I’ve always hated the contrast between Mothers and Fathers Day especially in the LDS Church.
For Mothers Day, there are talks about the divinity of womanhood. Women are to be honored just because they have a vagina and even more so if there’s been some outgoing traffic in there. LDS wards pass out flowers or candy to all of the women. At the end of Sacrament Meeting they ask all the women to stand and the youth or Elder’s Quorum distributes the goodies…and in wards that I lived in they made certain that even childless women got one. They made it a celebration of womanhood, not just motherhood.
If, and that’s a big “IF”, Fathers Day is mentioned at all, it’s a lesson on how men need to be better fathers, honor their priesthood more, etc… Their penises apparently aren’t sufficient apparatuses for praise all by themselves.
I suspect it’s mostly a guilt induced thing – everyone knows men have all the power in Mormonism so they try to downplay manhood and highlight womanhood so no one will take a good long look at the reality. Women are told how wonderful they are so they won’t notice that they are actually disregarded and have second-rate status in the church. Every other 364 days of the year are a celebration of manhood in Mormonism.
As a man, though, and a pretty good father if I do say so myself, I find the attitude of LDS leadership condescending. Often in priesthood meeting they’ll say something insulting to the young men like “well, you’re certainly not as good-looking as the young women, but hey you’re priesthood holders so there’s your worth.” Or the MTC Mission President who says, “Elders, look at these sisters. They’ll get done in 18 months what will take you 2 years.” I couldn’t stand that as a young boy and if I’m ever present when someone says it around my son I tear him another one…
Nevertheless, Happy Mother’s Day to the good Mom’s out there. I have a feeling you know who you are.