Saturday, March 17, 2012

Going Back In Time

Its ironic that in 2012, right in the middle of Women's History month, we are having the very same conversations about women's rights that our mothers and grandmothers had generations ago.  Hillary Clinton summarized the situation the best at a Women in the World Summit in NYC on March 10th.  “Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me.  But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies."  As Secretary of State, Clinton could be talking about extremists in other countries, which she most likely was, but sadly enough she was also likely talking about extremists in the United States.

I've often wondered why men, and yes it always seems to be men, feel the need to make proclaimations about what we women can and cannot do with our own bodies. As I often remind Glenn, "no uterus no opinion."  Or so one would think.  Current Republican presidentials candidates obviously disagree and think that they should dictate what I can do with my own body.  The campaign trail is filled with propaganda about what each candidate will do in regards to womens health if they are elected president.  Not one has mentioned imposing draconian measures that would limit a man's access to health care.  Perhaps that should a part of the campaign platform for the next woman who runs for president.

There are so many issues I could comment on.  I respect an individual's right to chose to have an abortion, seek out birth control, or make medical decisions that affect their own quality of life.  All I ask is that my own decisions be equally respected.  In a country that was founded on individual liberties, why are they slowly being taken away from us?  Further more, given the current state of the U.S. and world economies, is the question of whether or not I take a specific medication truly the most pressing issue facing us today?

In college I participated in my share of campaigns supporting womens rights and even spent a chilly weekend in D.C. commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Roe v Wade.  I've never considered myself to be political per se, but I've always believed that I should be able to chose and control my own body and yes, take ownership for my actions.  I still believe that.  Long time Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, a politician I have always supported and admired, has been quoted as saying that “it feels as if we are going back to another era.”  I think we are.  I guess the question now is how to we change the ebb of the current tide?
As I said earlier, no uterus no opinion.  I won't pass judgement on your desire to carry a gun, practice your religion, or not vaccinate your children.  In return, just allow me to make the same decisions for myself and my family.

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love this post. I posted Olympia Snowe's Op/Ed piece about why she is leaving the Senate. Have you seen the number of female state legislators who are pushing back, for instance in Ohio, I think, a bill requiring men seeking Viagra to have their partner sign an affidavit attesting to his dysfunction? The men are not amused. Cindy