An early childhood activist has been labelled "offensive" after suggesting Father's Day be renamed 'Special Person's Day' so kids without dads wouldn't feel left out.
Dr Red Ruby Scarlet, an activist with a doctorate in early childhood studies, is pushing for the name change to the annual holiday.
During an interview on Today Tonight Dr Scarlet denied it was case of excess political correctness.
"Why are we calling this political correctness when in fact it's about our rights?" Dr Scarlet told host Rosanna Mangiarelli.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
She went on: "There's a lot of Australian research that has actually informed a lot of international research ... that has demonstrated children's capacity to be really inclusive once they know about these ideas and they think, 'Wow, why are people seeing this as a controversy?"
Dr Scarlet, who insisted that was her real name, said that many families without fathers supported the idea.
"We have single parent families, satellite families, extended families, lesbian and gay families," she said.
Her ideas were met with a stern rebuke from New South Wales Liberal minister David Elliott, who called them "rubbish".
"Can't believe that someone who professes to be 'enlightened' would advocate such crap," Mr Elliott wrote on Facebook.
"People still celebrate fatherhood even after their father and grandfathers have passed away, in fact for many people Father's Day is a wonderful time of reflecting and remembering."
He went on: "Dr Red Ruby Scarlet - you are the offensive one. Maybe we should start a campaign to address that."