Mother’s Day Protests

The Raging Grannies Mother’s Day Protest, 2010. Photo from Queer New York

When you search for images of Mother’s Day on line, you expect to find sweet pictures of family meals, flowers, and breakfast in bed.  However, I was surprised to discover that protests are an important subgenre. On this special day, women and men took to the streets to demonstrate for women’s rights, racial justice, peace, ecology, health, and better working conditions.

A little research revealed the American holiday in the US has strong political antecedents.   In 1870 Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, published her “Mother’s Day Proclamation.” It included the lines: “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 women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

This demonstration by the New York Chapter of the Raging Grannies evokes Howe’s intent.  Many of the older demonstrators above decided to combine protest dressing with eccentric dressing.  It must have been a treat to see this group head down the street. 

Not political? Then perhaps this 2010 Mother’s Day protest against puppy mills would be more to your liking.  Dogs are mothers, too.

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4 Responses to Mother’s Day Protests

  1. bell says:

    The first thing that occurred to me was how much more civil protesting was in the days before social media. If someone wanted to oppose what the “raging grannies” were marching for, they would actually have to get out in the streets and face them. There had to be a dialogue (of sorts). Now any coward can hide in their mother’s basement and make obscene or untruthful comments without fear of reprisal.

  2. Lizzie says:

    I need to start a Raging Grannies chapter.

  3. Robert Moeller says:
  4. JS says:

    Love their commitment. Hate their name. Why make oneself into a caricature (I’m not talking about the costumes.)?

    I once called the Wall Street Journal to complain about the description of a mature woman as a grandma or grannie when her childbearing status had nothing to do with the story and you would never have seen a man referred to as a grandpa or gramps. There was pushback by the editor, but by the end of the call, I think I gave him something to think about.

    Am I wasting my time?

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