I’m fed up. Not just with the GOP. Certainly, that’s a huge part of it. Perhaps, I should talk about that part first. While discussing with a friend and co-writer for a women’s blog, I’d asked her what she wanted from women in the United States. This is an international women’s blog, mind you, with recipes, wedding traditions, back to school in other countries, etc….but with all that’s been happening in the United States, I haven’t felt like there’s been a single thing on my mind in months as a woman except how to protect my body and my reproductive rights from the Republican Party. My friend in Germany assured me that this would be a fantastic subject for the blog, as this may not just be a concern for just the United States, what if this attitude towards women spreads throughout Europe and the rest of the world?
My concerns first became most heightened in April, with the massive defunding of Planned Parenthood by the Susan G Komen Foundation, and various states trying to shut Planned Parenthood down. It wasn’t all of a sudden that politicians were coming out of the woodwork against abortion, but I admit, it was the first time I was actually paying a decent amount of attention. Sure, I knew about the pro-life movement. I have always been strongly pro-choice myself, and am consistently amazed at the hypocrisy that pro-lifers show towards their fellow human beings, but wait…no birth control either? Has the United States suddenly been taken over by the Catholic Church?
As we watched in horror, the situation worsened for women in the US. Required transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in some states, not only this, but in some cases (such as Kentucky) if the woman chooses to avert her eyes from the image of the ultrasound, the doctor is often required to describe the image to her (or face a fine of $250,000). Arizona state law stating that a woman is pregnant two weeks before conception. Rush Limbaugh not only called Sandra Fluke a slut, but that if taxpayer money were to pay for their birth control pills, that videos of women on these birth control pills having sex should be on the internet for taxpaying men to see. An ongoing issue–women making 77 cents on the dollar that men make in the workplace; the Paycheck Fairness Act did not pass the Senate as not a single Republican voted for it. Of course, recently, most of us have heard the remarks that Representative Todd Akin spoke last weekend referring to “legitimate rape” and how a woman’s body has a way to “shut down” a pregnancy if she was raped “legitimately.” Most of us have also heard about the 31 states in the US where it is legal for a rapist to sue in court for access to visitation to a child born out of the rapist’s crime against the child’s mother. Unthinkable. Well. We’d like to think that’s what it is. But it’s all happening, right here in the “Land of the Free.”
Now, I’ve found a lot of things to take offense to these last five months. A lot. At first, this attitude towards women worried me. I thought about my two boys, and I thought, “what if my boys grow up in a world with this attitude towards women, and this is what they learn to believe?” And I became more and more worried because my husband just didn’t believe that there WAS a war on women. He thought it was silly that I could think that. But as the evidence started pouring in, he began standing strong with me, even though he kept telling me “honey, most of these issues don’t even apply to you. You aren’t on the pill. You aren’t seeking an abortion. Why is this bothering you so much?”
Well. It doesn’t bother me because I plan on going on the pill. No, I don’t expect to need an abortion. So maybe none of that does apply to me. So why should I care? I care for my friends. I care for all my friend’s daughters, as I wasn’t lucky enough to have my own. Perhaps my sons will someday have a girl in their lives they will care about. Perhaps someday they will have daughters, themselves. And there is a reason I care for myself. It’s a little thing called respect. Women have worked so long to earn this, and yet, suddenly, we are being driven back to the dark ages by a bunch of what is mostly men in government. This is NOT okay.
Personally, I am a survivor of rape two times over, I can say both times were “legitimate,” and not just because my body didn’t produce a baby. Whether it does or not, rape is legit. I ran into a couple of men online who said “the real news here is women who falsely report rape.” No. No, it really isn’t. Yeah, there are women out there like that. I’m sorry that there are. But I honestly don’t think there are that many. Most women who are raped, and who say they are raped, have been raped. In fact, there’s a lot more women out there who have been raped who keep silent. So men on the internet, get your heads out of your asses please. So many men think this isn’t that big of an issue. But trust me, it is. And so many women I know, and so many women I don’t know–we are all working together to do something about this in November.
There are many men out there who are standing right along side us, and that is a great thing. So women who may feel like hating men right now, don’t go there, you don’t have to. Yes, men do enjoy many more freedoms and rights than we do. It has always been true, unfortunately, and if things go as the GOP seems to hope for, well, it will become even more true in the future. It’s important for us to work together, women and men alike to fight for true equality for women. It might be able to be easier and just roll over and take what Mitt Romney and his buddies have to dish out, but really, why? Why would you? When I see a female standing for Romney, I’m incredibly confused. I would like to examine this, but now is not the time. My point is a vote for the Republican party as a woman is a vote against your own rights. Don’t do that to yourself, don’t do that to your daughters, your sisters, your friends. These are serious issues that aren’t going to just going to fix themselves if we just turn a blind eye. The men in government are not going to just make the correct decisions for us. If there were any time for girl power, that time is now. And for the men who are standing with us, thank you. I think we all will remember those who aren’t doing so. Much talk has been given about this War Against Women. Perhaps now there should be talk now about the women who are fighting back.