Take Your Daughter to Work Day is not only an excellent episode of The Office, but a real holiday recognized by the government. Now the gender-inclusive Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, the event falls on the third Thursday of every April. The holiday is intended to show kids what it's like to have a variety of jobs—not just the ones they learn about in school, like astronaut, fireman, or Power Ranger. And when it was first established, it was basically to show girls that they could have careers at all.
What's truly amazing is that the holiday was established pretty recently, and rapidly became a sitcom staple.
Originally called Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the festival of exposing kids to mundane realities was born in 1993 (like Ariana Grande!). Founded by none other than Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women, the day was a feminist initiative to inspire young women to explore their future career options.
"The effects were explosive," says Marie Wilson, who was president of the Ms. Foundation at the time. "First of all, the visibility of girls in the workplace, showed up the invisibility of adult women."
(Note: The White House, above the law and on their own schedule, held their Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day last week.)
As the years went on, people kinda played the Men's Rights card, saying that boys should be allowed to miss school on a Thursday, too. After all, women now make up half of the American workforce.
An early proposal by the Ms. Foundation was to establish a Son's Day in addition to Take Our Daughters to Work Day. While TODTWD was about exposing girls to the workforce, something usually associated with dudes, Son's Day was to do the opposite. It would have taken place on a Sunday so they wouldn't miss school; they'd stay at home to learn about cooking, cleaning, sexism, and violence against women.
Alas, that was quickly vetoed (even though every Sunday should be Son's Day. Teach your boys to be nice to girls, even if girls have cooties.)
The day's title was officially changed to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in 2003, making everyone happy, especially nannies who have the day off.
Teach your children well today, people. Teach them your skills, but make sure they don't go over to the dark side.