Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and though the commercial holiday might have a cheesy reputation filled with schlocky cards, cheap candy, and Build-A-Bears, the true spirit of Mother’s Day is nothing if not feminist. After all, what other holiday exists solely to honor the older women in our lives for the sacrifices they’ve made on our behalf? We can honor not only our own mothers tomorrow (if we’re lucky enough to have them around) but also those women who’ve helped to make us the kickass feminists we see in the mirror today. Did you know that one of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day was from feminist Julia Ward Howe in her “Mother’s Day Proclamation”? It’s true!
When thinking about feminism and Mother’s Day, I can’t help but think of my own mom and the huge feminist debt I owe her. In addition to instilling me with a love of casseroles, Law & Order, and the music of Linda Ronstadt, my mom also taught me (and my brother) to be feminists, through her own politics and also through her actions while raising us as a primarily single parent. If I were a betting woman, I’d bet that’s the case with many of you reading this as well. Behind every great feminist is another great feminist, after all. In fact, lots of you are probably passing feminist values down to your own kids as well, RIGHT NOW. Tell us about it in the comments section!
While you think on it, here are a few music videos about mothers to get you in the mood (they’re by dudes since I had a hard time thinking of many mother tribute songs by women):
And here is a great speech by Michelle Obama on how much she appreciates living with her own mother in the White House:
And how could we forget to give props to one of the greatest fictional mother-daughter duos in television history? Accompanied by a song performed by a mother and daughter (see? there’s at least one!), on a show primarily about mother-daughter relationships in their many forms?
To make this Mother’s Day an especially feminist one, allow me to make a suggestion (this is especially directed at those of you who haven’t bought your mom/s a gift yet): A subscription to Bitch makes a wonderful gift! If you have a woman in your life who deserves a great big feminist shout out, give her one by subscribing or making a donation in her honor. What better way to carry on the feminist legacy she instilled in you than by contributing to the future of independent, feminist media? Besides, all moms like to read Bitch (or at least that’s what my mom tells me).
Now give the ladies in your life the shout outs they deserve in the comments section! Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!