Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
Sojourner Truth spoke the above words in 1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio. 1851. I can hardly believe I have to write this piece in 2012. I find myself angry, angry beyond belief that in our modern world, with all of its conveniences, wonderful inventions and educational opportunities that I have to write this piece because a bunch of male bureaucrats in the Republican party feel that I don't deserve—that ALL women don't deserve the same rights as men. Phyllis Schlafly can argue convincingly from her soapbox that a woman's place is in the home, but where was she for how many years on the road? Who was fixing her childrens' dinner the nights she was out campaigning against women? Her loving, and very understanding husband, that's who. He was at home with the children while she was on the road trying to send women back to the Dark Ages. Why is it that this kind of hypocrisy was not addressed by the full fledged women's movement in the 1960's and 70's? Millions of women at a convention, and not one, not one steps up and says "Hey, she's not at home! Shouldn't she practice what she preaches? And there are millions of conservative women out there today who enjoy the same rights and privileges as the women they rail against who fought for those rights for them, and there is no mention of hypocrisy. None.
I am here today willing to stand up, even if I stand up alone to say loudly and clearly, That's hypocrisy! Those conservative women who bashed Hillary Clinton for some imagined slight about cookies–well you can't tell me they ALL stay at home. They have their jobs, that they balance with their families and their understanding husbands, and I imagine they, our sisters, go to church on Sunday feeling very good about themselves for bashing women who would like easier access to birth control. You can't tell me EVERY conservative woman out there is not on some form of birth control even if all they use is a condom. Yet they stand ready to take that right away from you by supporting a party that is absolutely reprehensible in its smug demeanor that they believe, those titans of empire, that they can "fix" whatever God is angry about in America (if they even legitimately believe in God without using Him for some form of political capital), by taking rights away from women. Rand Paul introduces a bill that will so severely undermine Roe v. Wade that it will essentially wipe out legal abortion in this country and I ask myself, "women, where's the outrage?"
Have we become so complacent that we have forgotten our long dead sisters who fought and starved and were beaten for rights we take for granted today? Like the right to vote? If those men in the conservative party can take away our rights to make basic decisions about our bodies, you think the next step for them won't be to take away the right to vote? If they can use the 14th amendment against you, women, do you not think they can use something else to undermine the 19th Amendment? I listened to Scott Terry at the CPAC conference shut down a woman who disagreed with him by saying "“I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.” It's a damned good thing he wasn't addressing me because he would have seen the fury of woman unleashed at such a mysoginistic comment. What got the press? His comments about slavery, and rightly so, just as bad, but only in passing did they mention his utter disrespect and disregard for that woman who dared challenge his thinking.
I find that kind of prejudice openly displayed in America all of the time. Covertly, mind you, not overtly. Smart women are deemed "feminists" for speaking their mind, whether they actually are or not. No. In America, a woman must be empty headed (seemingly), stick thin, and "beautiful" in order to be dated, courted and married in this country. A woman must be silent, agree with a man's opinions, never challenge him (at least, in conservative circles these days). I can't see for the life of me why ANY woman would stand for this kind of abuse at the hands of a conservative party that is so brazen in its utter mission to humiliate and subjugate women. How could any woman be a conservative these days? Maybe you, the reader, can enlighten me because I really want to know.
It isn't just "feminazis" who want rights. Women who stand up for themselves are fighting for all women's rights. All women. Even the ones we disagree with. Nobody is saying women shouldn't have families. Women do have families. They do raise children with the help of a partner who doesn't mind loving an intelligent woman. Yet many more women are out there working more than one job, alone, raising children, and they are deemed somehow misfits, even worse, welfare rats, feminazis because guess what? Some women don't feel the need to have a man around! How we insult you, men! Where was the man in the single woman's life when he got her pregnant? Where's the child support coming from when men don't man up and provide for their kids? I notice the Republican Party in its current incarnation does not address deadbeat dads. No legislation there to make men MAN UP. No legislation against men. Only women. To them, women don't deserve the same pay as men even though women also have families to feed (especially if there is no man present). What's the answer to our conservative friends? Find a man. Get married. You must have a man to provide for you. Period.
How many men are being provided for by women? Lots. And it's by choice much of the time. I talk to many dads who are content to stay at home and raise the kids while their wives or significant others work. I don't hear retribution from the Republican party on stay at home dads. No sireee. Just women who choose to work.
And if a woman wants to not have kids for whatever reason (and it shouldn't matter what the reason is!), oh boy, the shit really hits the fan then. Does a man get censored for preventing his sperm from releasing in a vagina? Nope. Because there is some outdated belief that it's okay for the man to legislate when to have kids. It's the man's right to decide when a woman gets pregnant. At least to Republicans. So if you pass personhood laws that would criminalize a miscarriage, men, what will you do to your brothers who masturbate and don't use their sperm to impregnate a woman? Onan was killed in the Bible by God for letting his sperm hit the ground. What will you do to the woman who has a period and *gasp* loses an egg every month? You decide, Arizona, to "tag the egg." What man would put up with having their sperm tagged? No man would.
