I don’t have much to add to this post on Sociological Images.
Lisa Wade says:
The tie isn’t a generic masculine symbol, but a class-specific one.
More, it ties fatherhood into the idea of being a breadwinner. What is significant about a Dad? The fact that he works so hard for the family. Can you imagine a Mother’s Day symbol emphasizing her workplace instead of her time at home?
I can’t be arsed to care about greeting-card consumerist holidays. Turns out that Fathers’ Day is just a little over a century old and wasn’t made a national holiday until I was old enough to vote, though I do remember celebrating it as a child. The best line in the Wikipedia history (linked above) is “In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized.” Now that would never happen.
The leading Google images for “father” and “mother”” are surprisingly similar: leaving out Mother Teresa and an assortment of priests, both mostly show a clearly gendered parent holding, playing with, or looking lovingly at a baby or small child. Both are mostly of white people, but not entirely. The “father” search does not show a lot of work pictures, with ties or without.
What would you use for a Father’s Day image for a Google logo? My first thought would be to make one of the O’s larger and one smaller, and have the larger one have a hand on the smaller one’s head. Or something like that.