(What?) are we celebrating on Mother’s Day?


We are taught in our society that female’s value come’s primarily from what value they have to others and accord them status accordingly whether Mrs. or Mother. They are romanticized in these roles of Mother and Wife even while their efforts are abused by those they serve. They are praised for not making time for themselves and the burden is heavier on them for shaping children into what society desires(which in our society can often include a lot of nonsense). They occasions set aside to reward and glorify these roles are thrown up as contrary evidence in the face of a society which thrives on male privilege and patriarchy.


Males can sometimes complain that Father’s Day is not given as much regard as Mother’s Day and can adopt a victim stance not realizing the major difference between the experience males and females within our society. As soon as males reach physical maturity they are given the title of Mr. Women are expected the ‘title of respect’ upon becoming someone’s wife. The wider society then elevates her above the female who is unmarried especially if the unmarried female has children or has related with various females. Children are expected to develop some regard and respect for their mother for being mother. Therefore in addressing situations of overt disrespect to females persons will quickly reach for the “what if it was your mother(or sister)”. It is not sufficient that she is a person worthy of respect on account of that.

It is probably in a context such as this of male privilege that such events like “Mother’s Day” (and little tokens of recognition to females such as flowers gifts etc. for being a good mother or wife) take such importance.

Latter Day religions such as Christianity play a big part in the narrow idea we have of women and it shaped to a significant extent the values, laws etc of our society. It has removed the feminine from the Godhead and reduced her importance to being only derivative of her motherhood of Yahshua/Jesus etc. The expression of the feminine was experienced in a much wider sense in other traditions where the feminine was accepted and respected in the higher levels of their concept of God.

In societies where we so narrowly define women’s potential it cannot be easy to understand much less relate to females in a wider sense much less in the fullness of Womanhood. Further as males, how could we develop our Manhood in the wider sense without a wider understanding of and relation to the feminine.

it is easy to congratulate ourselves as we shower praise on our mothers about how they overworked themselves even while we fail to see how we perpetuate the patriarchal ideas which had them overworking themselves and enduring abuse and feeling proud about it. Mother’s Day might be a good time to better inform ourselves about how these narrow and romanticized views of women have come about and to reason out a less constricted understanding of femininity.

Here are a articles addressing attitudes to the idea of motherhood and the history of Mother’s Day.

http://www.ebony.com/life/more-than-a-mother-why-woman-and-mom-arent-synonymous-opinion-498#axzz2T5MVYCSv – More Than a Mother: Why ‘Woman’ and ‘Mom’ Aren’t Synonymous[OPINION]

http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-history.html –  Mother’s Day History

http://www.history.com/news/why-the-founder-of-mothers-day-turned-against-it – Why the founder of Mother’s Day turned against it

Here are a few useful books as well

When God was  Woman – Merlin Stone

The Way of All Women – M. Esther Harding

Woman’s Mysteries – M. Esther Harding

The Women’s Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets – Barbara G. Walker

Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society – Ifi Amadiume

Invention of Women: making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses – Oyeronke Oyewumi




~ by iandiyanola on May 12, 2013.

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