So why are so many men, good men, willing to put up with what is being done to women? Why are so many women, many of whom are daughters of women who marched for women's rights, so content to put up with this crap? It mystifies me. I like to think that I can take comfort from the last election when women soundly denounced the kind of country Mitt Romney would have brought them. I like to think I can take comfort from that. I hope I can. Because what is going on here in this country is absolutely NUTS.
I'd love to be a stay at home mom, but I've not met a man who can handle the responsibility, first of all, or who could love me for myself. I can understand the contentment some conservative women get from being at home. I wish I had that luxury to sit at home and look after kids all day. But I'm a single mother with two kids that I have to take care of, because I love them and want them to have a better life than I had. I was raised in a conservative Christian church. I did everything, everything that was expected of me. I was silent around men. I let them talk. I expected them to lead. I expected to be asked out, not to do the asking. I waited patiently for men to call me while I was in church, because they SAID THEY WOULD, only to have the phone be silent while they went out with someone else who was the kind of woman who they thought would better suit them–the kind that doesn't challenge their mindsets. The kind that is Martha Stewart in the home, and the passive one in the bed. The kind that let the man make decisions and who didn't seem to care they had little to no say. I never challenged a man to his face back in those days. I never said a word. I found myself on dates fending off churchgoing men who seemed to think it was their right to take my clothes off. I found myself being disparaged for my weight, my education, my intelligence (when they would ask for an opinion, I would give it in a considerate manner. The instant a spark of education was detected by these poor examples of Christian men, I'd find myself dumped instantly). The minute I decided that I would protect my chastity I would find myself dumped the next day. I did everything right.
I can't take back being intelligent. I can't take back my education. And I'm not willing to pretend to be the batty kind of empty headed stick insects even Christian men seem to prefer these days. And who would want that kind of a wife anyway? A wife who anticipates her husband to the point she loses herself in the relationship? I know many women like that, and they all grew up during the 1950's when women were expected to be either a teacher, a secretary or a nurse, and who had to quit their jobs the minute they got married in order to fulfill some kind of societal expectation that grew out of the 1940's when society declared that women were responsible for creating a sense of "normalcy" for returning soldiers. When women had to give up their jobs that won that war building airplanes and weapons and ammunition in order to fulfill a societal expectation that only men had the right to work.
Women should have the same rights as men to decide whether they want to marry or not for their own reasons. Women should have the right to dress as they like without being accused of inviting rape. Women shouldn't even have to put up with this nonsense of late that rape isn't rape unless a MAN says it is rape. I feel sorry for that poor girl in Steubenville, OH who is being attacked by other girls, being called every name in the book for "ruining" the "bright future" (so many TV stations opined on that one) of those football player brutes who did not act like gentlemen when she became incapacitated. THEY are responsible for their actions, not the woman. If I pass out, for whatever reason, is that license for any passing man to rape me? To Republicans, that is indeed the case, because women are no more victims of sex crimes. They invite them by the way they are dressed, apparently. They invite rape because they have breasts and a vagina, apparently. The media, who I am intensely ashamed of, got the entire country feeling sorry for the rapists! I tell you what, had those been MY sons, I don't care how much football they played. I would have kicked their asses from here to China, and expected that they would do the time for the horrendous things they did to that girl. They URINATED on her. If that does not show utter contempt for women I don't know what does. Clearly their God fearing town educated those boys well. I have to wonder how their fathers treated their mothers that they would grow up to pee on an unconscious woman. That they would drag her from party to party, bodily drag her, to be raped and humiliated in front of other boys. For that is what they are. Boys. Not men. Real men don't do that to women. And other women should be ashamed to blame the victim for being raped. I don't care what kind of a person she was or is. She did not deserve what she got while being unconscious. No woman does. I don't care if the woman is a crack addict in the street. No woman deserves that kind of treatment. When did it suddenly become okay in this country to rape a woman? More rapes occur in this country than do in India, yet we are all full of righteous indignation at Indian women being raped. "We are a CIVILIZED country, " I hear in the street.
I've got news. No we're not. Listening to the media response to the conviction of two teenage rapists, I can tell you we are NOT a civilized country. If a woman in this political climate were raped today the first question in every conservative mind would be "how was she dressed?" What did she do that she got raped?" I can't believe the below comic video is even being made making fun of using rape for birth control:
REALLY?? I thought we settled this in the 1980's, when Jodie Foster portrayed a gang rape victim in "The Accused?" I thought we settled this with the passage of rape and domestic violence laws. Yet here we sit in 2013, with Republican men blocking a bill that was routinely passed until Obama became president. What kind of human being could possibly be against violence done to women? Nobody is standing in the Congress with a megaphone asking Republican men this question. The streets are silent, by progressive women, who believe the fight has already been won by the women who came before them, who are now coasting on their laurels thinking to themselves "I don't need to take to the street to fight. They're not really serious about taking away my rights."
