We do? That's what I thought. So why are women still under attack, not just in some tribal third-world country, but by Republicans and their allies in the United States?
A few examples:
- Women's health care clinics are vanishing under pressure from the ultraconservatives.
- Planned Parenthood doctors have been murdered and clinics fire-bombed. So much for respecting all life, huh?
- Members of Congress demand that women pay for their birth control, rather than their medical insurance provider, while those same providers continue to pay for Viagra (a much more expensive medication) without a word being said.
- Several Republicans have made comments that appear to excuse rape and imply that it is somehow the woman's fault. One even talked about "legitimate rape." Excuse me, but what the hell does that mean?
- A Republican official recently admitted to pinching the groin of a coworker. His attorney explained that this sexual assault was just "trivial." How about women start grabbing men by the balls and see how they like it? Would that act be considered "trivial"?
- An Oklahoma Republican recently said women should not be able to have abortions without the written permission of their male partner because women are, after all, merely "hosts" to the embryo. He claims that once a woman becomes pregnant, she gives up all autonomy over her body and becomes a mere "host."
- Utah Republican James Green, in a letter to the editor, stated that "If businesses are forced to pay women the same as male earnings, that means they will have to reduce the pay for the men they employ, simple economics," Green wrote. "If that happens, then men will have an even more difficult time earning enough to support their families, which will mean more Mothers will be forced to leave the home (where they may prefer to be) to join the workforce to make up the difference." His comments created so much backlash, even from fellow Republicans, that Green apologized and resigned from his position as vicechair of a county GOP organization.
- Former Arizona Republican lawmaker Russell Pearce, a true troglodyte, stated in 2014 that women seeking food stamps or Medicaid assistance should be required to be sterilized first. He made no mention of men being sterilized before they can qualify for these programs.
- Republicans in Congress are dead-set on defunding Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that only a miniscule portion (3 percent of total services provided) of the organization's activities are abortion-related. And let us not forget that long-standing federal law prohibits the use of any federal funds to provide abortions. So what exactly is the point of removing funding for cancer screenings, anemia testing, diabetes and cholesterol screenings, thyroid and high blood pressure screenings, routine and emergency contraception, infertility testing,and many other services? I don't like the idea of abortion, but the woman involved, along with her physician, should make the decision based on what is best for her. No legislative body should have that power. And Americans should not be forced to live under the beliefs of any religion, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or anything else.
- A US senator recently told Sen. Elizabth Warren to "sit down" as she read a letter from the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. opposing the nomination of Jefferson Sessions for a federal judgeship some 30 years ago as Sessions' nomination to be the US attorney general was being debated. The next day, two male senators were allowed to read the letter. Not too much hypocrisy, is there?
I hope the current ongoing attacks on American women serve as a wake-up call for women and the men who care about them. We need to keep up the pressure on these misogynists and make sure to vote them all out of office at the next opportunity.
American women, we cannot return to the 'good ole days' when women wore pearls and high heels to do the housework and 'kept their place' at home, raising the kids, cooking and cleaning.
We must let it be known that we have, and we demand, the same rights as men. We will not "sit down", we will not be silent, and we will not turn the clock back 50 or more years.