I was also vaguely aware of this bit of information taken from the wikipedia entry:
In the 1930s, Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present to fathers. By 1938 she had the help of the Father's Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the commercial promotion. Americans resisted the holiday for its first few decades, viewing it as nothing more than an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother's Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. However, said merchants remained resilient and even incorporated these attacks into their advertisements. By the mid-1980s, the Father's Council wrote that "(...) [Father's Day] has become a Second Christmas for all the men's gift-oriented industries.
I really don't care for anything having to do with "consuming".
But...I ran across this excellent post over on the Vine Sanctuary blog and wanted to refer everyone to this wonderful and informative writing.
In patriarchal cultures, “father” is king, the owner or at least ruler of women, children, and animals. The whole system crumbles if fatherless families are allowed to flourish. Many of the cultures steamrolled in the process of European imperialism and colonialism structured their communities and families differently than the patriarchal coupling prescribed by Christianity. Oftentimes, these differences in parenting practices were cited as justification for dispossession and genocide.
So, while Father’s Day is a fine time to laud the care-giving of folks like little Mighty Mouse — a rooster at the sanctuary who, for many years, adopted and parented motherless chicks who often grew to be many times his size — I persistently wish that those of us who question everything else might seize this day to challenge what, exactly, we mean by “father” and why we think that social role is so important.
Knowing more is generally a good thing...although the learning can be discomforting. I hope you'll read the whole blog post quoted above...it is thought provoking. In the meantime...if you're a male human...live vegan, oppose all systems of oppression and help all beings...that's good enough "fathering".