War on Women: Can it get any Scarier?

Before Missouri Republican Senatorial candidate Todd Akin made his oxymoronic  comment  “legitimate rape,” the talk of the table, when our daughter and her friends gathered,  was Anne Marie Slaughter’s  Atlantic article,  about whether women can have it all.

My daughter, 21, a college senior, sees a future before her of graduate school, working, achieving. Perhaps she’ll marry; perhaps she’ll have children. She may do one, or both. She and her friends have choices.  

I tried to impress upon these young women that they’ll figure it out, that every situation is different, that there are many ways to address the challenge.

What’s more worrying, I persisted, way beyond how they’ll juggle jobs and family, is the perpetual war on women’s reproductive rights, made more evident by Akin’s insensitive ignorance.

Akin’s remarks spurred playwright Eve Ensler, working to help rape victims in the Congo, to write an open letter that appeared in the Huffington Post. She wrote:  “I am in Congo but I could be writing this from anywhere in the United States, South Africa, Britain, Egypt, India, Philippines, most college campuses in America. I could be writing from any city or town or village where over half a billion women on the planet are raped in their lifetime.”  Here is the entire letter: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler/todd-akin-rape_b_1812930.html

My daughter, back at school in Ohio now, has to register to vote, as  do her friends and countless unregistered voters across the country.  I hope they’ll vote with their brains, and preserve the rights that protect their bodies.

Life is much harder in other nations.

We recently saw Desert Flower,   the autobiography of supermodel Waris Dirie, a Somalian nomad subjected to female gential mutilation at age 3. She fled an arranged marriage when 13, making her way to London where she worked as a cleaner in a fast food restaurant. Discovered by a fashion photographer, she became the face of many designers, cosmetic companies, and other consumer products. She began advocating against female circumcision and became a United Nations spokeswoman. Her  work continues through her foundation.

Pretty scary. Makes you wonder.

Advertisements

About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
This entry was posted in commentary, daughters, Education, Fashion, health, Movies & TV, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to War on Women: Can it get any Scarier?

  1. Lisa, I SO agree. I just cannot imagine any young woman who could benefit, or think she benefits, from the policies of the Republican party. The Democrats have their own follies and we need to let them know it, but they are pretty much the only logical choice for women who want their own lives and independence.

    My hope is that a third party will gain enough traction to credibly compete and perhaps replace the rotting, increasingly medieval Repubs. Libertarians?

    Like

    • I asked my husband if he thought anxiety and depressing increased prior to elections. I just get so nervous! Just have to keep getting the word out. Feel free to repost my post, etc. Thanks!

      Like

  2. Northern Narratives says:

    I feel very nervous for this years election. I totally agree that there is a war against women. The divide women and conquer them keeps popping into my mind 😦

    Like

  3. I think anxiety does increase. The uncertainty of a new party and big promises and the fear that everyone is too stupid (pardon me) to see the obvious. I am voting as I did last time. We can as women get louder. I intend to do that. There is a war on women. There has always been a war on women. The target has changed and the rhetoric is meaner. Remember that what hurts minority women has a ricochet effect. White females who are single, divorced, victims of abuse, unemployed, low wage earners or uninsured are the next victims.

    Like

  4. Karen R-W says:

    “Perhaps she’ll marry; perhaps she’ll have children. She may do one, or both.”

    It’s high time that women are celebrated for exercising their choice to have children regardless of their marital status!

    Like

  5. It can be much worse and much more scary, and it generally does in this sort of situation. The robber barons are going to make sure we have two classes of people (1) The impoverished to blame for our woes, and (2) a defranchised underclass to use as political pawns when they want to flex their might when making laws. Poor women ought to be running for the borders right now, no matter who wins the election.

    If it can happen in Somalia it can happen here.

    Like

  6. Patti Winker says:

    When I think of all the hard work it took women to get this far, it makes my blood boil to watch this backward slide happening. I’m commenting after the election, so at least I can relax a little bit… a little bit. It’s rather difficult to legislate against moronic rhetoric, unfortunately. I feel fortunate to at least have a voice (so far) and exercise it with my vote. I believe that young women are stunned to find themselves fighting for basic control of their own body. How much worse will it get? That’s a scary thought.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s