Mother's Day as a Day of Activism, Resistance and Women's Solidarity

May 09, 2003

in the spirit of suffragist Julia Ward Howe women across the country organize Mother’s Day rallies, actions and celebrations.

In 1870, author, abolitionist, peace activist and suffragist Julia Ward Howe attempted to get recognition for a national Mother’s Day holiday as a "worldwide protest of women against the cruelties of war."

Howe called for women to rise up in protest on Mother’s Day. She declared, "Arise then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears, say firmly: ’We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

In that spirit, a series of rallies, protests and celebrations are being held in an attempt to return the holiday to Howe’s original vision: as a day of activism, resistance and women’s solidarity.

Well yesterday Democracy Now! producer Angie Karran spoke to several mothers to find out how they are planning to spend their Mother’s Day.

  • Mothers around the country talk about their plans for Mother’s Day.

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