Friday, March 8, 2013

Think again

  I used to be the typical bimbo when it came to women’s rights: I didn't give it much thought, taking for granted what I had and hadn't really considered the injustice still very much present in today’s local, domestic and global society.
  But as I was more or less shaken out of my daze I learned more, about both the present and the past, and a possibly terrifying future.
  In Margaret Atwood’s novel A Handmaid’s Tale we see what will happen if the religious right gain the upper hand.
  The rights women have today, still modest compared to men in general have been fought for for centuries, through often hard-won battles.
  Everybody doubting that should read the history of that struggle. It isn't exactly peanuts. A film about it I recommend wholeheartedly is Iron Jawed Angels, an American TV-movie from 2004. Though not completely historically accurate the events described is more than close enough. And what it lacks in accuracy, it gains in passion, in the cruel and intense description of what Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, among others had to endure in the United States in 1917 for women to win the right to vote. It didn't happen by itself. Like sisters in each and every country Paul and Burns and the rest won through great personal sacrifice and with their very lives and health at stake.
  The world is still far from true equality, but it would be far worse if not for those giants that fought for us and won for us.
  If you think, as I did that there is nothing more to fight for, think again.
  A married woman was hardly considered a legal person anywhere 150 years ago. Today, in many places, all over the world, also in western countries, they will force us or are forcing us to carry to term a rapist’s baby, for instance. Rape culture is still very much present many places and even gaining popularity among a particular brand of western males. There are many other similar horrors waiting for us, if we aren't vigilant.
  Many of the same arguments used then, in order to keep women from gaining the right to vote are used today, when keeping us from enjoying equal pay for equal work, abortion issues and more.
  If we don’t fight we will not win and as we've seen recently: we may lose many of those hard-won rights. If the world has improved on these issues, it isn't by much. It remains a long-term uphill struggle.
  The War on Women is intensifying, not waning.

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