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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cincinnati Enquirer's Mother's Day Column: Rips Feminists, But Doesn't Note That Feminist Started Mother's Day

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Your Voice column in today's Mother's Day edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer is a slam at the feminist movement and appears under the print version headline: "Ideals of feminism run counter to the values of Mother's Day." But it doesn't say that the holiday is largely the invention of a feminist named Julia Ward Howe, who issued the proclamation for a Mother's Day of Peace in 1870. She was an anti-war activist, an abolitionist and campaigned for women's rights in an era when the idea of gender equality was widely considered extreme or radical. You can read the 138-year-old proclamation here. Julia Ward Howe was from Boston, and wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic. She remains an icon of both the feminist and anti-war movements to this day. While we are still cursed with war and battlefields, there is no doubt the author of the Enquirer column is a beneficiary of Howe's efforts to raise the status of women in American society.

Still, the Enquirer column declares that feminists hate both motherhood and Mother's Day. It dwells mostly on birth control and abortion:

"In America, the ability to prevent pregnancy has overwhelmed society, so much that women who choose to have two children become stigmatized and outcast as religious fanatics. Women who chose to have children in their 20s are deemed unmotivated and intellectually worthless."

And feminists get the blame:

"A high standard of mothering was not created arbitrarily as feminists think. It was created out of experiencing that kind of motherhood. It's the discouragement of feminists that encourages women to detest something that truly makes women special -- the ability to nurture and carry human life within us. Feminists then must hate Mother's Day."

But Julia Ward Howe, who issued her proclamation at a time when women were still nearly a half-century away from the right to vote, clearly recognized that women nurture and carry human life. That message was at the heart of her declaration:

"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 to those of another country

To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."


  1. .
    Careful billy, you won't get those puff pieces from the hindlick !

    PATHETIC 'family values' !


  2. Thanks for posting this, Bill. Young Ms. Graham seems to lack a lot of facts and perspective and prefers to stick with opinion and no backup.

    It's fine to say that this is how one feels about something and how it appears to her, based on her limited experiences and exposure to world views and circumstances in which people live and why they live in those conditions.

    But for a journalism major, I'm a little shocked.

    And for a woman in attendance at a school that just opened up a women's center, I'm even more surprised.

    Sounds like Ms. Graham needs to stop in at the women's center.