14 May 2006, Comments Off on Mothers day

Mothers day

Author: Helen

I hope you got eggs and bacon.

“Say firmly: ‘We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of 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 women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own, it says “Disarm! Disarm!”

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.”

Original Mother’s day proclamation, Julia Ward Howe, 1870.

Hat tip to Anarchist Chris.

Photos from here and here.

Comments (0)

  • Pony says:

    Thoughts on Mother’s Day from another blog. This one is harder. This one’s going to run over and over in your head. Truisms always do.

    From Lucky Nickel

    Let’s see, for Mother’s Day, you’d like to talk about dead women, and how awful things are for men?

    So, do you sympathize with the slave masters instead of the slaves? And sympathize with the Nazis instead of the Jews? Oh gee, if we just would’ve sympathized with these poor, poor white boys and understood them and loved them just a little bit more and not expected them to be so perfect, maybe they wouldn’t have been such assholes?

    Oh my gosh, why haven’t we thought of this new and innovating idea before now?!

    Oh, puh-lease, Dr. Blaine. Where did you get your PhD? In a cracker jack box? Or are you hoping if you kiss these boys ass enough, they’ll spare yours?

    Give me a break, doc. The problem is the exact opposite of what you state.

    Since when have men ever been expected to be perfect? There has never been any pressure on men to do much of anything, let alone be perfect. For crying out loud, they’re congratulated and given kudos for picking up the toilet seat!

    In short, you have everything half-assed, backwards, doc.

    The problem is men are too loved, cherished, valued and worshipped, paid more than they’re worth and always excused for their behavior. Why do you think they call it patriarchy?

    Yeah, I know, I know. The patriarchs pay your paycheck. And the only thing that does sell is misogyny and the worshipping of the phallocracy. You know which side of the bread it’s buttered on.

    But let’s tell the truth and shame the devil. 80% of the casualties in war are women and children. But let’s support the troops? Let’s feel oh so bad for the poor, poor, armed-to-the-teeth strutting soldiers that kill unarmed women and children? I don’t call that brave. I call that cowardly.

    But your little rant about Bush and his cronies is a pretty slick diversion to divert the boys from what the real problem is. Themselves. They don’t need your help in blaming others. Boys learn to do that from the day they learn to speak. They’re never held accountable for their behavior. It’s always someone else’s fault.

    As far as masculinity goes, it is men who created this farce. Femininity as well. They are both male creations and 2 faces of the same male god. Your focus is on the masculine Apollo model. As if the feminine Dionysus model is any better. One destroys violently and the other destroys through assimilation. The end is still the same. The means is just different.

    Yes, all men die. But here’s the kicker. They don’t need to be born. Unless women say so. Men were created for the amusment of women. Not vice versa. Somewhere along the line, men forgot that.

    I think women should step up to the plate and start taking responsibility for the life they create. Because life is currently hanging in the balance because men are irresponsible with power. Not just human life. But all life on the planet.

    The only love I think is in order here is tough love. If men can’t clean their messes and their act up (and no one can clean it up BUT them), then women need to just stop creating them. It’s as simple as that.

    No worries. 99% of men could be eliminated and life wouldn’t skip a beat. They are totally insignificant and unnecessary. Which is why they created patriarchy in the first place. To convince us that they were really, really important. They’re not. In fact the males in many species have already disappeared from the planet. Human males are not exempt. The Y chromosome is progressively degenerating from it’s already degenerative state. Scientists already know what will be men’s eventual fate. Extinction. So even if women won’t take responsibility for the life they create, Mother Nature will.

    I know this is harsh. But men have pushed the envelope too far. My sympathies are not with men. It is for the life they are destroying. The life that females so painstakenly create. That males so totally disrespect because they are not the ones who create it. Even Mother Nature herself, has had about enough of it.

    Posted by: Lucky Nickel | May 13, 2006 02:13 PM

    P.S. Happy Mother’s Day

    Posted by: Lucky Nickel | May 13, 2006 02:24 PM


  • susoz says:

    Thanks for that.

