Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

In 1870, social activist Julia Ward Howe authored the "Mother's Day Proclamation" and in 1872, organized a day for mothers dedicated to peace, a sort of Mother's Day intended as a call to unite women against war. This is the kind of Mother's day I think to celebrate. Not the one I see advertised today hawking $39.99 vases of pesticide sprayed roses.

More than anything today, I wanted to participate in Mother's Day at a speak out or other political action, like the one in New York City - A Mother's Day action against police violence where 50 mothers wearing bloodstained shirts held a vigil and press conference outside of Governor David Patterson's Manhattan office calling on the Governor to STOP THE BLOODSHED AT THE HANDS OF NYPD and also also calling for an end to the NYPD abuse of mothers who fight to get justice for their children.

But where I live, there was nothing but the 34th annual Mother's Day symphony held at the zoo and special Mother's Day brunches to be eaten at select restaurants.

I was happy when fellow rad mama Vikki Law asked if I'd read over and give feedback on the essay she is working on concerning "how the first battered women's shelters in the U.S. had a more radical feminist analysis about the reasons for battering and how capitalism and patriarchy needed to be dismantled and encouraged women to think in broader terms about these issues. And how the first shelters were in individual activists' homes because, at the time, there WASN'T a safe place for the average American abused wife/girlfriend to turn to and there wasn't any institution dealing with the issue."

When I'd finished and sent it back, I thanked Vikki for giving it to me to give feedback on. She made my Mother's Day! Really. Doing this editorial work for her made me feel worthwhile in my political urges to contribute in some way.

Now it's time to give my own mama a call...

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