3.11.2008

globe and mail letter on international women's day

Yesterday I saw this in the Globe and Mail letters:
Why isn't International Women's Day on Mother's Day? Everyone has one, and it's better parade weather.
Barbara Klunder
Toronto

Today the paper ran my reply:
Letter writer Barbara Klunder (March 10) asks why International Women's Day is not celebrated on Mother's Day.

[On March 8, 1908, 15,000 female garment workers marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Their activism would spur the labour movement and the movement for universal suffrage.]

The roots of International Women's Day are socialist, feminist and activist. Mother's Day is a feel-good celebration of motherhood. International Women's Day is about all women - whether or not they are mothers - changing the world.

They edited out the middle paragraph that explains why March 8th was chosen, but I think it makes the point anyway.

Apparently the letter-writer doesn't perceive the difference between "woman" and "mother". That letter is a tiny example of how people automatically equate being female with being a mother, and how women are defined by their reproduction.

2 comments:

James said...

That letter is a tiny example of how people automatically equate being female with being a mother, and how women are defined by their reproduction.

A mailing list I'm on is going through the standard "I hate it when people say, 'When will you have kids'" thread -- this is a recurring theme there.

Wild English Rose said...

Added to which Mother's Day is a North American rather than an international 'festival'. In the UK Mothering Sunday has been and gone and I assume that the various festivals of motherhood across the world occur at different times of year.