This was inevitable: Social-justice warriors are now saying that Mother’s Day is gender-exclusionary.
Writing in the Toronto Star, columnist Emma Teitel says that such “gendered holidays” are “generally a drag for non-binary parents who don’t identify with a single gender.”
There’s even a proposed “Non Binary Parents Day” (July 17), Teitel notes. But she has a different idea: Getting rid of both Mother’s and Father’s Day, and, “in the spirit of both inclusivity and selfishness,” opting for a gender-neutral “Guardians Day.”
“A guardian can be a mom, a dad, a non-binary parent, a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a pet owner, or why the heck not—somebody who takes really good care of his houseplants,” she writes.
This Mother’s Day, several transgender people have written or posted video describing how the holiday can trigger feelings of guilt and confusion.
In a YouTube video this week, a transgender woman wrote about how Mother’s Day “can be a very hard day” because as a parent, “I didn’t fit into either the mother or father category. … We’re in this weird kind of in-between space.”
And in a blog post, a woman whose partner transitioned to a woman after their children were born wrote about her struggle to share Mother’s Day with her transgender partner.
“It’s May, and Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I still can’t seem to release my grasp on this day,” she wrote. “I know it hurts her, but it hurts me as well. I can feel the pain in her words when she talks about being a mommy, but it is so hard to give that up. It has been my job and my job alone for 25 years. It’s like a tug of war with my heart.”
While the holiday remains in place, even use of the word “mother” is becoming increasingly controversial.
Earlier this year, the British Medical Association warned physicians that it was a gendered term that might make “intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant” feel excluded. So instead, medical professionals should opt for saying “pregnant people.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.