  • TimT says:

    Making some sweeping generalisations there, Pony.

    Tell me again how war is my fault. It’s something to do with the personal being the political, right?

  • R.H. says:

    And look at the coffins, you twerp.

    What do you you think is in them, women?

  • TimT says:

    In some of them, yes. Women go to war as well.

  • kate says:

    Is this a good time to mention Margaret Thatcher? I’m really exhausted by arguments that the world sucks the way it is because men run it. The world does suck the way it is, and it sucks that it is primarily run by men, but the two facts are not always causal. If you believe that they are, it follows that the world would be good if it were run by women. I don’t believe that’s the case. Women shouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to run things because it would make the world nicer and cleaner, we should be in positions of power because we make up half the population. Men and women both make mistakes, in the ways we raise our children, and in the ways we wield power in our working lives, and nothing’s going to change if we blame everyone else for it.

  • R.H. says:

    Tim I’ll say more than 98% of those corpses are men.

    You should know that. And you do.

    Kate is right, the world is run by people, that’s its problem.

  • TimT says:

    Um, RH, you say in the linked website:

    Wake up, men fight wars on behalf of women, as well as for themselves.
    Without men women would war against each other anyway, they do it already.
    Your sort of daft nonsense is destructive, that’s all. No use to anyone.

    PhD’s must be cheap in America.

    Methinks you’re more interested in arguing than consistency.

  • R.H. says:

    Arguing is a blog board game; a sort of post university exercise, where you try out what you’ve ‘learnt’. I’m not interested in it. And I’m getting less interested in this whole thing, minute by minute.

  • Helen says:

    Patriarchy hurts men too.

    Not the first to say it, but it bears repeating.

  • tigtog says:

    Back to your actual post, Helen: I find it fascinating that the origins of Mothers’ Day as anti-war activism has been totally subverted by saccharine consumerism. The Patriarchy is a master co-opter.

  • R.H. says:

    My daughter is a childcare worker. She takes home barely $400 a week. And works very hard for it, but wouldn’t consider doing any other job. Meanwhile there’s women walking around in thousand dollar dresses. Some of them drop their kids off every day at my daughter’s centre.
    But do you reckon they’d welcome a fee rise to get my kid a decent wage? Of course not. They’d scream blue murder.

    My daughter has never heard of ‘patriarchy’. She wouldn’t know what feminism is about. If I tried to explain it to her she’d be bored immediately. But if I told her it was about campaigning for a decent wage for under-paid people like herself she’d be very interested indeed.
    She is a non-intellectual, an extrovert who never liked school, but always attracted people. I’m disappointed that she now refuses to study at all – won’t take classes to get herself a diploma in something, but that’s the way she is. And there’s lots like her.

    Feminism is a dud for people like this. Totally useless. I can’t help seeing it as a middle-class toy, something for educated but bored women who should be content but aren’t. They cry over nothing. And ignore Class structure altogether, even among their gender. They are interested in their own welfare – their own class, that’s all.
    -And in Romance too, of course. Which will always rot the bottom out of their boat.

  • R.H. says:

    I’ve done hard work – muscle work on building sites, and in heavy industry, but the hardest work I’ve seen is the work done by women and girls on checkouts in supermarkets. They never stop. And get lousy wages for it. So why isn’t feminism making a bloody noise about that? And about other big places that exploit females of lower class and education?
    I never hear a thing about it. Not a whisper.

  • Kate says:

    Whatever R.H., you know nothing about feminism or what it offers women. Not all of us are middle class and well-off, so your sweeping generalisations about what it means are, frankly, complete rubbish. God I get sick of men telling me what feminism is and why it doesn’t appeal to women. Good on your daughter for doing what she does, but without feminism she’d have a whole lot less. Don’t believe me? Read some history. Try reading about the women’s labour movement for a start.

    The other points: women and children are the VICTIMS of war, not necessarily the ones fighting the war. Do you think wars just happen on battlefields? No, wars happen in places where people live, where women and children work in the factories and fields and in the streets and in what once were the homes.

