"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What are you doing for the Moms in your life?

Sybil Vane at Bitch Ph.D. writes about what Mother's Day really means -- and what it shouldn't mean.  She discusses how giving moms a day-long vacation from domestic labor makes a rather insulting Mother's Day gift, and I especially love how she points out that Mother's Day wasn't started as just another "Hallmark holiday", but that it was recognized as a national holiday due to the work of feminists.  You should read the whole thing, but this part in particular made me choke up:
What I want for Mother's Day is some demonstration that the adult-ish people to whom my mothering matters (which is currently only my husband as our daughter is young) have reflected on what it means to try to mother with intelligence, grace, courage, and kindness in this historical moment. I want a recognition that I am under-served by social and business policies that do not value the work I do as a mother, and that I am under-served by the sentimentalization of motherhood. I want awareness that while the domestic labor I do is unpaid, it is not, de facto, my labor and has very little to do with mothering. I want conscious decisions to value the social and political influence of mothering, and commitments to increasing the visibility of the ways mother's are disenfranchised.