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

Quote of the Day: Paradise Lost

by matttbastard

There’s an old saying. You can never go home again. In a sense, I have always beleived it to mean that “home” will never be the same as you remember it. Home is the time in which you live. This is our time.

We have pretty much fucked up the environment, along with the generations that came before. There are some who want to regress the social advances we have made.

They want to return to a time where wimmens “knew their place” (dictated by men, of course) and have no control over thier own bodies. Where we shut down immigration to only those they “approve” of. The rich would get richer, while the middle class dissapears and the poor become poorer and more beholden to those who have complete power over them. Where they own all of us.

Its pretty obvious just by reading history that no matter how much control the Church has exerted over people, people pretty much still do what people will do.

Who wants to go back there with them?

– pale, You can never go home again

RTWDT (Read The Whole Damn Thing) rules apply.

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