On Sunday when I woke up from my slumber I turned to my wife and said, Happy Parent 1 Day! She laughed. Little did I know how prescient I was. Sometime later that day I come upon an article that explained, surprise, surprise, that the Department of Education is going to Eliminate ‘Mother,’ ‘Father’ from federal student aid forms! Just as I predicted, out with father and mother, in with Parent 1 and Parent 2! Why only two, I’m not sure, but we’ll eventually “progress” beyond such an archaic distinction. What I wonder is who determines who 1 or 2 is? Of course I gave my wife (or should I say “partner”) the benefit of the doubt; she’s number 1 all the way. As I think about it, being of female gender means always being number 1, right? Gotta make sure we distance ourselves from any of those old fashioned oppressive patriarchal tendencies.
Leave it to President Obama’s Chicago pal and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to put it in its most deliciously post-modern form:
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics…. [that] provide[s] an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families.”
Ah yes, inclusive. So important that we get rid of gender lest we come across as exclusive; can’t have that. And of course we must have diversity, lest we imply the world is still like 1950s conformity, that mother and father and kids stuff. Ain’t progress grand.