Before I start out with this deeply flawed post, I should say that I am deeply unqualified to be writing about Mothers Day as I have never been one, although I have had one (well, two but that is another story).
Mothers Day and Fathers Day are cons. That shouldn’t be a surprise for any educated, sceptical individuals but based on the length of the queues to purchase Cyclamens there are a good many people who should know better buying in to the whole horrible show. They should know better.
On each of their respective days, Mothers are nurtured and Fathers are applauded and sometimes allowed to get drunk. The same tired old narrative tropes about the modern nuclear family are reinforced: women give and require love and men love hard work and fun.
Apart from keeping the florists in business, the sole purpose of Mothers Day is to reinforce Women’s status as vulnerable care givers and nurturers, not powerful, respected, and equal members of our community. The media is full of stories abut how Mum needs a rest, how motherhood is hard, about how Mum needs nurturing, about how Mum needs new undies, to watch out for breast cancer, and as the evening news pointed out will need to cook dinner after her big day.
Surely we’ve moved past this anachronistic view of Mummy, Daddy, and the kids where Mummy stays at home and keeps house and Daddy brings home the bacon. To believe in this anachronistic “holiday” is to look longingly back to a past where no may have been yes, where women accepted that someone else was in charge, and where Daddy was right. Is that the right sort of message for our sons and daughters?
In addition to being an archaic historical gesture, Mothers Day is a painful reminder for Mothers that they may not be good enough, that they may not deserve the adulation, love, and praise because they have a careers, because they don’t have a career, or because they just think about these things more than men do.
This is not a call to disrespect Mothers or treat them badly. It is a call to celebrate our Mothers, and the Mothers of our children by treating them as equals, not precious and delicate objects. Traditional gender roles do women and men demean us all and put as at the mercy of the advertisers, the media, and the snake oil salespeople trying to sell us more fucking Cyclamens and Chrysanthemums.