As I was preparing for my Mother’s Day vacation getaway, this tweet came across my screen:
A worthy question, as I thought progressives would be positively joyful at this point in the “Hope and Change” presidency. However, they seem to be clinging to their bitterness.
Following the social media trail, it turns out that in a piece on Salon.com, author Anne Lamott transforms a happy holiday into a scourge:
I did not raise my son, Sam, to celebrate Mother’s Day. I didn’t want him to feel some obligation to buy me pricey lunches or flowers, some annual display of gratitude that you have to grit your teeth and endure. Perhaps Mother’s Day will come to mean something to me as I grow even dottier in my dotage, and I will find myself bitter and distressed when Sam dutifully ignores the holiday. Then he will feel ambushed by my expectations, and he will retaliate by putting me away even sooner than he was planning to — which, come to think of it, would be even more reason to hate Mother’s Day.
But Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path.
In her rush to create another victim group (non-parents), it appears that Lamott’s views could be considered anti-woman and racist.
The origins of that day are seeped in both the women’s suffrage and abolitionist movements:
Another precursor to Mother’s Day came from the abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe. In 1870 Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call to action that asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2.
And what should be even more disturbing to progressives about Lamott’s attack: Going back even farther in history, Mother’s Day may have its origins in goddess worship!
Some historians believe that the earliest celebrations of Mother’s Day was the ancient spring festival dedicated to mother goddesses. The ancient Greek empire had a spring festival honoring Rhea, wife of Cronus and mother of the gods and goddesses. In Rome there was a Mother’s Day-like festival dedicated to the worship of Cybele, also a mother goddess.
However, the most significant flaw in Lamott’s screed comes with her assertion that Mother’s Day “perpetuates the dangerous idea that all parents are somehow superior to non-parents.”
It does no such thing.
May 5th was “National Teacher’s Appreciation Day“. Does that mean a plumber is inferior to a teacher? April 22 was “Secretary’s Day” (or the updated “Administrative Assistant’s Day”). Does that mean a CEO is inferior to an assistant?
Lamott may think so: “Meanwhile, we know the worst, skeeviest, most evil people in the world are CEOs and politicians who are proud parents.”
I must admit, there was an astonishing amount of hostility and negativity in this one short blog post! I shudder to think what her books are like.
Most rational people view the day as a way of making special memories with their mother….not as a way to demean or victimize non-parents.
Ultimately, that is why we should read Lamott’s piece with some pity. Her Mother’s Day will be just another day…with no burnt toast in bed, hand-made cards, or fun walks on the beach.
Life is made up of such special moments. I hope Legal Insurrection readers have many great ones this Mother’s Day.
(Featured image from “Mother’s Day Song for Children” video).DONATE
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