Work has had me out straight lately as Mainers are fond of saying (translation, real busy) yet despite being busy as hell, I have been paying attention to the world happenings and frankly it’s scary. Is it me, but have the powers to be, whoever those powers are, decided to launch a full scale attack on women? Oh, it’s easy to look at all the “progress” women have made but at the same time, while we are busy living and well…being busy, it seems everywhere we look; people are looking to put women back in the safe box. I think of the popularity of the show Mad Men and wonder if the popularity of that show is reflective of a desire to be back in a simpler time in America when women and the darkies knew their place?
So with the economy in shambles and no clear path to turn the economic ship around, why are we even discussing women’s bodies? Seriously. Yet that is where we have been recently, back in 2010 when health care in the US was overhauled one of the provisions was preventative care, and part of preventative care includes free birth control. Seems like a no-brainer to me, after all preventing pregnancies unless they are wanted is a win-win from a cost standpoint, yet religious institutions and technically I work at one aren’t too happy. Specifically religiously affiliated institutions would have to pay for birth control, so now we have the Catholic Church getting pretty pissy. For real? Hey, Catholic Church you have far greater problems than a professor at one of your schools getting free birth control, pipe the hell down. Obviously this thing is making for great sound bites especially in an election year. Funny thing is even Catholic women in 2012 are rather fond of birth control and often take it regardless of what the church says.
Shifting gears we had the debacle with the Susan G. Komen folks and Planned Parenthood folks, who in the end while they reversed their decision to defund Planned Parenthood, showed their true colors and who lost a lot of goodwill. How the hell does an organization supposedly focused on saving women’s lives decide to fuck over another organization that saves women’s lives too? Politics and a warped belief system, I tell you. Despite the fact that abortion has been legal in the US for damn near 40 years, we are still harping on it, if you don’t want one, fine don’t get one, but trust that women who do make that choice are of sound mind and please get out of other folk’s business.
Just a few nights ago, we had the Grammy awards and a documented abuser of women was applauded. Worse yet, some young women took to the social media airwaves announcing how they wish Chris Brown would beat them. Really? Society has us so twisted that we downplay abuse against women. I am a big believer in second chances after all if there were no second chances, you wouldn’t be reading this post. That said, with alarming regularity we see celebs like Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen and others who perpetrate violence against women being given chance after chance. That says a lot about us especially because we still live in world that judges women and people of color far more harshly. Of course if you happen to be a man of color but rich and or famous you get some of the privileges typically afforded only to white men. Beat ya old lady, hell kill her and do no time. Looking at you OJ.
Lastly we have washed up rappers making videos instructing boys and young men on how to sexually assault girls and women. Too Short made a video of so-called fatherly advice, and XXL magazine put it up on their website…of course now that the chorus of protest has come out, folks are back pedaling. Problem is the cat is out of the bag, so once again women’s bodies are not our own. If a young man actually listened to Too Short’s advice the take away is that women’s bodies are only here for the pleasure of men.
Frankly as a woman raising a girl who will one day become a woman, I am saddened. As the mother of a young man, it saddens me to think that some young woman may find him strange and less than manly because he was raised to respect women, not just their bodies but their minds.
Clearly we are at war and this time the enemy is not overseas but instead all around us, waiting to come out and strip our humanity. To reduce us to mere bodies to be controlled by men, and damn it, I am not going to take it.