Friday, March 2, 2012

On a Call to Action

It’s a disturbing time to be anything but a white, right-leaning male in this country. The Right Wing have taken on gays (of either gender), immigrants (read “Mexicans”), minority voters, non-Christians, “liberals” of any stripe; and now—women. Evidently they believe there are not enough civil rights to go around, and they aim to hoard them all for themselves.

I would like to warn them that women are not a small voiceless minority whom they can disrespect with impunity. We do not look kindly upon a group of over-entitled buffoons seeking to roll back our rights fifty or sixty years. And we vote.

What better time to reinvigorate an editorial vehicle called “Women On…”?

For millennia, men asserted their dominion over women through the sex act. Sex was about men getting it however, whenever and wherever they wanted it, and about women dutifully accepting this, and the consequences associated therewith. Unfortunately for the male of the species, at least in the industrialized world, science did him a dirty turn about mid-way through the last century--in the form of The Pill and other self-administered female birth control, and the legalization of safe clinical abortion. Suddenly it was possible for women to have sex however, whenever and wherever they wanted it, no longer chained to the “consequences” any more than men were.

Women were handed the keys to their shackles by the Sexual Revolution, and have not looked back. Much to the chagrin of those who preferred the status quo, and who have been pouring herculean efforts into stuffing that genie back into the bottle. These good ole boys may be dinosaurs, but they are not going to go down easy. They intend to reassert male dominance in our society, and as has been the practice of desperate men for centuries, they have conscripted “God” onto their side of the battlefield. God is, after all, just one of “the guys,” isn’t He? We liberated women are not, at long last, enjoying the freedom to realize the potential conferred upon us by the Creator. We’re subverting the will of “God.”

Like it or not, the birth control/abortion issue has become America's litmus test of the status of women’s rights in our society. Many women, including myself, are not wholly comfortable with this fact. In 1973, as a naive, sexually active and not-nearly-cautious-enough eighteen-year-old, I might have considered the option of abortion had I got “caught.” But that was at the very dawn of the Sexual Revolution. We didn’t have much of the science, experience and resources that are available to today’s young women. And the stigma assigned to unwed motherhood was ugly and strong. The concept of making the “problem” go away was considerably more attractive than the alternative.

But there have been changes over the past four decades--in education, in the availability of more solid science, and in the undeniable reversal of society’s attitudes toward unwed mothers. If I was a young woman NOW, I probably would not consider abortion as a preferred or valid method of birth control. Be that as it may, it is still not up to ME to dictate what another woman does with her body under her own personal circumstances. And if I don’t believe myself to be possessed of enough enlightenment to make this judgment, I sure as hell don’t buy that the government is.

So when MEN in or aspiring to elected office begin unabashedly spouting garbage about the State violating women with unwanted, invasive, medically unnecessary procedures for purely political reasons, my hackles raise higher than a flag on the Fourth of July. And when denying women access to free or insurance-covered birth control is perverted to become defense of some patriarchal cult’s “Religious Rights,” I don my gloves and come out swinging. Especially when any and all treatment associated with male sexual function/dysfunction is obligingly covered gratis, with a wink and a smile.

Sorry, guys. Regardless of the societal consequences—positive or negative—wrought by the Sexual Revolution, that boat done sailed. Going backwards, taking away civil rights, is never a viable—not to mention politically expedient—course of action. Especially when dealing with a “minority” group that arguably includes half the members of the human race.

We have what we have. And we are NOT giving it back.

A question…a challenge, if you will. To all the women who used to write here. What are your thoughts on the most recent attack upon us, the women of America? Can you share them here


marigolds2 said...

Last night Gail and I watched the most recent remake of Jane Eyre (because Judy Dench is in it). As a movie we found it quite slow and torturous. But this morning we found ourselves musing on, among other things (Rush L. one of them) how it shows - for those very young women who may be quite unaware of it - how far women have come in so many ways. No m'am - we're not giving it back. ANY of it.

marigolds2 said...
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JACKIE said...

I'm not sure what the "Pubs believe they're going to accomplish. Their candidates have managed to honk off just about everyone except white males. At least the natural born citizen birther schtick is off the table for awhile. Turns out the of the top three, Obama, Romney and Santorum, NOBODY'S father was born in the US. There has to be some kind of karma in there.

It could be that what's left of the party moderates are writing off this election,hoping to salvage something after the fundagelical base implodes.

What's shocking is the split between the people on the street and the power structure. Almost ninety eight percent of Catholic women use some form of birth control defying the increasingly conservative bishops installed by the Vatican.

And then there's the Quiverfull movement, no birth control at all and subservient women. If Santorum isn't a member he's certainly a sympathizer.

Two thousand years of "put up or shut up." This isn't new, just incredibally blatant.