Reactivating Activism

June 15, 2012

Frankly, I thought my days of being an equal rights, women’s rights, human rights activist ended 35 years ago. Once I saw the wage gap close, I lost interest in the feminist movement; I figured it would continue to close, silly me. After all, feminine or masculine, we’re all the same in my mind. With the exception of the few years that I was married to an incredibly chauvinistic man from a part of the country that I always associated with gentlemen, a California girl like me had little exposure to anything akin to sexual discrimination, and so I turned my interest to the animal rights movement. All of my efforts turned in the direction of saving our animal brethren from misuse, mismanagement, and mistreatment by humankind.

Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger changed all that when he censured Representative Lisa Brown for saying the word “vagina” during a debate on abortion.

Let me put this out here in print so there are no misunderstandings about where I stand. Abortion rights, in my opinion, need serious constraints. Again, this is JUST MY OPINION. A perfectly healthy woman carrying a perfect healthy fetus should not be allowed access to a late-term abortion. Unless she’s a complete idiot, a woman knows by the second month whether or not she’s pregnant. If she can’t decide what to about that pregnancy by the time she reaches the end of her first trimester, too bad. I sympathize with, understand, and feel badly for women who are faced with whether or not to carry a pregnancy to full term as they approach that 12 week mark, especially those women who were impregnated by rape, but after that I feel a woman has made her bed. Procrastination, denial, whatever – to me it doesn’t matter once you’re past that first trimester. You’re pregnant. You’re going to give birth. Deal with it like so many of us have throughout history. If the health of the mother is at stake or if the fetus has serious physical defects, that’s another story entirely – late-term (or “partial birth”) abortion might be the only viable option for many women placed in that horrible position. My heart goes out to those women and to their unborn progeny, poor things.

So now that I’ve made my own personal beliefs about abortion public, let me continue. Because my anger isn’t about the abortion issue per se. My righteous indignation springs solely from issues regarding the First Amendment.

Why can’t Lisa Brown say “vagina”? She has one, after all. Why shouldn’t her opinion on the abortion issue be heard? After all, when it comes down to where the rubber meets the asphalt, abortion is a women’s issue. Why aren’t more women on both sides of the issue speaking out?

Is it the fault of the media? I admit to ignorance here because I don’t follow mainstream news. Does the media ignore pro-life movements run by pro-life women? Why is it only stuffed suit Christian men who are speaking out on behalf of the pro-life contingent? Is the media silencing pro-life women by refusing to publicize their agenda? Or is the popular opinion true that pro-life women are sitting idly by like good little wifeys while their men (the ruler of the household according to at least two of the world’s major religions) do all the talking?

All we hear about are pro-choice activists. I think it’s about time for pro-life women to step up and voice their opinions in a way that can’t be ignored. Let’s get this discussion going between those who are the most impacted: Women on both sides of the issue. Conservative women. Liberal women. Women who stand somewhere in the middle like me.

Women, sisters, come on! Are we going to be silenced on this issue, represented only by the militant few? I cry bullshit on that. We did NOT come from a man’s rib. Mankind came into this world via our vaginas – one road in, one road out.

Let’s all be heard. Ladies, no matter where you stand on this issue, do not be silent. Now is not the time.