In a wonderful book about the development of feminist consciousness before “feminism” arose in the 19th century, the historian Gerda Lerner gives credit to individual women who were warriors, artists, nuns and mothers for defending their principles and thereby laying important groundwork for later movements. On this Mothers’ Day, Estella Lauter will pay homage to groups of mothers who have organized in relation to a variety of issues—from the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina in 1977 to Moms Rising in 2017. Although many of these groups were started by one mother, their power comes from sustained collective action.
Estella Lauter was a founder of the Women’s Studies program at UWGB in 1977 and has watched with great interest as attitudes toward mothering and mothers have shifted with the political winds over the past 40 years. An active mother and grandmother, she remains a committed feminist.