"What's wrong with this generation of women?! Why aren't they out burning their bras like we did? Why are they lying down for all these attacks on their reproductive freedoms? Don't they understand their economic freedom is their reproductive freedom? They are the same!"
I should probably set the scene before I launch into this week's thoughts on America's fall from grace. My neighbor had cut a rather pitiful Christmas tree and I was in attendance to witness the merriment. I'm not much of a holiday person, but I was doing what I could to assist in securing the lopsided tree to the curtain rod to keep it from sliding off kilter. Her mother was visiting from Anchorage, and I am a witness that people still string popcorn and knit tiny socks and sweaters to hang on trees. It's fascinating to me. I'm smack dab between their ages, 20 years younger and 20 years older.
"Mom! I need my bras and they cost way too much money to burn. I'm not some double A or triple A that can afford to go without!"
I got off the ladder and explained that double A is a battery and triple A is a service you call if you don't know how to change your own tires. She was missing the point. Bra burning was a symbolic gesture against the patriarchal bounds placed on all parts of women's lives, not just their breasts. I suppose not knowing the history of the generation of warrior women in this country is by design — "Women's History" is a sub genre or specialized university offering.
I'm going to go back a bit before your eyes roll and you think I'm getting up on my high horse named Feminism to start doing rodeo tricks. I knew a year ago Hillary Clinton couldn't beat anyone the Republicans put up against her, including President-elect-Pumpkin-Spice- —– Grabber. Why? I mean, we'd come so far having a black president for eight years, right? Wrong. America is way more sexist than it is racist. Read that part again. It's true.
Black men got the right to vote in America 50 years before white women. Not all races are racist against others, but everyone of them are sexist. Think about it. Almost every religion has written into their code a sexism they don't question. Why aren't women allowed to be elders, deacons, preachers or priests in the majority of Christian churches? Because their interpretation of God doesn't see women as spiritually fit or as able as men. They have that in common with Sharia law. I grew up in a church like that. It made me ask a lot of questions including, "Why is it that God sent angels to talk to women, and donkeys, burning bushes and blinding lights to talk to men?"
I digress. Sexism is part of our base fabric and what makes way for violence against women and is now called "rape culture." If women don't have a right to make decisions over their own bodies when it comes to birth control or abortion — and they are vilified for those choices, then why should they have a right to say they don't want to have sex with a man.
Texas is in the news again for its newest hate legislation against women. It joined Louisiana and Illinois in a new requirement for miscarriages and abortions. The remains, regardless of how far along the pregnancy had progressed before abortion or miscarriage, "Must be handled like a deceased person and treated "using the process of cremation, entombment, burial, or placement in a niche or by using the process of cremation followed by placement of the ashes in a niche, grave, or scattering of ashes as authorized by law."
What fresh hell is this? Well, this is another attempt to shame women — even those who don't opt for abortion, but have a natural end to pregnancy that doesn't include a baby. For women and families attempting to have children who go through multiple miscarriages, the Texas Legislature says, "Hey, suck it up, we're not after you! We want to get those other ladies who we think would make great moms if only we force them!" If only you could get a restraining order against the elected perverts who have uterus envy.
Make no mistake, dear hearts, this administration and state governments across the country are coming for your reproductive rights. They want to roll back Roe v. Wade and are ready to prosecute abortion providers and women who have attempted to give themselves abortions. The state of Tennessee has held a woman in jail for a year for attempting an abortion. They just got around to charging her this week.
The war against women is on. Oh, and while you're figuring out you're front line in the battle, remember it's not a special right to have autonomy over our bodies. It's a human right. Sadly, those have to be fought for.
Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.
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