Despite a recent article, Budget Showdown: Senate Democratic Women Preserve Party’s Principles by my friend Tanya Domi about those Democratic lawmakers who stood up for Planned Parenthood (and those Republican women who didn't), it's obvious that this problem transcends party politics and national boundaries, and I don't think this global, ugly war on women is about capitalism either, as another friend Joanne Kalogeras suggested among other things (other than the fact that today is Equal Pay Day, reflecting the amount of time a woman must work into 2011 to receive the same pay that men earned in 2010).
The revolting treatment of women is even worse in dictatorships and theocracies, and while the forced abortion policies in China alone say enough about a non-religious domination of women, as does the Soviet treatment of women, the powerful role of patriarchal religions are at the source. And while enlightened people can look at ancient doctrines for a more inclusive, respectful role for women in the church or synagogue or mosque, it’s an uphill battle that is exhausting to even contemplate.
Without any reference to my position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, people often use this quote, disputably attributed to Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs start to love their children more than they hate us.”
I believe that this increasingly alarming war on women can only be won by having men join forces which can be achieved by capitalizing on the love they have for their mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters and wives. And that this war on women must be recharacterized as a direct attack on families, not just women. Reproductive rights, sexual abuse support systems, medical services etc. etc. must stop being characterized as women’s issues.
Crass is it sounds, let’s leverage misogyny, so that depriving a woman of choices and services is equated with denying a man the right to decide with his family what the best options are. Tackling the misogyny itself can come next.
I read a recent New York Times story about an 11-year-old girl who was repeatedly gang raped (18 suspects so far!) which chilled me to the bone. This wasn’t yet another Sharia-inspired, inappropriately and euphemistically termed “honor killing,” or the horrific story of a fourteen-year-old girl lashed to death for adultery after being raped.
Rather, this is an all-American, poverty-enabled, technology-glorified objectification that showed as much disregard for a young girl as John Boehner’s, Obama-green-lighted attacks against not only women, but families, in the name of deficit reduction.
Men. If you want to call yourselves that, stop attacking, raping, assualting and killing women with such unbridled hate, because they are my mothers, my sisters, my nieces, my grandmothers, my cousins and my friends you attack, and so me.
And trust me; with every weapon in my arsenal, I will fight you back.