If there’s anything mothers don't need to hear about on Mother’s Day, it’s that they’re just not that central to the holiday. But according to Dr. Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Pauls’s and Ontario NDP Culture & Women’s Issues Critic, that's exactly what moms should hear.
She tweets: "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, just a reminder: not all families are heterosexual. So in referencing Mothers Day to children during your COVID-19 pressers please speak of parents instead of exclusive ‘mom & dad’ references that erase LGBTQ families and moms."
This day, designed to celebrate mothers and motherhood, is not really about moms, apparently, because it's not about heterosexuality, Andrew believes. Perhaps she thinks gay men who have families feel a need to celebrate Mother's Day?
However, everyone who has ever lived on Earth was born of a mother, not a parent, but a mother. As only women are capable of the act of, only women are mothers. It is not about sex, it is about reproductive biology.
Motherhood is not exclusive to heterosexuality. Motherhood is not about sexuality, but about mothering, and while many can be nurturers or caregivers, mothers are entirely women. This is forgotten when activists seek to bring everyone into the fold and away that recognition that is due to mothers in order to include everyone else.
Her goal in tweeting out a reminder to Trudeau to include those who aren’t mothers in his Mothers Day congratulations to Canadian moms is to make sure that no one feels left out. But what about those mothers who just want to be recognized for their contribution to their families? So often in advocacy, women are asked to take a back seat to everyone else’s concerns and preferences, putting their own interests behind all others.
This is precisely what Mother’s Day is about, recognizing mothers for putting the needs of others ahead of their own all the time. Yet on the one day in the year when a Hallmark holiday for moms rolls around, mothers are asked, again, to consider everyone else but themselves.
The title of mother, according to Andrew, is not something that belongs to those women who have mothered or continue to do so, but to anyone who wishes to claim it. What is it about inclusivity that leads activists to embrace everyone but women?
If there's anything mothers don't want to hear on Mother's Day, especially during this year when mothers have taken on remote learning, their own work, and increased domestic work, it's that this one little day belongs not to them but to all parents. Moms these days are mostly too busy to ask for anything, but our leaders can at least do us the favour of recognizing that the contribution of mothers is actually legitimate and necessary for a functioning society.
Andrew did not take the point of her detractors, and instead doubled down on her perspective.
Apparently, Andrew thinks that making some families feel less included in order to make other families feel more included evens out.