    Bombs and bullets are not programmed to merely kill soldiers on the opposing side.

    Look at Iraq. Just as many civilians — women and children — have been killed there as soldiers.

    This isn’t to discount the tragedy of dead male soldiers. But to insist that the only people who suffer in a war are the soldiers is, frankly, ridiculous.

  • R.H. says:

    I would have agreed with that comment being deleted – if you’d had the courtesy to consult me beforehand. But you just went ahead. And you can, because you are autonomous! My word yes.
    Bloggers are immensely powerful people. Absolutely!

    I tremble and shake.


  • Kate says:

    Also, to answer your question RH: if you do even a modicum of reading about feminism you’ll find a wealth of women writing about the particular issues faced by blue collar women. There’s a whole sub-movement of feminism called ‘Marxist feminism’ which is basically dedicated to understanding and undermining class issues and how these affect women.

    But unfortunately it’s much sexier for the media to report on ‘mummy wars’ and the woes of the middle class. To extend this, how many stories do you read in the media about the problems working class people face full stop? Not very many unless it’s couched in Howard-esque language of ‘battlers’.

  • R.H. says:

    My daughter would have a whole lot less? Of what? The shit wage she’s getting now?

    I’ll tell you this, she won’t be doing that job anyway, not much longer.
    I’m determined that she won’t.

    I know lots of feminists, they’re middle class and well-off.
    But want more. -Attention for themselves, most of all.
    Feminism is a vain piddling hobby for bourgeois women, that’s all.

    And it’s ‘frankly ridiculous’ -and boringly hysterical too – to shove words into people’s mouths. I’ve never said men are the only victims of war. I’ve said whole cities are wiped out, cities like Dresden with all its art treasures. I’ve said war is insane.

    Don’t talk for me. That’s your biggest trouble. Presumption.

  • Helen says:

    You’ll think this is a con probably, RH, but I did have a post in the works about childcare workers pay. Basically, I didn’t quite work out how to say what I wanted to say without pi$$ing off the LHMWU, which is the union fighting for their recent pay rise case. When I get the wording right I’ll post it but for now, don’t assume I / we / they / whoever don’t care about the wages of childcare workers – unless you think I’m Eddy Groves.

  • R.H. says:

    Not at all, I believe you. And my daughter will go on doing as she pleases. She never listens to me.
    I’m a bit surprised at the sudden hysteria. And where for instance did I insist soldiers were the only people who suffer in war? I’ve insisted on nothing.
    I said most of the coffins contained male soldiers, that’s all. And it’s true.
    But this sort of yelling is typical of feminism. Some of its fans need tranquillizing, that’s for certain.

  • Vest says:

    It is the persons who advocate war and orchestrate the warmongering to stir the the masses who survive the conflict. The Women Cry when their men die. WW2 VET, vest.

  • kate says:

    At a very basic level RH, feminism means that your adult daughter gets to make her own decisions about what she does for a living, rather than doing what you tell her. She mightn’t be interested in the theory, but she sounds like she’s got the practical under control.

    There are lots of different feminisms and feminists. Some of us are appalled by the low wages of women in supermarkets and childcare, some of us campaign for better wages and conditions for piece work in the textile industry, others are concerned only for themselves. Women of all classes earn less than men in the same or similiar positions. It doesn’t mean that feminism hasn’t worked, only that the job’s not done.

  • R.H. says:

    Yes well I can still want something better for her, rather than she get half the wage that you get for the rest of her life. You don’t need to worry.
    It’s no sweat for you when she goes home with back-strain from lifting kids all day and scalded hands from working in the kitchen and is starting to look middle-aged while still in her twenties. I grew up among adults who had no ambition whatsoever for their kids and couldn’t care less. Your life was different. You can’t understand mine. I know that in order for people to live well others have to struggle. Childcare workers, supermarket workers, etc, are a servant class. You should know that. I’ve had no education, and I know it. It’s easy to know things; you only have to open your eyes. Nothing changes. Your class are the same people they were two hundred years ago, so is mine. Nothing has changed, despite all your fun and games of bleeding for the lower classes there are still lower classes because there have to be, and you should know that, because otherwise you couldn’t be where you are right now. Meanwhile you’ve hunted bums out of their cheap digs all around these inner suburbs so you could million dollar their hovels and move in yourselves. You’re such bullshitters, such hypocrites, you make me sick.

