Susan B. Anthony once said, “No self respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her sex.” (1872 and 1964).
These words are important to remember, especially in the upcoming 2012 elections that will determine the progress or rollback of women’s rights. When asked about pay equality at the second presidential debate, President Obama stated the importance of women’s progress, the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the necessity for women to make their own healthcare decisions. Mitt Romney, (aka Mittens), said he had women’s organizations compile “binders full of women” because his administration did not have any female workers. He failed in answering the pivotal question. His stance on contraception? He states, “I just know that I don’t think bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they have contraceptive care or not,” Romney said during Tuesday night’s debate. “Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives and the president’s statement on my policy is completely and totally wrong.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/mitt-romney-contraception_n_1974752.html
His perception of the healthcare law is wrong…however, I find it ironic that he “doesn’t believe bureaucrats in Washington can tell someone they can or cannot use contraceptive”….yet his running mate, Paul Ryan has supported personhood amendments that would criminalize abortion and worked with Rep Todd Akin (R-MO) on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” which referred rape to “forcible rape.” Medicaid does not fund abortions with the exceptions to rape and abortion. This law that Ryan and Akin sponsored stipulated that only pregnancies arising from “forcible rape” can be terminated. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/paul-ryan-forcible-rape_n_1834604.html and http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/19/712251/how-todd-akin-and-paul-ryan-partnered-to-redefine-rape/
Let’s not forget the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on religious liberty and the birth control rule when a panel of religious men spoke against the contraception rule to healthcare–and excluded women from testifying on behalf of the rule.
Apparently it is okay for bureaucrats in Washington to tell someone they cannot have access to contraception, abortion and healthcare reform. Additionally, it appears these bureaucrats also feel it is their right to determine what rape is–i.e. referencing “forcible rape,” and some go so as far as Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock believe that despite the horrors of rape, life begins at conception, therefore it is god’s plan. These political candidates and politicians are running to represent the people but some are failing in regards to women. We can have rights but just in the framework that they believe is appropriate to god’s law. Not only are they threatening the progressive laws that have been placed since the second feminist wave (i.e. Roe v. Wade), but they also threaten the exclusion of women in key political decisions. As seen in the House committee on contraception or Rep Lisa Brown in Michigan who was banned from an abortion debate after saying the word Vagina, women’s voices are being silenced. Paul Ryan also mocked the war on women by saying,“Now it’s a war on women; tomorrow it’s going to be a war on left-handed Irishmen or something like that.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/19/paul-ryan-war-on-women-private-fundraiser_n_1987290.html) This is serious for us and future generations. It is abundantly clear that we are in for a continuous battle.
So I urge you to think about the influence of politicians and how their seat in power affects us. It seems as though technology has advanced more than the elimination of sexist and narrow-minded views patriarchy perpetuates in our institutions.As Gloria Steinem says, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” So get pissed off at these issues and any other issue that promote oppressive policies/ideologies. We have indeed made substantial progress since Susan B. Anthony’s time…BUT there is still more work to be done.