Help Me Reach 12 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Peace Day

MzNicky writes in:

The InternetTubes tell me that the whole "Mother's Day" thing started in ancient Greece as a day set aside to honor Rhea, the "Mother of the Gods." Then after the heathens got all conquered and everything, the Christly church guys decided to tie the day into Lent, no doubt to feed the patriarchal mandate that every woman should spawn and spawn again, for which, as a special reward, there'd be a special Mother's day each year. Then Julia Ward Howe, she of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," got the cool idea in 1872 to change "Mother's Day" into a "Day of Peace." A few decades later, some church ladies in West Virginia got all up about it and petitioned the government to have it changed back to Mother's Day.

So now here we are, faced with what has now morphed into the repugnant idea of a corporately-mandated Hallmark®/FTD®-prefab holiday that dictates that if you don’t send your mother a sappy card and a Spring bouquet then you don’t love her—a guilt trip so insidiously ground into the culture that despite my sincere protests, my own children descend upon me bearing unnecessary gifts purchased with their scarce, hard-earned money. (Well, what’s a mother to do? They never did listen to me.)

Let's stipulate that there is something to be said for women who would unhesitatingly set themselves on fire before they would permit anyone or anything to harm their children. It’s an aggressive form of love that deserves to be saluted, so if the kids want to say “thanks” by giving me scented soaps and gift certificates on my special day, hey, who am I to say they’re wrong? Let's further stipulate that some of us who have willingly and enthusiastically chosen to become mothers have also been fortunate and privileged enough to have had that whole thing work out pretty well for us, and that our whole family deal allows for such niceties. Many have not and do not. But it's still Mother's Day for them, too.

Let's also hear it for women who willingly and enthusiastically choose not to become mothers because they just damn didn't want to. And in a culture in which the misogyny-godbag-driven dictate to reproduce is practically overwhelming, those who choose to resist that pressure deserve to be saluted as well, and if no one else has ever done so, let me be the first. Let's further remember and respect the sensitivities of those who want to reproduce but can’t, of those who are forced to reproduce but don’t want to, of those who have loved and lost. Mother's Day, Mother's Day, Mother's Day, all.

What I really want for Mother's Day is for this whole guilt-tripping consumerist extravaganza to become "Peace Day" again. I have Mother's Day every time I see my kids. It's enough. And it's enough already with the floral bouquets, the bubble bath and the gift certificates for a facial and massage. Well, okay, I'll take the massage. And peace. Peace would be nice. So, Happy Peace Day.


We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.