I am a woman. I am not less than anyone. I am equal. I shouldn’t have to remind anyone of this, but here we are in 2018 with people fighting for rights for animals but not for women (or non-white people, LGBTQ, etc.). Since this seems to be a difficult concept for many, I’m going to keep this very simple:
Women make up a majority of the population of the United States of America.
Women are human beings with rights and privileges.
“Women, like all humans, are intellectual creatures with the ability to reason, consider, ponder and challenge their own ideas and those of others.” – Judge Ilana Rovner (one of three-member panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 51-page ruling, July 2018)
There is a party, the Democratic Party*, that claims in its platform that its members – and the party itself – support equal rights for human beings, including for women.
“We are committed to ensuring full equality for women. Democrats will fight to end gender discrimination in the areas of education, employment, health care, or any other sphere. We will combat biases across economic, political, and social life that hold women back and limit their opportunities.” – Democratic Party Platform
Human beings have the right to bodily autonomy and privacy.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Supreme Court of the United States of America decided Roe v Wade in 1973. This ruling affirms that human beings have a right to privacy in their medical decisions and that they have a right to access safe and LEGAL abortion in this country.
Abortion is legal in the United States of America. My health care decisions are not subject to your opinion or anyone else’s. Your health care decisions are yours and yours alone.
“(Democratic National Committee Chairman) Thomas Perez responded (to Omaha mayoral candidate who has sponsored legislature bills to restrict abortion) with a statement declaring that support for abortion rights is ‘nonnegotiable’ for Democrats, and that they should speak with ‘one voice’ on it.” – The Washington Post
Did I mention that abortion is legal and nobody else’s business in the United States of America? and that the people we elect to represent us should be standing up for our rights and for the laws meant to protect us?
“Encouraging and supporting anti-choice candidates leads to bad policy outcomes that violate women’s rights and endanger our economic security.” – Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America (via email, reported in The Washington Post)
I don’t want to hear that someone’s personally “pro-life, but” blah, blah, blah. First, if it’s a man, he can’t be “personally” anything related to this subject because he doesn’t have a uterus. His personal opinion about his uterus is moot if he doesn’t fucking have one. Second, personal views have nothing to do with political views from the people we elect to represent us. If I want to know your personal views, I’ll ask. If as a candidate or representative you tell me you’re “pro-life” then I know your goal in this regard is to work to take away my rights. And we’re done. You’re done.
I have no problem with voting for a pro-choice candidate if they’re a Catholic, Hindu, or whatever. I assume that, because of their religion, they’re completely cool with dying from a pregnancy or not being able to work because they might have to be full-time caregivers to a disabled child or any other consequence of pregnancy. That is their choice, and I respect it. I mean it. The problem comes when people we hire to represent our interests don’t mind their own business and let me and everyone else make our own choices, too. Whatever your personal beliefs, religion, etc., if you’re representing us, you’re representing our beliefs, our right to make our own choices in our lives. It’s your job to fight for our rights (which should mean everyone’s, including your own).
Democratic party – or any political party who’d like to seriously consider working to support the “others” in the U.S.A. – if you’re going to support women, support all women as human beings. Support all people and their right to bodily autonomy, to privacy. Support us so we can support you, too. If you’re going to continue to make women less than, or even entertain the opinion that we might be less than, women can’t support you. If you continue to contradict your party’s platform by including people who value their own opinions and invasions of privacy over that of the individual they represent, disregarding our autonomy, we’re going to continue to pick up the message you’re sending us, that we’re less than a human being.
Draw the line: either your candidates and members support women’s rights or they don’t. Until you draw that line and stand by it, earn my loyalty by showing your loyalty to me, I can’t stand by you. And believe me, you want my loyalty and that of the rest of the women in the United States of America. Women are a majority.
Oh, and Ohio passed a “heartbeat” bill last week among many other restrictions and pending legislation nationwide on our rights:
“Under the bill, approved Thursday by a vote of 60 to 35, performing an abortion on a fetus with a heartbeat would result in a fifth-degree felony, which is punishable in Ohio by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. . .The measure includes no exceptions for rape or incest.” – New York Times
What are you going to do about it, Democrats? It’s time to make a stand. And mean it.
*As far as I can tell the Republican Party makes no obvious effort to end discrimination or support equality (or any similar claim, for anyone but straight, white, Christian, cisgender males) which is why I’m even considering the Democrats here. The GOP is out as far as I’m concerned.
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Thanks so much for your time. I tried in this post not to use “women” as the focus since I’m aware some men have a uterus. The point is that we need a party that represents people other than straight, white, cis men, a party that will fight for us, that supports us so that we can be proud and enthusiastic in supporting them. And if I made a mistake or a poor choice of words in there will you please bring it up so I can consider editing it?
I’m still on Facebook sometimes and Twitter pretty much every day – happy to hear from you, but after a post like this I’ll remind you not to waste my time with ignorance about what a baby is and what a fetus is, insults about my place, etc. I’m not an idiot. Try not to make yourself look like one by pretending I am.
Link: “Ohio House Passes Bill to Criminalize Abortions of Fetuses With a Heartbeat” – by Christina Caron at New York Times
Link: “Ohio lawmakers approve 6-week ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban, poised to challenge Roe v. Wade” – by Amanda Michelle Gomez at Think Progress
Link: “Pelosi: Democratic candidates should not be forced to toe party line on abortion” – by Karen Tumulty at The Washington Post
Link: “What Pro-Life Democrats Want from the DNC” – by Clare Foran at The Atlantic
Link: “Democrats should start accepting pro-life liberals like me” – by Patrick Day at Vox (including this only because it helps to make the point that the Democratic Party does NOT represent women, will easily set aside our rights for whatever a white man wants)
Link: “Court says women have ‘ability to reason’ in upholding block on abortion waiting period” – by Vic Ryckaert at Indianapolis Star. “‘Women, like all humans, are intellectual creatures with the ability to reason, consider, ponder and challenge their own ideas and those of others,’ Judge Ilana Rovner wrote in the 51-page ruling.”
Link: “Women must be treated as human beings, not commodities, says UN: Population director tells politicians they have a duty to raise status of women and to reinvigorate commitments on equality” – by Liz Ford for The Guardian (2014)
Link: Bodily Autonomy – UCSB SexInfo, University of California, Santa Barbara (2018)
Link: “Roe v. Wade: The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion” – Planned Parenthood
Link: Roe v. Wade – Supreme Court Decision, 1973, posted by Legal Information Institute (housed at Cornell Law School)
Link: Uppity Woman – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link: Representative Government – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link: Through – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link: Privilege or Principle – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link: Welfare vs Rights – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link to original Tweet from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Link to original Tweet from Middle Age Riot.
TL;DR (thanks, by the way, m <3): (some) Democrats like to say they’re fine with including “pro-life” candidates, but they also claim to support equal rights including those of women. Those are opposing stances. I’d like to be a Democrat but I cannot go all in, I can’t support them, until they support me and everyone, until they support equal rights for all, including upholding Roe v Wade, including pushing for the ERA, including NOT bringing in any people who will fight against every person’s right to bodily autonomy. #MyBodyMyChoice #Equality #ERAnow