YES THEY ARE. And they will do it if you sit on your laurels too long. It's time to get knocked out of complacency, ladies!
I was raised, in my conservative family, to believe that my actions had consequences, and I had to accept those consequences. My actions. Why were the men in this church, in this country who are conservative, not raised with that same expectation? Men can do as they please to women and women are to blame?
That's the kind of thinking that we love to hate in the Taliban. That's the kind of thinking that women get killed for in other countries. What next, men? Are you going to make us all wear burkas because you can't control your own penises? I don't care if a naked woman is dancing in front of you, you do not have the right to RAPE her. You need to MAN UP and control your animal urges the same as women have to. You have to get it through your heads that women are sexual creatures, and we're not sluts if we want to practice responsible birth control. That being on birth control doesn't mean we're sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harry in the street. And so what if we are? Is it any of your business? If Republican men have their way, women will be popping out babies left and right even if we can't afford them, then watch the cries about the skyrocketing costs of welfare! And it will be the woman's fault, for HAVING SEX even in the confines of marriage. You watch. It will happen. "If she'd put an aspirin in between her knees she wouldn't have so many mouths to feed."
It must be nice to live in a country, men, where you don't have to take personal responsibility for being a sexual creature. It must be great. For these Republican men, anything goes. They don't want to be responsible for anything. They want to be able to have affairs on their wives with no retribution just like in the 1950's and before when my mother and grandmother simply looked the other way when their husbands cheated on them. They want to have the sort of country where they can pound indignantly on their Bibles and wear their fake Christianity as some kind of badge of honor while Monday through Saturday they are beating their wives and screwing other women other than their wives.
And Rush Limbaugh says women are sluts for wanting birth control? Men have sex all the time outside marriage. Rushbo himself has been married multiple times and please don't tell me he wasn't sleeping around with other women in between marriages. I'm not that naive. Where's the outrage, Republican men?
You live in a fantasy world where "real men" are John Wayne protecting the feeble little woman. Men saving the little woman. Do you imagine that you are saving us? You have to explain it to me because all I see are a bunch of men in suits in Congress with their heads firmly ensconced up their asses. When you can self-righteously ban female senators from Congress for saying the word "vagina" while John Boehner gets to cuss with impunity and only gets laughed at, what kind of a world is this?
America. Love it or leave it you say. I love this country too much to leave it to a bunch of self righteous, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting, selfish men like you, Republicans. I will FIGHT YOU every step of the way that you presume to take rights away from me. Human rights. You would rather see women die in your quest to fulfill some kind of dictate you believe comes from God? How presumptuous of you to claim that God speaks to you! Even Jesus Christ listened to women. God listened to women. Prophetesses in the Bible were chosen by God to speak for Him. Women. Not just men.
I deserve rights because I am a human being just like you. How dare you assume that I don't? Women like Phyllis Schlafly get to enjoy the same rights that were fought for by women before them (especially the right to vote), and they have the utter temerity to shove it in our faces as some kind of unGodly pursuit? They get to use their votes against other women? It's a free country, so of course they do. But they ought to be utterly ashamed of themselves for pushing a lifestyle that I daresay even some conservative women would not be happy with.
In some ways, I hope that conservative women get the kind of country they think they want. I certainly hope that none of them sit in prison for a miscarriage because Rand Paul made it illegal for you to have one. Miscarriages are abortion, after all, naturally induced ones. Yet you will be the criminal because you won't be able to prove it was natural. I hope conservative women get the kind of country where they can't speak out on issues because men like Scott Terry expect them to shut the hell up while the men are talking. I hope conservative women figure out that they can't leave their homes without dressing as men expect them to dress, that they can't work, even if they are single mothers (husbands die), or if Republican men don't strip them of that right using God's name, have to work the same job as a man for less wages.
Yes, conservative women of America. I hope you do, in a way. You have forgotten the struggle of your mothers and grandmothers. You are the daughters of an entitled society. Even the daughters of the mothers who fought are forgetting that these hard won rights are never secure so long as there are men out there willing to fight to take those rights away from them.
I agree with the words of Bette Davis in today's political climate, and I know what I will be called for writing this. I will be called a man-hater. I will be called a feminazi. I will be called a slut, and a bitch, and that's okay because you don't know me, and I am proud to stand up against utter injustice and call a spade a spade. It seems the men of the Republican party hate women, because we dare to stand up and call them wrong. And I simply don't understand conservative women who support that kind of injustice because in the end, it affects us all.
It is said that well behaved women seldom make history. And it is also true what Bette Davis said.
When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.”
That's what you think of us, Republican men. Only the quiet ones are Godly to you. Only the ones who let you have your way win your approval.
I refuse to be quiet. And if I am alone in this, so be it. You cannot have my rights. And NO means NO.