The spring holidays come think and fast. Depending on when you start spring we’ve got Valentine’s Day followed a month later by St. Pat’s. On it’s roving schedule Easter hops along, with its precursor Mardi Gras. There’s Earth Day, May Day, and Mother’s Day. One thing they all have in common, apart from being holidays, is they’re not worthy enough to be days off work. You have to wait for Memorial Day for that. Today, in any case, is Mother’s Day. We stop to think, as if we shouldn’t every day, about our mothers. Women are pretty poorly represented in the holiday scheme, unless you’re Catholic (and even those aren’t days off). Mother’s Day always comes on a Sunday so employers are eternally thankful. A holiday with no consequences. But should it be?
We’re only just beginning, after being “civilized” for five thousand years, to give women their due. Only just beginning because capitalist systems are built on male fantasies of growing rich without the female humane element. It’s not a system friendly to mothers unless we find a way to make people spend money. Women remind us to look for cooperation and not just competition. Working together we can make things better for everyone. Men, left to their own devices, go to war. Men take what they want and women act as our conscience. Mothers sacrifice to keep us safe and alive. Their self-denial resonates better with the Christianity suborned by men into a money-making venture.
It’s Mother’s Day. It’s a day to put aside our acquisitive, war-like tendencies and think of someone else. It’s a day to imagine what it might be like if we made a habit of good behaviors. It’s like those grades they used to give in school for “deportment.” It wasn’t all just about how well we learned our facts. Mothers teach us what it means to set aside our own wants for the needs of another person. Without that the human race simply wouldn’t survive. Instead of politically stacked courts taking away women’s rights, today we recognize that without women none of us would be here. The human experiment only succeeds when women are recognized for all that they contribute to life. To civilization. To society. We may not have commodified it, so why not listen to our mothers’ wisdom? Why not make it every day instead of just the second Sunday of May? Don’t forget to thank your mother today. Better yet, fight for her rights.