Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why a war on Women? Is the right really that crazy?

          I am an older white male. I know we are the generic oppressors. I also know that is as accurate as any other stereotype. Any person who has read my blog posts can easily see my positions and the stands I take on the idea of equality. I believe equal means equal. Period.
The rights of any citizen is not something to be graciously granted by a patriarchal Legislative body or voted on whether to grant or deny said rights at the whim of an electorate. The rights one segment of society enjoys should be without question the rights all must have. Again, period. There should be no discussion or debate.
Once a debate starts about rights it is usually to deny or strip a certain portion of the population of equality under assorted guises. The most popular of these guises are "Tradition" and "Religious" rights and freedoms.
I have never posted twice in one day. However this simmering anger and dismay of mine has annoyed me to the point I need to address this subject again. In this political climate I am also sure this won't be the last time.
I have a question for the Congress of the United States of America, the Legislatures of Ohio, Texas,and Wisconsin along with the others doing this. Why, with the pressing serious issues facing the States and our Nation has you priority been the systematic attack on women's rights, heatcare options and futures? Have you lost your minds?  Seriously.
Any moderately informed person knows your stated reasons are a sham.
This has nothing to do with safety.
This has nothing to do with education.
This has nothing to do with options other than limiting them.
I am going to once again examine this and give my ,I like to feel is informed, opinion on the why's. And the hows.
I was out of High School when Roe v. Wade was decided.  When I was in high School a young woman that became pregnant vanished. As a slut her education was over. It usually resulted in an early marriage of two kids unprepared to be parents. Since both were out of school without a diploma their future was limited. The only recourse was a GED. Or the girl went to visit relatives for several months and then an adoption. It was a way to hide the fact your daughter was a tramp.
Birth Control was something not discussed in polite society. I can remember when condoms had the disclaimer sold for prevention of disease only. Yep, in places birth control was illegal. That pretty much ended when SCOTUS struck down Connecticut's statute.
There has been amazing progress made in women's rights since the Sixties. We still have a long road to travel. The idea that a woman should know her place and that place was the home has, until recently, been dismissed as archaic.  I had hoped we could continue towards full equality and elimination if institutionalized sexism. Now a movement to undo centuries of progress has raised it's head and bared fangs.
Somehow the very idea that women are human beings, valuable members of society and full citizens has come under fire. Some disguise it as concern for women;s heath and option education. Others may be less disingenuous when they say women need to fulfil their God defined role in society.
The history of civilization is ,with minor exceptions, a tale of patriarchal societies. One could tell how evolved a society was by the way they treated women.I am sorry to say the record is not pretty.A battle that unlike other societies, Americans were actually willing and able to fight. It was a war I thought had been mostly won. I felt we were in the end stages, like Patton crossing the Rhine in the waning days of WWII.
The war was long. Women went from effectively being property to being able to own property. They were able to eventually have money in their own right. Suffragettes finally forced the passage of the 19th Amendment to The US Constitution giving women voting rights. Many men thought this would simply double their vote. A wife would never vote in a way that her husband disapproved. This was also recent enough that it affected both my Grandmothers.
During the Second World War with so many men in uniform women stepped forward to staff the arsenal of democracy. Rosie the riveter became an icon. Women ferried bombers to the European Theater of War. Women built the weapons needed to end the war. When it was over they were expected to return home to the kitchen. many did. Some didn't.
In the Fifties you saw the rise of the working woman. She was basically limited to traditional women's jobs. Nurses, though a few became Doctors. Legal secretaries, though some became lawyers And so on and so forth.
Eventually more and more women were able to gain a foothold in The Man's World.
Following the introduction of hormonal birth control in the early Sixties women were finally able to control if, when and how many times they would become pregnant.
Finally a woman had some control over her life. She could get a degree. She could pursue a career.
From the Sixties forward it was an upward curve for women. They forced more doors open. Roe v. Wade gave them safe access to abortion. Women gained control of their reproductive health which gave them control of their lives and futures.
Attitudes were slow to change. Most realized it would be a generational battle. You can't change ingrained thinking overnight.
