Thursday, February 23, 2012
The War on Women and the Pass on Men
Women we have to rise up again! We have to. The news last night was all about women’s private parts. The outrage of the past couple of days is the consideration of the Virginia legislature passing a law that women having an abortion would have to have a trans-vaginal probe. This comes on top of the other outrage over the past weeks regarding access to birth control pills.
Representative Darrell Issa R-CA conducted a hearing on contraception a few days ago, here is a recap of that men only meeting. The photo to the right is the panel, and it speaks louder than words.
What is missing from this debate is the other component of getting pregnant, the man’s penis. When sitting watching the republican debate last night and hearing the candidates proclaim moral high ground on women’s bodies, a commercial came on for Viagra, yep, the hard-on medicine that is not even mentioned in this discussion. How has Viagra changed the pregnancy rates? Why is Viagra covered by insurance companies and accepted by the moral conservatives? When the debate continued I could not help but imagine who on the panel uses Viagra.
Another topic missing from the discussion is condoms. How about that guys? That always worked to catch the soldiers marching to an egg. There are other ways to prevent pregnancy besides birth control pills, morning after pills and abortion, all of which are in the control of a woman. The males could take easy responsibility as well. But that would be no fun because the men could not continue their own sexual enjoyment on a whim and their perceived right and desire to control women’s bodies.
So, no abortions, no birth control, vaginal probing yes, Viagra big yes, condoms not so much.
Oppression of Women
The oppression dates back centuries. Catholicism and modern day Christianity was and still is based on the oppression of women. It is hard to focus on this post because of the outrage I feel. Where to start? It seems like most of recorded history has had oppression of women, and now here we are in 2012 still fighting the same battles. The photo to the right and down is of a witch trial court taken 1692. Not much different then the congressional panel above taken Feb. 2012
Well, the witch trials are one good doozy of a place of absurd craziness:“During the Great Hunt, witches were accused of "impractical" and "traceless" crimes. They had intercourse with the devil and various demons at unlikely places and times. "Unregistered" babies from hidden pregnancies (i.e., no known babies were missing) were scarified and/or eaten, with no remains ever found. Sacred objects of unspecified origin were spoiled and misused.Global disasters were caused that brought no profit whatsoever to the accused, e.g., hail, caterpillars, droughts, floods, plagues. All in all, accusations were identical irrespective of time and place of the trial, but no solid evidence ever turned up.” This quote was taken from the article; Misconceptions about the Great Witch Hunt. This article claims the great witch hunt took place between 1600 to 1750, and that less than 1,000,000, one million that is woman who were tortured and killed, lots of brutal torture to drive the devil from the wretched woman. Don’t forget the burned at the stake way of killing too, good ole hangings, and all done on display for the public’s enjoyment.
Women’s Suffrage Movement
Let’s fast forward 70 years to the Women’s Suffrage movement lasting 100 years, from 1820’s to the 1920’s. From History.com: “On Election Day in 1920, millions of American women exercised their right to vote for the first time. It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign was not easy: Disagreements over strategy threatened to cripple the movement more than once. But on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.” So, not even 100 years ago the US women got the right to vote.
The Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified.
The strong women of the time kept fighting for our rights. In 1923, the National Women's Party proposed an amendment to the Constitution that prohibited all discrimination on the basis of sex. First brought before Congress in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment has been introduced into every session of Congress between 1923 and 1972. In its original form, the ERA advocated for the end of gender bias in 18 short words: Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.
After 50 years of inaction, “in 1972 the ERA was sent to the states for further action. For the amendment to become law, three-quarters of the states needed to ratify the ERA within a 7-year time frame. Although reaching the magic number of 38 states initially seemed likely, strong opposition to the ERA surfaced among far-right religious groups, states' rights advocates, businesses, and other traditional organizations. By 1977 only 35 states had ratified the ERA. After much public pressure, Congress extended the deadline for ratification to June 30, 1982. However, the tide had already turned by 1980 when the Republican Party removed support for the ERA from its platform. That same year, the election of Ronald Reagan as president ushered in a significantly more conservative era.” For more of this ERA history see this link.
Roe v. Wade
Now we move onward to the battle over a women’s right to choose, the very famous Roe v. Wade case. One of the most private decisions between a woman and her doctor that the right wing republicans and some democrats just cannot help getting involved with and passing laws about. The Supreme Court ruled on this right to choose and issued its decision on January 22, 1973, with a 7-to-2 majority vote in favor of Roe.
Launch a new Women's Lib Movement
If anyone told me we would be having a discussion over the rights of women to use birth control in 2012 I would say you are you are joking. The right for a woman to choose what to do with her body I could believe would still be being fought, but not with so much vigor and ability to win.
We must elect democratic women to office. We have to encourage women to run in all levels of government. Remember we have a strong woman candidate here in New mexico running for Congressional District 1, Michelle Lujan Grisham. We need to bear pressure on all men to keep our fight and rights on the front burner. We must make sure that we keep control of the NM State Legislature, many of these new laws are being passed at the state level. In my opinion it is an all hands on deck call. We must stand up for the woman's rights our fore-mothers, and sisters fought so hard for. The oppressors never rest.
Maybe we really have to Burn our Bras this time.
Very good post MEB. I am stunned that this conversation is even taking place in 2012. Why are women being victimized again?! What have we done to deserve this? NOTHING!! Just practicing our legal right and now they want to smack us down. Unbelievable.
Posted by: Alice Rego | Feb 23, 2012 6:45:26 PM
Everything you said was very true and on the mark. However, there are even some Democrat State Senators in New Mexico, such as Sen. Lynda Lovejoy who believe women have no rights.....
Here's what Sen. Lynda Lovejoy said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_izJQx6T7g
She's also a homophobe, anti-gay, and a gay basher:
Lovejoy Calls Gays Retards:
"Outs" The Navajo Vice President as Gay: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es7HYB18_5M
Posted by: DOODALovejoy | Feb 23, 2012 7:04:30 PM
Our mothers fought for this stuff in the 1960s (at least mine did) and I agree w/ Alice that it's nuts that we're even having this debate in 2012.
But I also don't think things are all that bad yet across-the-board. What we're mainly seeing is the hard right wing of the Republican Party back itself further and further into a corner, as they all try to out-do each other in their "conservatism." I don't think the rest of America is buying it.
Posted by: Jason Marks | Feb 23, 2012 7:08:19 PM
Have to respectfully disagree with Jason Marks. 26 states already have some mandate for ultrasounds to precede abortions, and 88% of counties in the US have no readily identifiable abortion service provider. We have been lulled into thinking that, so long as Roe v. Wade was not overturned, all is well. But all is not well. Women have a choice to make, and they'd better make it now: take over, or take cover.
Posted by: John McAndrew | Feb 23, 2012 7:58:10 PM
This is a powerful piece, Barb. I agree with everything *except* the linkage to Michelle Lujan Grisham's candidacy. I want the best candidate regardless of equipment. That's just not MLG this time around. Remember, the people who voted to give women the right to vote were all men.
Posted by: Proud Democrat | Feb 24, 2012 12:44:21 AM