A woman in Lebanon, New Hampshire, is wondering why the tradition of a father-daughter dance continues when it can be so exclusionary for non-traditional families after she and her son were asked to leave a community dance.
Jennifer Meade purchased tickets for two couples, for her and her seven-year-old son, as well as her five-year-old daughter and Meade’s boyfriend, for a father-daughter dance organized by the Carter Community Building Association this weekend. Just 20 minutes into the event, she and her son were asked to leave. Rather than split up the family, they all chose to return home.
“In this day and age, it’s not like your gender should define what type of parent you really are,” Meade told Valley News. “I don’t understand why I have to be a dad to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my kids.”
CCBA Executive Director Shelby Day defended the 20-year long tradition on Monday to the outlet. “We’ve always been about community,” she said, “We’ve never been about disregarding anyone’s feelings about anything.” She added that the organization is planning a mother-son dance this spring, as well as a family dance in the fall. Day did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment, and it is unknown if these dances have been held in the past.
“It’s not like anyone was uncomfortable that I was there,” Meade said. “I wasn’t taking away from anyone’s experience being there.”
Day, meanwhile, insists that Meade was not kicked out. Mothers are allowed to take photos, but the dance itself is meant to grant fathers, uncles, and grandfathers bonding time, and mothers are asked to “hang out in our game room downstairs,” Day said. “It’s a father-daughter dance. That is what this [event] is about.”
Valley News reports that the CCBA will continue its father-daughter dance, again, next year.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: