Okay I gotta get in this now. One of my wonderful friends on Facebook lured me into a robust discussion of the significance of the Women’s March On Washington that took place on yesterday. He asked for someone who identifies as a feminist to explain why this was an important moment in time and he asked with sincerity. The following was my response…
1. Women are marching in numbers out of concern for the ways in which they have heard the TP Crew speak about women which has not been from a place of respect.
2. Women are marching because they are concerned (and rightly so) that this new administration will seek to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court that will reverse Roe v. Wade which protects a women’s right to procure an abortion.
3. Women are marching because they are concerned that their ability to access affordable health care is in jeopardy and as women are typically the ones who take charge of health monitoring for the family unit that makes it something they have to be concerned about for themselves, their kids and their marriage partner.
4. Women are marching because they are not treated equitably in the workplace because our society is not designed that way. Some industries are better than others but one example I’ll give is male engineers and female engineers might be treated equitably to a point but to maintain that equity a woman has to choose not to have and raise her own child while it is socially acceptable for a husband to allow someone else (wife or otherwise) to raise their children so that the man can put in the hours at work.
A friend of my friend then raised a few concerns with some of what I shared regarding Roe v. Wade and questioning the founder and “true founding purpose” of Planned Parenthood which led me to elaborate a bit further. (I am only including my side of the conversation out of respect for his privacy.)
I agree that people should research to gain greater understanding of the issues that matter to them. And thank you for your comment as it allows me to expand on some of what I previously shared. As I stated somewhere in this discussion board, it is challenging to summarize the complexities of these issues in these bite sized pieces. I assure you, I am a student of this and other case law that has the potential to directly affect my access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Court rules off the best information it has at the time it sits. It is not uncommon for individuals to revisit the law years later. Our legal system is structured to facilitate that type of scrutiny. Roe v. Wade was argued as a question of a woman’s right to privacy and due process in matters relating to her personal health. It was not an easy case because it worked to balance a woman’s right to privacy with that of an unborn child’s life. This stuff is gut wrenching but this law has helped women’s health to reduce the back alley abortions that were taking place that no one wants to talk about now and I guarantee you will become problematic again if women lose access to medically safe abortions. I believe in a woman’s right to choose because as a woman, I know that has to be one of the worst kinds of decisions to have to make in a person’s life. I thank God that I have never been in a position that warranted having to make that choice personally to end a pregnancy but I know women who have had to make that choice and they are not the unfeeling, promiscuous villains that many pro-life advocates would like to make them out to be.
As for Planned Parenthood, no one can see into the hearts of people save God. What I know is that there are Planned Parenthood clinics that many people rely on for their health care and taking those clinics out of commission has the potential to compound an already strained health care system and I work in support of health care.
Issues like these tend to inflame the passions of people which in itself is not bad; however, when our passions separate us from having compassion for one another we find ourselves exactly where we are right now polarized to the point of disfunction.
And then I saw this float onto Facebook in a different discussion board and decided I needed to keep my teaching hat on a little bit longer. The following statement was made by a woman whose name I have redacted in kindness. I added the images below the quote to combat the negatively of the message and to move me toward my next point.
Perhaps the single most important outcome of this March is reminding ourselves that we have a duty to teach our daughters (and sons) that women’s rights, women’s voices matter. When a woman can make a statement that “she has always had her rights” she does not know her history. She does not know or relate to the plight of other women in the world who continue to fight even for the right of education. Has this ripped open old wounds between subsets of women’s rights advocates? “Oh yes!” But over 500,000 souls gathered in DC today to stand united in a call for women’s rights and it was beautiful. It was also only a beginning. It’s time to teach our daughters to stand tall. It’s time to speak up for what we know to be right. That means teaching our youth and ourselves about the sacrifices and contributions of those who came before us so that we might enjoy a more humane life. The three women pictured above are only a few of the flood of outstanding women who crusaded for civil rights and justice. You need to know about them and the others.
~Marta C. Youngblood