Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When Women Oppress Women

The Chinese practice (torture) of binding the feet of women was finally banned in China in 1912. This cruel process of making tiny "lotus feet" out of normal feet was ostensibly to make women beautiful and marriageable. It began when a girl was 2 or 3 years old. It took years of unspeakable pain - and a lifetime of upkeep - to fold the toes under the foot and crush the arch. Walking, let alone running, was all-but-impossible and women were not allowed much freedom from the home. Husbands, literally, did not let women out of their sight. But, it was not men who actually performed the task. Mothers bound the feet of their precious daughters. Oppressed women repeated the cycle of oppression for thousands of years. 

There are 42 legislators who have signed on to House Bill 465-Clarify & Modify Certain Abortion Laws - But the four Primary Sponsors are women. Women who pretend that medical safety is the reason behind ever more barriers to the constitutional right of access to abortion services. Women legislators who wish to lengthen the waiting period, describe ultrasounds and "...just make sure that women have all the information they need to make an informed decision." 

How dare they presume that women have not thought this decision through with their families, spiritual leaders and physicians? How dare they impose their narrowly-defined religious views on the entire population? What medical procedures do men make for which they are required to ask permission of politicians, wait 72 hours, be bullied at the clinic door, risk their lives and be shamed for their decisions?

A few years ago, as I sat in the House Health Committee, I heard Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly) declare, with all the arrogance and lack of information of his twenty-something self that, "EVERYONE knows that 90 percent of women get abortions for convenience." 

The notion that women make any health decision on a flight of fancy is insulting. It was insulting over 40 years ago when I joined the women's movement to fight for equality. It is insulting now. But, what is terribly hurtful is to watch women be complicit in the oppression of women. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Why RFRA Violates My Strongly Held Religious Beliefs