Sunday, May 11, 2008

What would your mother say?

Today is the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day. Contrary to what you might think, card companies and restaurants didn't create it. A West Virginia woman named Anna Jarvis did.

And according to this Associated Press article, she wouldn't like the way many of us celebrate it today. Here is an interesting quotation writer April Vitello got from Laura Prieto, an associate professor of women's studies at Boston's Simmons College:

"Mother's Day was meant to be — and still is — a celebration of a nineteenth-century ideal of motherhood, when mothers were supposed to dedicate themselves completely to nurturing their children and making a cozy, safe home," Prieto said.

Apparently Jarvis, who never had children, even got arrested for protesting a New York Mother's Day celebration in 1948.

So what did you (or your loved ones) do for Mother's Day? And would Jarvis be mad?

Just for fun — as you ponder your answer — think about these factoids from the article:

  • Census Bureau's count of U.S. mothers: 83 million.
  • National Retail Federation's estimate for U.S. Mother's Day spending: $15 billion.
  • Year President Woodrow Wilson made the holiday a nationwide observance: 1914.

    J said...
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    J said...
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    Donecia Pea said...

    Wow, this was really interesting. I just knew Mother's Day was some kinda Hallmark gimmick!
    I'm not a mother, of course, but for Mother's Day we took my mom out to dinner and gave her gifts. I guess Jarvis would be mad, lol.