When I heard the Westport Weston Family YMCA planned a “Father Daughter Dance,” I did a stutter step.
This is 2017! How could they single out fathers? What about girls whose dads were away on business? Girls with divorced fathers, living far away? How about girls whose dads had died — or those with 2 moms?
They’re all “families” — as the “Family YMCA” should know.
It’s a good thing I shared my aaaargh! moment with Patty Kane.
She’s the director of marketing and communications for the Westport Y. And she took my questions right back to her bosses.
So here’s what I learned about the “Father Daughter” dance, held last Friday in the Y gym (with the tag line “Make her first date one to remember!”).
“I am proud to say it does not stem from a desire to be traditional, nor was it meant to exclude other family types,” Patty reports.
Instead, it was “intended to honor and strengthen the relationship our community of fathers has with their daughters, and for the Y to provide a space for them to share time together.”
In fact, the Y’s flyer noted (at the very bottom): “If dad is not available, substitutes are welcome. Preferably grandfathers, uncles, older brothers, close family friend etc.”
The idea, Patty notes, was to “emphasize the importance of good male role models in children’s lives. I am happy to report that over 60 families took part in the Father Daughter Dance.”
That’s great — and reassuring — news.
Now — as a way to make all girls feel comfortable, welcome and accepted — maybe they can come up with a more inclusive dance name.