Reappropriating Mother’s Day

Forget Hallmark and Big Flora — Mother’s Day is (and always has been) for radicals:

Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars. She called for women to stand up against the unjust violence of war through their roles as wife and mother, to protest the futility of their sons killing other mothers’ sons.

Howe wrote:

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

[Read the remainder of Howe's quote here

The holiday caught on years later when a West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began promoting it as a way to reunite families after the Civil War.  After Jarvis’ death, her daughter began a campaign for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in honor of peace. Devoting much of her life to the cause, it wasn’t until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance in 1914.

The holiday flourished, along with the flower industry.  The business journal, the Florists Review, actually admitted to its desire to exploit the holiday. Jarvis was strongly opposed to every aspect of the holiday’s commercialization, arrested for protesting the sale of flowers, and petitioning to stop the creation of a Mother’s Day postage stamp.

h/t Guerrilla Girls On Tour

x-posted

QOTD: Rethinking Sex-Positivity & Sex Work

Audacia Ray:

If we put aside our attachment to the sex positive construction of sex work, we will certainly hear things that will be hard to sit with. But for sex positivity to be a useful framework, one that encourages the pursuit of social justice, it must also engage with the ugly pieces of sexuality, and not in a simplistically reactive way. Otherwise, the concept of being a sex positive sex worker is a self-serving marketing practice, in which the enjoyment of sexuality is being sold as a product to both workers and our clients.

h/t Jill

Provocation, Appropriation, and That Blackface Clitoridectomy Cake

Here’s an idea for truly provocative art. No more male artists, black or white, speaking for African women. No more ever-more-graphic ever-more-voyeuristic art on the suffering of African women. Stop using the female African body as raw material to be worked – unless you happen to live in one. Then, notice that African women are making their own work about their lives and struggles. Look. Listen. Learn.

Shailja Patel, ‘The missing ingredient in Sweden’s racist-misogynist cake’

h/t Blind Man With A Pistol

Related:  T.F. Charlton & Ako Jacintho debate the meaning of the installation — on multiple levels; how Jonathan Pitts-Wiley stopped worrying & learned to love the blackface clitoridectomy cake.

Etch-A-Mitt Shakes Things Up Again: Welfare Moms Better Off With “The Dignity of Work”

Via Ryan Grim (ICYMI):

Apparently Ann Romney forgot to mention to Willard that moms who don’t work outside the home do THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD!!!1 and already have ample dignity, thankyouverymuchyousupersexistsoand…

oh, wait — Mittens meant those moms — y’know, the ones who can’t afford dignity.

Sorry. They gotsta earn their Caddies (if not teh car elevators).

Related: Pay no attention to the ongoing war on women voting.

Jacked from the 140 (Because sometimes that’s all you need)

Seriously, dub tee eff?

Update: Yes, kids you too can be Warren Kinsella’s Next Idiot (after Dawg, that is).

Of Patriarchy and Paradox.

So, um, Happy New Year, kids. We at bastard.logic are proud to kick off 2011 with the debut of our newest co-blogger, Amy Lauren, whom you’ll no doubt be seeing quite a bit of as the year progresses. – mb

Being a girl has become undesirable somehow, something to mock.  Women are expected to behave like men on emotional level in order to gain their acceptance.  I admit I’ve experienced feeling compelled to go against the “girly-girl” stereotype on a base level from the time I was old enough to perceive the reaction it evoked from the opposite gender.  Always ready to roll my eyes at the behaviour of my female peers for the benefit of a guy.  At the time I thought it made me cool, individualistic, set me apart from the flock.  Now I wonder if I have always been naturally inclined to sell out my gender to please men?  As an ardent feminist this notion is vaguely disturbing, while at the same time admitting that I haven’t entirely broken myself of this tendency.

For the twenty-thirty-something this seems to play out significantly in sexual relationships.  Somehow if you’re not to be considered this negative girly-girl type you must treat sex in a casual sense.  Seriously, if I had a nickel for every time I heard “I’m not looking for anything serious…” well, you know.  The marriage and babies obsessed set was never my bag, but I internalized the notion to the point that it seemed okay to deny myself anything meaningful and long term as long as my physical needs were kinda-sorta met.  As it turns out, meaningless sex is not my bag either.

So what’s a girl to do?

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