‘Father’s Day cards for single mums? In these feminised time, we dads get little enough recognition without sharing our one day!’ was the headline of a full page article that appeared in the Daily Mail last Friday (June 8) referring to Paperchase’s launch of Father’s Day cards for mums.
Columnist Tom Utley’s article kicked off with a barbed comment directed at Scribbler, based on a supposed anecdote of an elderly friend who, having gone into a branch of Scribbler to buy a sympathy card had to ask the shop assistant: “Do you sell any cards that don’t have the word f***k on them?”
The journalist, a self-confessed ‘stick-in-the-mud traditionalist’ then got stuck into his main beef, about Paperchase stocking Father’s Day cards aimed at single mothers.
The cards, designed by 29-year old Stevie Rowing-Parker, who lost his father when he was only five years old, includes the captions “Who needs a dad when your mum has balls’ and ‘Who said the best dad in the world can’t be a mum?’
The article included a quote from Stevie who explaining that his decision to develop the designs followed years of buying Father’s Day cards and replacing the word ‘Dad’ with ‘Mum’.
“It just made mum so happy. The thing is it’s obviously a rubbish day for them and I just felt why are these amazing mums, who are doing both jobs, feeling rubbish on this day when they should be celebrated as well? It just didn’t make sense to me.”
While Tom Utley was gracious enough to say that he has a ‘great deal of sympathy for single mothers’ he did not hide his disdain for Paperchase (the newspaper and the retailer fell out over a Christmas rollwrap promo), writing ‘I have deep reservations about the people who run Paperchase’ suggesting that the retailer was only stocking the cards for commercial reasons, feintly praising the multiple for ‘spotting a highly lucrative and hitherto under-exploited money spinner.’
Showing his misunderstanding of the true worth of sending greeting cards, Mr Utley crassly pointed out that at £2.99 for one of Stevie’s cards (which features 9-12 words each) that sum would ‘would buy you four copies of the Daily Mail, containing some 250,000 words in all, 39p change!’
Not surprisingly, Tom confessed his true feelings about Father’s Day, “pretty rubbish” and how it was never marked in his home when he was a boy and how we was unlikely to receive any cards from any of his offspring – except possibly one that he mooted might say ‘Dad’s a d**k. Happy Father’s Day Mum’
However, the majority of the media was full of praise for Paperchase’s inclusive policy on its Father’s Day stocking with The Sun, Good Housekeeping, Radio 4’s Women’s Hour being among those who gave reams of coverage to the cards – with it all appearing in good time to act as great reminder to everyone that it’s Father’s Day this Sunday.