Mother’s Day: The most sentimental and mushy day of the year, the day when mothers –whether they deserve it or not – are smothered in a suffocating layer of syrup and treacle and praise.
I dislike the ridiculous obligatory commercialism around this holiday, but I usually shrug my shoulders and say “OK, whatever.” But – why am I not surprised? – I found an interesting subclass of people who object to Mother’s Day for other reasons.
These objections come from the left, who universally disparage “breeders.” Their complaint? Mother’s Day celebrates – wait for it – mothers, and not all women are mothers. “It celebrates the great lie about women: That those with children are more important than those without … that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path,” snarked a Salon article.
I agree with the Salon writer in that many women should never, ever, ever have become “mothers” (squeezing out a baby is often the last noteworthy thing some women do to justify the title). But Mother’s Day is supposed to laud real mothers. Not feminists, not feminist college professors, not feminist attorneys, not feminist doctors, not feminist politicians, not feminist social justice warriors. Mother’s Day is supposed to recognize simple, humble mothers and their selfless contributions to the world.
Mother’s Day, as many doubtless know, was made into a national holiday through the efforts of Anna Jarvis, the daughter of a Methodist minister. Jarvis wanted to honor her own mother who organized work clubs to care for wounded soldiers, both Union and Confederate, during the Civil War. She raised money for medicine, inspected bottled milk, improved sanitation and hired women to care for families where mothers suffered from tuberculosis. Neat lady, right?
But since good progressives can rewrite history with one hand tied behind their back, you’ll be pleased to know Anna Jarvis wasn’t just petitioning to have saintly mothers recognized. She was an early feminist icon, an activist who devoted her life to sexual promiscuity, free birth control, taxpayer-funded abortions and opposition to the patriarchal oppression of marriage.
Oh wait, I’m thinking of modern feminists. No, Anna Jarvis’ mother worked hard through various church organizations for peace – no small thing during a bloody war that tore families apart, ripped men’s bodies to shreds and shook the foundations of a nation. I’m quite certain Anna Jarvis would highly approve of being associated with today’s feminist culture of slutting around, easy abortion and misandry, right?
Ever eager to shine the spotlight on themselves rather than those who labor quietly and without fanfare to raise this nation’s children, feminists are attempting to twist Mother’s Day into Women’s Empowerment Day. HuffPost notes, “The only thing better than the sweet and sentimental Mother’s Day is its radical feminist history steeped in religious values. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day is the result of years of women’s activism that coincided with other women’s movements – like women’s suffrage and labor movements – around the turn of the 20th century.”
And the ultimate empowered woman? Why, Hillary Clinton, of course.
“[T]here’s another way that society is ‘dumbing down’ motherhood that we must name and shame,” said the National Organization for Women in 2014. “It’s the notion that a woman can’t be a mother or grandmother and also a strong and powerful leader. A perfect example of this ludicrous logic is the whispering campaign taking place right now against Hillary Clinton.”
Yes, Hillary, that redoubtable icon of motherly softness and warmth, the woman who couldn’t be bothered to bake cookies for her daughter because she was too busy trying to run the world, the woman who looked the other way from her philandering husband as she rode his coattails into the White House.
But back to motherhood. Lest Mother’s Day become too associated with the horrors of traditionalism, we find lots of advice on how to keep Mother’s Day from being too, well, motherly.
“Far from being a sugary celebration of maternity,” notes a website for feminist moms called Romper, “Jarvis created Mother’s Day as a counterpoint to the endless dates in the calendar that celebrated only the achievements of men.” (Yeppers, I’m certain that was Jarvis’ goal in pushing Mother’s Day. Stick it to the men, by golly.)
The article goes on to suggest “empowering” ways we can “reclaim Mother’s Day as a feminist festival,” including:
- Skip the offerings of flowers or chocolates; that’s nothing more than “benevolent sexism.“
- Contrary to the first point, we should wrap any gifts for mom with yellow ribbons to “show support for female empowerment” since these ribbons give “a lovely nod to the women who fought for equality, and are also a great conversation starter about the progress of women’s rights.”
- Discuss feminism with your children, because “a day celebrating mothers can lead to some great discourse about what it is to be a female.” (I’m sure your sons will appreciate this.)
- Give thanks “to the goddess” because “connecting to the more spiritual side of celebrating motherhood is not only appealing, but empowering.” (Thanking God is too patriarchal.)
The only noteworthy tip in this screed was to remember mothers living in shelters after fleeing abusive situations, for whom Mother’s Day might be considered bleak. Helping these women, you’ll be glad to know, is “pretty darn feminist.”
It is the habit of extreme feminists to criticize motherhood and denigrate those women who choose to sacrifice greatly in order to raise their children. Yet let one day of the year arise to celebrate these selfless beings, and feminists shoulder those sacrificing women aside in order to empower women, not mothers.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I will continue to bless “breeders,” not those who spit on them. Think about this: After your race has been run, what would you rather have your adult child say? “My mom … she was always there for me,” or “My mom? I didn’t really see much of her. She was too busy with her career.”
So maybe the syrupy commercialized plaudits associated with Mother’s Day isn’t such a bad thing after all. If it drives the feminists nuts, it has its advantages.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you real moms out there. Thanks for doing the right thing.
Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact [email protected].