women’s or men’s side, are cemented in this model. The “man” in the nuclear family is not allowed to show any emotions, not allowed to live out his feminine parts, such as finding flowers beautiful, always having to be strong, and so on.
Another step towards new fatherhood is to increase acceptance regarding parental leave in the professional environment that goes longer than two months. The list can go on and on.
What else do you wish for the target state? What should fatherhood and being a father look like for you? Write it down in the comments!
What are we celebrating? – Fathers!
Today we celebrate all fathers who break with the classic ideal of masculinity.
All those who criticize and challenge existing structures.
All those who feel responsible for their children, who are available and committed.
Let your dad know why you love him, what he means to you and the things he has taught you.
You can do it sustainably and vegan on our beautiful Father’s Day greeting cards! If you want to give something other than miniature toilet golf or an engraved whiskey bottle, our Easy seed book is also perfect. You automatically give the bouquet of flowers as a gift. You can plant our seed books and let wonderful flowers grow. Take a look at our shop.