Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I refuse to be chattel
I wonder if part of why so many people, especially men, pooh pooh rape is because they don't realize how many women in their lives have been victims. It takes courage to share, but it's important. For the record, I haven't been, but I know several women who have.
As for the asshat's statement regarding "legitimate" rape, I'm pleasantly surprised at the backlash. His opinion isn't actually all that unusual. Many, many politicians have tried to redefine rape. And his lack of actual factual information, making up science as he goes, seems to be par for the course with certain right-wing groups.
That said, I was reading a post today about the importance of defending abortion access in all cases, not just throwing out the exceptions. Every woman who has one has a good reason why it is the right choice for her.
This divisiveness is a powerful tool of the right: if we keep fighting the same battles (rape is rape, abortion should be available for all, women deserve the right to vote and control their own bodies and be treated as fully equal human beings), we get distracted.
I really want to face an election where I can concentrate on important issues like the economy and healthcare and national security. I want to be able to vote for the person who I think will lead the country in the right direction.... without being forced to vote for the candidate least likely to treat me as a second class citizen.
I call myself an independent for good reason. I often agree with Republicans on some issues. In local elections, I usually vote a pretty balanced ticket, about half Dem and half GOP. But I can't ignore this huge looming issue, this groundswell of anti-woman legislation.
Look, many women are just trying to keep the rights we already have. Our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers fought hard to win the rights to vote, own property, work, etc. We still don't have equal pay for equal work. We're still trying to be seen as equal human beings.
When a predominantly male legislation keeps passing laws restricting the rights of half the population, there's a problem. When we are still having discussions about what constitutes rape, that's a huge problem. (HINT: If the victim, whether male or female, did not say yes, it is rape.) When politicians make comments that they pretty much want women back in the kitchen, that should tell us where they want this country to go.
Frankly, going back to women being chattel is the wrong direction. Period.