Episode 3 – Mother’s Day (And Its ‘Firebrand Feminist’ Roots) + The Emotional Load


Welcome to the House of Shrew. It is Mother’s Day on May 10 so we thought we’d give Mother’s Day the Shrews Untamed treatment and see how it looks after a bit of pot-stirring. I asked myself questions like: What’s the significance of the date? Why do the shops fill with carnations? Why do we celebrate Mother’s Day at all, and what does the way we celebrate it say about women’s place in Western culture?

And wait until you hear about the ‘firebrand’ feminist roots of Mother’s Day!

And we couldn’t talk about Mother’s Day without talking about the Emotional Load. So I’m planning to unpack how we censor what we really want to keep the family in balance.

But first, let us tell you how we’re planning to run these podcast episodes from here on in, because A: we think it’s cool (and totally stole this idea from podcasts such as The High Low and Deviant Women) and also B: we put together this podcast every week with the 0.2 seconds we have ‘spare’ so it makes sense. Also it’s nice to be surprised by what the other has to say because essentially, this pod is just an extension of every conversation we’ve had over Facebook messenger in 3 years.


Get Shrews In Your Ears:

Happy Mother’s Day, for those who celebrate it, however you celebrate it; for those who would have loved to celebrate it, and for those who have fractured relationships with their mothers, we send you kindness and understanding.



Show Notes


Thank you to the following sources we’ve used to fact-check, investigate, and back up our claims to make our Mother’s Day and Emotional Load episode. 

Mother’s Day Brief Histories

Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap

Julia Ward Howe and the Mother’s Day Proclamation

Modern Mothers Day– this Wikipedia entry is thoroughly referenced and a very good account of (American) Mother’s Day and it’s founder, Anna Jarvis

More Anna Jarvis:


Mother’s Day 100-year history a colorful tale of love, anger and civic unrest

I verified some things by taking a quick look at the history of West Virginia

Mother’s Day in US and Australia – Anna Jarvis, Janet Heyden

More Janet Heyden

‘And Suddenly, There’s a Story’ – Helen Garner’s essay extract (behind paywall)

When You’re Not a Mother on Mothers Day

The Most Undervalued Women in America are Childless Aunts

Mother’s Day – Don’t Make Me Laugh – Jane Caro

Making Women’s Unpaid Work Count – Anne Manne

COVID19 has laid bare how much we value women’s work, and how little we pay for it

Emotional Labour descriptor

You Should Have Asked – Emma

Stop Calling Women Nags – Harpers Bazaar

Lucky Orange Pants Social Media Post

The Concept Creep of ‘Emotional Labour’

Please Stop Calling Everything That Frustrates You Emotional Labor – Haley Swenson

Why was everyone talking about emotional labour in 2018?

I Live With a Woman—We’re Not Immune to Emotional Labour

Tender L Creative

The Power of Women’s Anger – Soraya Chemaly

How to Get a Break From the Mental Load of Motherhood

The ‘mental load’ falls squarely on mother’s shoulders—and it’s making us very tired

And thanks to Stacy and Kylie, Jay’s friends who allowed her to quote them for this pod.

The Cackle Of Sisterhood 

It’s been at least a couple of years since Jay and Jen’s friendship was forged by a mutual fiery love of feminism and the power of wordsmithery. It took a global pandemic and things generally going to hell in a handbasket for them to throw all the right ingredients into a pot and birth the Shrews Untamed podcast.

When they’re not yelling, “I know, RIGHT?” at each other on FB Messenger, Jay is an award-winning copywriter and copy coach and Jen is an author with her first book in the works. They are also mothers, sisters, daughters, and both fans of the C word. 

Listen Via These Apps

More Jen


More Jay


Need more of us in your ears? Get more Shrewiness with these recent episodes:

Shrews Untamed | Episode 9 – Toxic Positivity

Shrews Untamed | Episode 9 – Toxic Positivity

Episode 9 - Toxic Positivity   This episode is brought to you by:Sandi Friedlos, Mind Body Connection Coach and Freedom Fertility Formula Specialist With first hand experience beating infertility, Sandi knows it takes more than just positive thinking to fall and...

Shrews Untamed | Episode 7 – The Hustle

Shrews Untamed | Episode 7 – The Hustle

Episode 7 - The Hustle   An episode where Shrews don't agree. Welcome, welcome to the House of Shrew. Today’s episode should be an interesting one because when it comes to the Hustle, we are definitely of two minds! If you’re in business, or even just on the...

Shrews Untamed | Episode 8 – Women In Leadership

Shrews Untamed | Episode 8 – Women In Leadership

Episode 8 - Women Leaders   This episode is brought to you by:Gisela Pinero, Artist and Medicine Woman A creative medicine woman and working artist, Gisela can guide you to explore your inner world in a fun and supportive way through workshops, retreats and...

Disclaimer on historical and literary references, and views expressed on Shrews Untamed 

Unless we say otherwise, the history sources Jay and Jen mention on Shrews Untamed are from the dominant Western scholarly tradition. (That means Western history and literature was written by white men, for white men, and about white men – and a few very ‘good’ and very ‘bad’ women.) Through Feminist scholarship, the achievements, stories, and voices of women are slowly being ressurected from the past; some are lost forever. 

We acknowledge that for First Nation women and Women of Colour, the history books have been closed for much longer, and the pursuit of Herstory has not been equitable, or free of Western/colonial bias.

Unless we say otherwise, most of the literary references are made to Western literature. Western literature, poetry, and artistic tradition are all filled with the names, images, and stories of women – and of course, Western patriarchal bias which has dictated our history bleeds into literature and the arts. Whether writing based on Near-Eastern historical figures like Cleopatra, the Virgin Mary, and including Western fictional characters like our dear Kate from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew – each were envisioned and written by white men, and shown as white women, or fetishised exotics, for a largely white male audience.

The literary, cultural and artistic traditions, as well as current views of First Nation women and Women of Colour, or any non-binary person, should be told by people who have with lived that experience and/or tradition. And they are.

As we say in the outro, all opinions on content expressed on Shrews Untamed are our own. Jay and Jen are both white, CIS-het women; we can only speak with authenticity of our own white, CIS-het experience of Western culture and our world, and we do so without apology.

welcome to the


Subscribe for new shrewiness delivered when and if we can get our kiddos fed and to bed so we might perform the rites of proper feminists, cauldrons and all



Acknowledgement of Country

Jay and Jen from Shrews Untamed would like to acknowledge the land of the Karuna and Noongar people. We pay respect to elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge the cost that has come with the uneasy sharing of this land; land which was taken. We express hope that we can move to a place of justice and equity together.


I got answers

Terms & Conditions + Privacy Policy

Copyright 2015 - 2020 Jay Crisp Crow & Crisp Copy TM

Jay Crisp Crow acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters, and community. This business pays its respects to them and their cultures; and to elders past, present, and emerging.