Two years ago, the Westport Weston Family YMCA sponsored a “Father Daughter Dance.”
I was surprised. I wrote:
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.
The Y responded that the name of the dance “does not stem from a desire to be traditional, nor was it meant to exclude other family types.”
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.”
Okay. Good info. Important, for sure.
So why cling to the outmoded name? I ended my piece:
“Now — as a way to make all girls feel comfortable, welcome and accepted — maybe they can come up with a more inclusive dance name.”
This year’s “Father Daughter Dance” is this Friday (November 15, 7 p.m.).
The tagline says: “Her fingers are small but she has her dad wrapped around them.”
Yep — dad.
At the bottom of the flyer, there’s this: “Enjoy a great night of fun with your little girl, complete with music, dancing, snacks, pictures, and a best dressed contest!
“If dad is not available, substitutes are welcome including grandfathers, uncles, older brothers, close family friends, etc.”
If dad is not available?
Dad may be traveling on business, sure. But he also may have walked out on the family. Or died. Or been an anonymous sperm donor.
I’ll say it again (updated): This is 2019. Families come in all shapes and sizes.
This is not a question of being PC.
It’s about being realistic.
And really caring about all members.
Come on, Y: Walk the talk.
And then dance the night away.