Santa Claus – otherwise known as Father Christmas – is traditionally depicted as male. The “father” bit is one of the giveaways, as is the beard. But his status as a man is not completely undisputed, with some Christmas lovers stating a preference for a female, or even a gender neutral, Santa.
News from the UK late last year that two women had volunteered for the part of Santa in County Durham provoked a firestorm of criticism, with everyone from the local Labour councillor to everyone’s favourite whiny TV blowhard Piers Morgan demanding society as a whole renounce the idea of a non-male St Nick and never mention the matter again.
But the issue won’t die: a poll by logo creation company GraphicSprings – which apparently believes that polling people about Santa is a crucial part of logo creation – found that 27 percent of respondents believed changing Santa’s gender would be a positive move.
Reaction was…mixed. On social media many vented their fury at such a suggestion, declaring that male Santa was the line that society must not cross. Others said that modernising Santa with some gender variance would be a nice way of making Christmas more diverse. And still others declared the whole debate rather silly. Can you imagine?
Anyway, there’s not a huge chance of Santa waxing anytime soon – his male status seems fairly secure for the immediate future. But don’t be surprised if depictions of the man in red occasionally pop up that downplay the “man” part as time goes on.