I have always been pro-choice. It’s just not in my nature to tell people what to think – to judge folks. That’s not my job. But the recent move by the republican party to curtail the rights of women to their bodies has got me ticked off. Neither party has done the best job at guaranteeing the rights of the citizens of this country, but this latest political move against women and teachers, who are predominately women, is scary.
In the 19th Century, women of all ethnic groups fought hard to be recognized as American citizens – to have the rights they were entitled to: voting, property ownership, and voice. The bill passed this week in Virginia and the protests going on in Wisconsin have shown us something: women’s rights – human rights – are not really safe at all in this “land of the free, home of the brave.”
While we’d like to believe that we no longer live in a patriarchal society, the fact of the matter is we do. If a woman is raped, why must we force her to carry and conceive the product of a violent crime? If a child is molested/raped or a victim of incest, why are we forcing her child-body and mind to take on adult responsibilities? Once again, it looks like women are going to suffer for the brutal, violent acts of others.
What can we do to stop this? First, we must write about it without hatred or angry words. We must be sound and logical in our argument. Second, we must ban together. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Rallies and marches go far in getting the attention of the powers that be. The American people must speak up because as the women suffragists of the 19 Century realized, if they (slaves) get their freedom, we (women) must have ours too.
Regardless of your beliefs about abortion, all of our rights as American citizens are at stake with these current political moves. Teachers in America have to be supported and appreciated; they make it possible for America to have a future. It’s time that we take our heads out of the sand and fight for this country’s leadership to recognize and appreciate every individual’s voice and value.