I have been considering, reconsidering, grappling, with how to cover this election. Here in the South Bay we have a bunch of tax/bond issues that are supposed to lock money into the local economy. There are state measures which allow me, when I have hoped against hope to be able to, in my lifetime, repeal the death penalty and make the asininely-implimented Three Strikes law right.
At the national level there are the greater issues about which, more and more, all I hear about on social media and in social gatherings is, to quote: "Gaaaawd I'm just sooooo sick of this!!!"
I'm sick of it too.
I'm sick of fighting for the civil and human rights of women and minorities 100 years after our struggle began in earnest in this country.
A young friend posted on Facebook that she could not understand how some idiots could trade a "stupid 'free' pill for our national security", with the assumption that the party espousing equal access to health care would throw open the borders to murdering, raping, pillaging pirates overnight simply because those darn contraceptive pills let us whore around. Says the girl who lives independently and enjoys the benefits afforded by such a luxury.
The problem seems to be that so very few people remember what women 100 years ago (yes, I WILL KEEP REPEATING THIS) were derided, demeaned, arrested, imprisoned without aid or bail and, while incarcerated, often humiliated, beaten and tortured. These are historical facts. These women suffered to give us the chance to vote. To be counted as real human beings.
One. Hundred. Years. Ago.
And yet, we are now fighting the same basic cause. Measures passed in state assemblies bypass the Supreme Court's 1973 decision establishing that abortion, as part of a woman's entire right to equal health care without the consultation of a male authority is considered her right to privacy. These unbelievably incomprehensible laws draw the boundaries of pregnancy to two weeks back into your last cycle, effective making your period a miscarriage. Or they force women facing the loss of a later-term physically damaged baby to go to extraordinary, inhumane measures before terminating the pregnancy. They want to limit or ban access to basic health services and contraception on the grounds that they are immoral under certain belief structures.
I'm not fighting any religious war. We are fighting our war for human rights. We cannot regress 100 years to being counted as 100% less than a man, unable to garner our meagre intellectual capacities to truly consider the weighty affairs of state. We cannot regress 50 years to the time when we were still tacitly considered the moral property of our male family members when obtaining reproductive health.
We cannot allow ourselves to be crushed beneath the feet of those who merely use modern phrasing for the same old "Little Lady".
I am the only person who ties my apron strings. I am the only one who calls me to the stove in the evening, barefoot, socked or shod. I am the only one who decides my best course for MY medical care, for my equal earning in the workplace, if I would be allowed to marry no matter the gender of my partner, for my equal standing in the human race.
Vote. Do anything you can to get to a polling station. Your employer, BY LAW, must give you adequate time off to vote. If you are at the polling station, waiting in line when the polling station closes, they cannot kick you out. If you are in a disaster area, I know life is really, really tough for your right now, but if you are online, look for polling places, they are trying to put as many in place as possible.
100 Years of Suffragettes want YOUR vote. They want you to count. Some of them died for it, for you to be heard no matter your stance, no matter your beliefs. You are a woman and you are valid in your humanity and your opinions, but please, remember above all, your humanity and that of all women and consider it when you tick those boxes.
Human Rights, Civil Rights, Women's Rights. Make your vote count.
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