  • kate says:

    Actually RH I worked as a nanny to get through uni – I know exactly how badly paid they are. I’m now a temp admin worker, I still don’t earn that much. I didn’t grow up rich, and I’m eternally grateful to my parents for supporting me to study and work at something I love, particularly because my Dad wasn’t able to do that for himself until he was in his late 40s. I grew up in the inner suburbs, I live a few blocks from where my grandfather grew up, and I’m one of the people who are unlikely ever to buy here. Much of what I have I attribute to the hard work of my parents and grandparents, the rest is due to free or affordable education and my own hard graft. Please don’t make assumptions about my class just because I disagreed with you.

    I do understand that you want the best for your daughter, but if she’s decided to do what she loves and not worry about money, then p’raps that is what’s best for her. Encourage her to join her union & then make the union work for her membership.

  • R.H. says:

    If she doesn’t worry about money then I have to worry about it myself, because I’m loaning it to her all the time. She presently owes me fifteen hundred and I’m unlikely to ever get it. But never mind. Feminism is useless to her, and all her pals. None of them are interested in it. And no wonder. Unions are equally useless, I’ve had plenty of experience with them. Theyre just professional people, like yourself.
    I’ve got a deadhead social worker niece who was adopted into a nice family as a child. I first met her a few years ago, and her ‘paternalism’ is awesome. When she found out I don’t do all the bogan things her text books said it caused her enormous unhappiness. She’d like to see me guzzling beer and saying fuck this and fuck that all the time because that’s what her professors said we unskilled low-paid bums do. Well I have to laugh. That donkey Bottomley over at LP in all his thousands of useless words made one good point: feminists are used by the conservative side of politics.
    It’s true, and I’m sorry to have been so rude, in the end class doesn’t mean much at all if your parents are good people. It’s worth more than anything.

  • kate says:

    While I don’t want to want to take up anymore space on Helen’s lovely blog, I agree that there are a lot of problems with modern unionism, and especially with the way it responds to women workers. Their shortcomings are incredibly frustrating. However, I also think that belonging to one, and being an active member, is the only way to change that. It’s certainly far preferable to being a powerless individual with a very powerful employer.

    As an aside, I was a hospital receptionist for a long time, and met lots of health professionals (including lots of social workers) some of them are crap and reek of paternalism, some of them are lovely, respectful of their clients, and work very hard. Much like any other workplace really. (My favourite social worker was the former abbatoir worker, there were also a couple of ex-nurses, and two ex-priests)

  • R.H. says:

    Yes you’re right about being an active union member, and some social workers are very good indeed, others are patronising.
    Well I make a slip and do what I accuse other people of doing when I get presumptive. And general.

    Thanks for this little conversation, and I do really apologise to you for the insults and rudeness. I should try keeping it for when it’s warranted.


  • Helen says:

    While I don’t want to want to take up anymore space on Helen’s lovely blog

    A friendly articulate feminist who patiently explains feminism 101 to the commenters, so I don’t have to! What’s not to like?It’s a pleasure, Kate.

  • kate says:

    I probably should have made it clear earlier – there are actually two Kates in this thread. It’s a very common name! Not that I have any reason to distance myself from the other, just that I probably shouldn’t take credit for her arguments as well as my own.

  • R.H. says:

    Two Kates. What the hell.

    Well now, you naughty little things. All of you. Feminist ladies. No wonder I stuck my foot in the trap – and got hoisted! ha ha ha!

    The old good Kate-bad Kate. I fell for it!

    ha ha ha!

    All the same, a laugh is a laugh. And laughing at yourself is the most hopeful thing. Nothing’s so bad that you can’t do it.

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