MOTHER’S DAY AND MISOGYNY

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Mother’s Day was started to celebrate mothers, maternal bonds, motherhood, and the influence of mothers in society. In the United States it began in the early 20th Century. The first celebration took place in 1908 when Anna Jarvis organized a memorial for her mother at St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Today, in the United States, motherhood is under attack in some communities. This is a direct consequence of a de-valuation of women. Once upon a time, women could not vote or own property. Even today, there are vestiges of this attitude in popular culture. In the African American community it is common to blame women for almost all of the dysfunction in Black families. They are blamed for raising children without their fathers, even though very often they had no control over whether or not the fathers of their children remained to help take care of their progeny. Women are often seen as being too emotional to make important decisions, especially as they relate to politics and other societal concerns.

Black women have been especially under siege from the machinations of rap music icons. They are routinely called bitches and hoes (sl), and are said to be the least attractive of all women. Underscoring this attitude are the large numbers of Black men who choose women outside of the race for their partners. In a tongue-in-cheek presentation, the comedian and social media commenter Issa Rae offered the opinion that since Black women and Asian men are at the bottom of those considered to be desirable mates, perhaps they should hook up with each other. Of course, this set off a firestorm of controversy, but the sad fact is that Black women continue to be devalued, and unfortunately, due to colorism, dark-skinned Black women bear the greatest burdens in this regard. This has an impact on the institution of motherhood. Mother’s Day is a feel good notion, and is the celebration of those who brought EVERYONE into this world. But it is somewhat tainted when women are victims of misogyny. Logical adults understand that it takes two to tango, so to speak, and that any ills besetting the community are arguably caused by both the males and females in families.

Communities consist of groups of families. If these families are dysfunctional, communities, by extension, become dysfunctional. Of course, we cannot ignore the impact of racism, economic violence, and other malevolent forces that audition on the stage of life in beleaguered Black communities, but those elements are only a part of the problems we face. If communities were intact and sported strong family units, a lot of the battles faced by them would be won in spite of obstacles. And since mothers are such an important part of community life, it would behoove us to look upon them with the highest regard. This means that the blame for all that is problematic should not be placed on their shoulders: it would mean that they are offered the support, psychological, financial, and physical, that is needed to help ensure the development of strong, healthy offspring. It would mean that men take responsibility for their progeny and offer assistance to women even if their relationships with them are challenging.

To be sure, some of the misogyny that women have faced is a result of actions by women themselves. Because of a tendency to feel like second class citizens as reinforced by a patriarchal social construct, many of them automatically feel inferior, and acquiesce to unsavory treatment. This is very problematic: healthy relationships and healthy LIVES require BALANCE. One side of the equation is just as important as the other side in order for solutions to be generated. A plug is no good without a socket; and therefore, mothers AND fathers should be considered equal partners in family units. They have just to define, and agree upon, their roles.

With this said, the Crusader sends out love and best wishes to those women who are doing their best to uphold the tenets of positive motherhood. They must be valued and respected. After all, mothers hold up one-half of the world! A Luta Continua.

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