We all know – at least, we all think we know – what Fathers’ Day is. It’s that day in June that kids and mothers give all the good fathers out there a new barbecue set, razor, or some other shiny replacement for a shabby accoutrement that the guy can’t part with – and besides, works perfectly well. It’s a day for cards, songs, and tributes for good men working hard to support a family and raise their children.
But Fathers’ Day is becoming something more. Legal and social upheavals have dismantled the vocation of fatherhood and put its whole worth and meaning in question. More than a day to acknowledge this or that paterfamilias, Fathers’ Day has become an invitation to face the paternal itself. What is it? And does it even matter?