A Michigan Congresswoman is banned from speaking on behalf of her constituents because she used the word "vagina" while standing up for women's rights. A woman is labeled a "slut" for advocating women's access to birth control. Churches and other religious organizations are screaming that their religious freedom is being negatively impacted by being required to offer coverage for women's birth control. And states throughout our country are seeking to impose even more restrictive laws that would essentially lead to the absence of abortion providers.
In a time when unemployment remains high, foreclosures are continuing to render millions of Americans homeless, and the middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate--at this time, the Republican Right has decided one of the most important issues today is what goes on with my, or any other woman's, uterus and vagina.
These attacks on women's reproductive rights are made under the pretense of "morality" and "religious freedom," but they are, in fact, nothing more than the attempt by right-wingers to undermine and ultimately remove the authority women have over their own bodies. It is also the beginning of a very nasty erosion of women's rights overall--if they can successfully take away the ownership of my body, then what else will they seek to take away simply because I'm female?
Women are still struggling for true equality in this country, from pay gaps to being forced to choose between advancing our careers and having families. We still face the majority of domestic and sexual violence, are sexually objectified in the media, and in so many other ways made to appear "less than" men. Women have fought hard over the years for the rights we currently have, and we continue to fight for true equality in all things. But the Right is now seeking to erode what we've worked so hard for, to throw us back to an archaic era where women have no say over their lives and are subject to whatever men decide is best for them.
I don't know about any of you, but I am perfectly capable of deciding what's best for me all by myself.
I fail to see why it is so important to these people that I be forced to get pregnant and carry a baby to term. Given that men have the option of taking off and not providing for their child, women are generally the ones stuck with the care and raising of any children that are produced. (Note: I am well aware that there are plenty of men who step up to the plate and take care of children that they help create. As far as I'm concerned, those are the real men, not the idiots who take off. But the possibility is always there for such a situation to occur for a woman who does become pregnant.) Just because I am equipped with the biological organs that allow me to conceive and give birth to a child, it does not necessarily follow that I should be forced to conceive and give birth to a child.
What if I don't want kids? Plenty of women don't want to ever have children, and that is their right. I do eventually want kids, but I am not in a position to have them right now. So should I be forced, via denial of simple birth control, to have children even though I am unprepared for that? What about those who are waiting until they are financially in a position to have children? Should we force them to have kids and thereby force them onto the welfare system in order to provide for those kids? What does that help? The mothers? The fathers? The kids?
Not only that, but where is the enforcement of male morality in all this? The Right has not once spoken out against providing coverage for Viagra for men. They haven't once addressed those men who have sex with multiple partners or outside of marriage. They have not once addressed the fact that men are equally responsible for any sexual activity and the consequences of said activity. In other words, male "sluts" don't even enter into the picture for them. Apparently, it's only women who aren't supposed to be having sex. Which begs the question--aside from gay males, who are men supposed to be having sex with?
In short, outside of select passages from a "holy" book that can be twisted in meaning to serve any number of purposes, there is no reason, other than to de-powering of women, to infringe upon and/or remove women's reproductive rights. Far from the Right having their religious freedoms trampled, they are attempting to force their religious beliefs on me and every other woman in this country. Far from being persecuted, the Right is, in fact, persecuting me and every other woman for being born female. And far from being the correct and moral thing to do, it is an inexcusable intrusion into the personal lives of millions of women throughout our country.
Long past the time we thought this fight was over and done with, we are now forced to take it up once again. So make your voices heard. Don't let them trample all over us. Don't let them silence us. And for the love of all that's holy, fight to keep your body your own.