In an appropriately progressive move, The U.S. Department of Education has announced that beginning with the 2014-2015 federal student aid form, gender specific terms like “mother” and “father” will be replaced by terms like “parent 1” and “parent 2.” It’s about time.
From The Washington Times:
“All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “These changes will allow us to more precisely calculate federal student aid eligibility based on what a student’s whole family is able to contribute and ensure taxpayer dollars are better targeted toward those students who have the most need, as well as provide an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families.”
Sounds fair to me. All parental units are represented. All incomes are reported. What could be wrong with this?
‘As a mother, I find that deeply offensive,’ said Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council.
‘I carried my children for nine months in my womb, I endured the pain (and joy) of birth, I nursed them for many months after they were born, and every morning they jump into my bed screaming, “Mommy!”
But the federal government says I’m Mommy no more. I am Parent 1. Or maybe Parent 2. Mr. President, I dare you to tell my daughters I’m not their mother.’
I hate to call a mother stupid on Mother’s Day – but if the shoe fits. Lady, you are an idiot. How does representing all parents and incomes on a federal financial aid form nullify the months you spent breastfeeding and the pain you endured shooting a child out of your vagina? That’s ridiculous. But, “Mr. President, I dare you to tell my daughters I’m not their mother” made me spit coffee all over my keyboard. You’re a comic genius and you don’t even know it.
Thank God we are finally starting to evolve. More and more states are recognizing marriage equality and now the federal government is recognizing that different family dynamics exist – and honoring those dynamics. I can’t wait until the day comes when bigots like this have to whisper their prejudices in each other’s ears – not shout them aloud in department of education meetings. I know that time is coming.