Tag Archives | Mother’s Day

The Inventor Of Mothers’ Day Later Tried To Have It Abolished Due To Its Commercialization

founder of mothers' dayMental Floss on Anna Jarvis, founder of Mothers’ Day, who later tried have the holiday destroyed:

Jarvis soon soured on the commercial interests associated with the day. She wanted Mother’s Day “to be a day of sentiment, not profit.” Beginning around 1920, she urged people to stop buying flowers and other gifts for their mothers, and she turned against her former commercial supporters. She referred to the florists, greeting card manufacturers and the confectionery industry as “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.”

She attempted to stop the floral industry by threatening to file lawsuits and by applying to trademark the carnation together with the words “Mother’s Day,” though she was denied the trademark.

Jarvis’s ideal observance of Mother’s Day would be a visit home or writing a long letter to your mother. She couldn’t stand those who sold and used greeting cards: “Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card.”

In one of her last appearances in public, Jarvis was seen going door-to-door in Philadelphia, asking for signatures on a petition to rescind Mother’s Day.

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A Radical History Of Mothers’ Day

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe

Here’s wishing all the disinfomoms in America (it’s not Mothers’ Day in most other countries) a happy day, but of course you’ll want to know the alternative scoop, provided by Laura Kacere for Nations of Change:

There’s a good number of us who question holidays like Mother’s Day in which you spend more time feeding money into a system that exploits our love for our mothers than actually celebrating them. It’s not unlike any other holiday in America in that its complete commercialization has stripped away so much of its genuine meaning, as well its history. Mother’s Day is unique in its completely radical and totally feminist history, as much as it has been forgotten.

Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars.

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