I know I was confused. The paradigm I grew up in was obsolete. I had a choice to evolve or not. I chose evolution.
I had to change how I thought. I had to reevaluate how I interacted with women. It was a learning curve for both genders.
Some though saw empowerment of women as a direct challenge to their manhood. Others were dismayed that women were able to have sex without the spectre of an unwanted pregnancy looming in the shadows. They gnashed their teeth and tore at their garments as they saw the end of a christian nation. Women enjoying sex. Women not beholden to a man. Women free to live as a full citizen. The end times are nigh. Somehow these people went from fringe whackos who were laughed at as holy rollers to positions of power and authority.Once ensconced they went to work.
These were devout evangelicals and anti abortion activists. They were the ground troops for the GOP throughout the Eighties and early Nineties. They learned how campaign were fought. They knew how to raise money. They were also tired of Republicans only paying lip service to their issues. So they mounted Primary challenges and took seats from party faithful.
The problem with electing zealots is they won't play nice. They vote their ideology not the party line. They see compromise as a sin and weakness. They will burn down the world to build their Utopia on the ashes.
More and more were elected. This pushed the GOP farther right each cycle. Sitting politicians toed these new ideals to avoid a challenge.
People who had no idea how government works were elected.  People who held extreme positions found what once would have ostracized them now got them elected. Then they discovered something.
 A) In spite of having high profile women espousing their ideas most women weren't having it. They were leaving the party in droves
B) They were sure as good Christians, women were sinful creatures and must submit to a strict hand. They needed to be saved from themselves.
C) Gop members who weren't evangelicals saw women as a threat. Since they weren't getting their vote anyway they may as well destroy any political power they had. If the men seemed caring and pious as they did it, so much the better.
The best way to strip a woman of any ability to plan their lives is prevent them from having access to family planning.
So as the extreme became mainstream others with similar views were emboldened to come forward.
Some business owners felt there would be no downside to discriminating against women.
In 2010 the Tea Party fueled US House and State legislatures took up the sword. Not surprisingly women's rights were not an election issue. The call was jobs, spending and taxes. Once in power the first order of business was attacking women.
The House cut funding on anything that benefited women SNAP. WiC. Pell Grants. Laws were passed with the express purpose of challenging Roe v. Wade. Thankfully these laws had no prayer of passing the Senate and died in limbo.
The States were a different story.
Ohio attempted to redefine pregnancy to conception and ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat was detected. This happens before most women even know they are pregnant. A fetus testified via sonogram. This weas 2011. There had been a bruising battle over union rights and the Senate had no taste for for another fight. The supposed Heartbeat bill died. This year with a bigger majority Ohio was emboldened to try again. As was Wisconsin, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas.
The 2012 election had these issues debated and espoused or opposed by both candidates. The President was reelected with a rejection of the Republican point of view. In spite of this the new year saw a renewed and vigorous attack. The righrt feels had a more conservative ran thet would have run. I have never understood this line of reasoning. So with their majorities due to Gerrymandering the attack is on. Ohio. Texas. Wisconsin. Arkansas.
Pregnancy has been redefined. Clinics are regulated out of existence. Planned Parenthood is defunded. Contraception is attacked as causing abortions. Real sex education make teenagers have sex.
So, if you have issues with women. You are intimidated by smart women? You don't like working for one? You feel superior? Fine. The best way to get women out of public life and the private sector, give her a choice. Celibacy during her child bearing years or pregnant during most of her child bearing years.
Corporations claim they're Christian and can't cover birth control for their women employees becaus it offends the company's morals.
If a women has children it is easier to keep her out of politics. Busy. Easier to keep her out of the workforce. If you refuse to pay equal wages you make women more dependant on men to survive.
Large families keep women at home. They fulfill the bible standard as wives and mothers. She is too busy to be a pest by working in campaigns. Worn out and old before her time.
This frees up jobs for men.
Keeps women from major involvement in political life.
A win win for the evangelicals and women haters.
A blissful return to the Fifties.
This is not a place where I want to live. A nation that values women as vital parts of the society.  A country that is better for them. A country that realizes we need the intellect and different point of view to move forward. We stand together.

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