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The truth about Mother's Day
- Author: Linda Chivell
- Sunday, 08 May 2016
There is a big secret no-one told us. It’s about Mother’s Day.
We all know the story the world is telling us about Mother’s Day: that it’s a Hallmark holiday about staying home and have a special brunch and opening gifts and being spoiled our little tribe?
It’s a lie. Mother’s Day was never about brunch. Or gifts.
Mother’s Day wasn’t created by Hallmark. Mother’s Day was created by a grieved, activist, revolutionary Love Warrior named Julia Ward Howe. Tired of war, tired of tribalism being valued above the lives of the vulnerable—her pain and hope merged and became her mission. After living through the bloodshed of the Civil War, she called out for peace: she called out for revolution.
She called the day of the revolution: MOTHER’S DAY.
Portrait of Julia Ward Howe in Volume 2 of “History of Woman Suffrage,” which was published in 1887.
“Women need no longer be made a party to proceedings which fill the globe with grief and horror. That word should now be heard, and answered to as never before!
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Let us meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let us then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God!”
—Julia Ward Howe and her original Mother’s Day Proclamation, written in 1870