Happy National Women’s History Month, dolls!
There has been much happening in the way of women’s rights and women’s issues in RVA and nationally. I feel like we’re galvanized daily by someone trying to take away – or regulate until it’s impossible – our basic rights and freedoms while putting their fingers, nose, or ultrasound wand in our business. Politicians and political figures who wish they were influential enough to matter (looking at you Rush Limbaugh) dedicate their day’s energy to attempting to affix labels to women making decisions about their own bodies. It’s gross.
I’m not sure why, in 2012, and in the face of a nation struggling to overcome a crippling recession, much more powerful world issues (Syria, anyone??), and I don’t know – hunger, poverty, disease, etc, the people who lead the Commonwealth and the country are this consumed with the re-hashing of birth control and abortion regulations. It’s embarrassing – and perverted – that so many politicians and their lackeys are fixated on women’s vaginas.
This month as women all over this great nation celebrate the strides we have made we’ll also need to stand strong against the people who would threaten our very liberties and freedoms. If it feels contradictory to, at once, revel in women’s history while mulling over the contraceptive rights/abortion dichotomy because men in political power continue to be threatened by women’s rights – it’s not. This is a wake up call to women everywhere who became complacent: feminism is necessary.
The other weekend I attended a birthday party when a girl, about 5 or 6 years old, came up to me with two library books about Helen Keller she checked out from her school’s library. I grew up loving the biographies and stories about Helen Keller; she was one of my first female role models. I admired her tenacity, her spirit, her never-ending thirst for knowledge, and her absolute fearlessness. I listened as this young lady told me things she learned about Helen Keller, and as we talked about her life together I realized that this was the new age of feminism.
I don’t believe, with the issues happening today, anybody can say that feminism is dead or women’s movements are a thing of the past. I don’t know that they ever will be. During National Women’s History Month, let’s honor our foremothers by keeping their legacies alive. Let’s celebrate the women who are carrying the torches today. And let us all be a role model to the young women looking up to us, because we’re the ones setting the tone. We’re the ones they’ll remember who taught them about the incredible courage, bravery, and dedication women displayed in the face of adversity, and we’re the ones who will be sharing the amazing feats these women overcame – for us and for them. It’s important because it won’t be long before these young women are the ones who will be carrying the torch of women’s rights.
Let’s make sure they’re ready.