I almost feel like a broken record coming back to the issue of anti-woman legislation and political rhetoric over and over again, but new attacks on women crop up every day. It’s truly our political system that is broken. I am amazed that we can even consider pointing the finger at the human rights abuses in other countries when we treat our own citizens this way.
From Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” for her testimony on birth control to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum’s contest to one-up each other on who can make the most disparaging comments about women—the misogyny is so extreme, you half expect it to all end up being a parody, some late-night comedy sketch.
But it’s not. And worse, these men and others of their ilk aren’t stopping at hate speech. As I’ve mentioned before (e.g., here & here), they are putting their anti-women views into our laws all over the United States, such as allowing employers to refuse coverage of contraception and even to fire women for taking birth control to prevent pregnancy. Romney wants to take this to an extreme and allow companies to refuse to cover any health care if they object to it for any reason. The implications of this are nothing short of life-threatening.
But something interesting is happening all over this country. The divisive rhetoric and legislation of the conservative religious right are bringing together women of all walks of life and all political persuasions. As the New York Times reported, Republican women all over are switching parties. Evangelical Christian Mary Russell explains her switch: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”
Not only are women uniting over the issue of women’s health, they are taking action—from donations to organizations like Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood to speaking up in person, in blogs, in letters to Congress, in protests. In fact, if you’ve got any knitting skills, you might enjoy taking part in the Snatchel Project by knitting a uterus for a needy Congressman Their slogan says it all: Dear Men in Congress: If we knit you a uterus, will you stay out of ours?
Women are taking action, as are the men who support them. We are finding more and more ways to speak out, which in turn encourages others to find their own way. Not up for attending a protest? Knit a uterus! Not ready to switch political parties, start speaking up and writing letters within your party to open their eyes. Donate, create and display your protest through art, record a video, blog about the issues, share your story . . . or come up with yet another novel way to support women everywhere and lend your voice to change.
I would love to hear about what you’re doing to combat the right-wing attacks on women. Please share your story in the comments or post photos, videos, or stories to my Facebook page.
We are powerful. We are united. We are the future.