Do you deny that we live in a patriarchal society? Do you like the way our current government denies rights of people (all colors and women)? Are you comfortable with the status quo? If so, this post might not be for you.
Loretta Lynn describes the chain women have felt, throughout all the ages, when being tied down by pregnancy. I had no idea she sang anything like this. I’m not wholly familiar with Loretta as an artist; she is only present in my historical pop culture mind. And, when I hear these words, sung decades ago, it resonates straight to my heart. I think of all the women I know and have known who had pregnancy after pregnancy.
Some were happy to do so. Some were so devout in their relationships or their religion, and in their hearts, they knew it was the right and only path to take. Some, though, have found themselves bound by the inability to choose.
We are in election year 2012, so naturally birth control is getting a bad rap from the Christian Right. Arguments of conception, birth, and when babies really start living are ramping up. Planned Parenthood is on the attack, and its supporters rally behind defending them against things like recent Komen absurdities.
But, it’s not over, and specifically, contraception was on the attack this week in Congress. Representatives argued that it wasn’t a women’s issue (commenting on Obama‘s rally that religious institutions have to allow birth control in their insurance plans) rather a religious rights issue. My friend Beth countered with the following examples
If this isn’t about reproductive rights and contraception but rather about religious liberty, then substituting the sub-topic shouldn’t be offensive.For example: imagine a hearing that was justifying a religious group‘s decision to castrate males who have raped females because it was against their beliefs, and the religious group’s leaders happen to be all women….and men were not allowed to testify.OR, a hearing that was justifying slavery because a religious group’s believed that non-whites were less than human, and the religious group’s leaders happen to be all white…and people of color were not allowed to testify.So, I argue that this hearing is *really* about contraceptives and reproductive rights. If you think my fictional scenarios are offensive, then you can understand why women would find this current and real scenario offensive.
I love my son. I love my boys more than I ever knew possible. But, I also knew that being a stay-at-home-mom wasn’t for me as my full-time gig. Sure, I love making food and ensuring the house is tidy – but when I’m doing it day after day not engaging in adult conversation and other things to stimulate my brain… I quickly fall prey to the feeling of being in a rut. I toss and turn with disappointment. And, think, we do have choice now. Imagine just a few years ago when that choice wasn’t as easy to come by. Imagine our mothers. Imagine our grandmothers. Imagine our great grandmothers. Imagine our great great grandmothers and the various suffragette movements.
They have done so much for us. They have done so much so that Loretta Lynn can sing those songs, no matter how the radio played them. They fought so that we can continue to live, to choose, and to be all that we can be. We owe it to them to continue fighting and proving our own empowerment. The time is definitely now for women to take back what was theirs all along: our power; our choice.
- Please, Republicans, Continue the War on Birth Control (blogtown.portlandmercury.com)
- Q&A with Portland’s Planned Parenthood President on Komen Funding Decision (blogtown.portlandmercury.com)