Tuesday, November 07, 2006

gather the women - part I

My mother-in-law sent me the book Urgent Message from Mother by Jean Shinoda Bolen. I'm only on chapter 3 and already I'm fired up or pissed off (depending on your point of view).

So here's something I didn't know: the history of Mother's Day. "The original Mother's Day Proclamation, written by Julia Ware Howe in 1870, was not a commercial idea created to sell cards, flowers or candy. It was a proposal to bring women of all nationalities together to bring peace to humanity. Howe had seen the horrors, devastation, and aftermath of the American Civil War..." [Urgent Message from Mother, pg. 12]

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."

From the voice 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 our dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace... Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient and the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace. - Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

So what I want to know is when the hell did we give up this dream! When did it become more important to celebrate our own motherhood than pursue peace, to sit back and receive trinkets of appreciation instead of standing up for justice?

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