American women are on the defensive in a silent war they should not have to fight

6a00d8341c90b153ef016302d58948970d-300x294Conservatives in the United States have a habit of declaring war on anything, so long as the object of their aggression is in contrast with their moral or religious values. The social warfare they declare often goes against public opinion and in every instance the victory itself is unattainable.

Richard Nixon declared war on drugs, Ronald Reagan declared war on terrorism (and the English language!) and if Rick Santorum somehow gets elected, we’ll have a new war on pornography.

Oddly enough, conservatives only declare war on social causes, rarely is it used when referring to places or people. There was no formal declaration of war on Afghanistan or Iraq, and of course they dare not declare war on women, but that is exactly what has been taking place the past couple of years.

In the first few months of 2011 alone, legislators in 49 states introduced 916 measures related to reproductive issues. This took place three months after the midterm elections where Republicans were elected on the promise of turning the economy around. Instead, more than thirty States enacted 67 anti-abortion measures.

In this election year we continue to see much of the same, but with a new twist. Republicans have been setting their sights on birth control, the single most effective way to avoid abortion in the first place.

Sandra Fluke
Sandra Fluke

After Barack Obama tried to pass a bill requiring all insurance companies to cover contraception, conservatives claimed they had a problem with insurance companies of religious institutions being forced to cover birth control. Obama caved and revised the bill to exclude these institutions, but Republicans did not stop there.

They introduced bills that would allow insurance companies to reject any claims that go against their religious or moral values, in other words; anything, despite the fact that it’s much cheaper for insurance companies to provide birth control rather than covering the cost of a pregnancy.

Some women are speaking out like Sandra Fluke, some are fighting back such as ordinary Virginia citizens who were able to remove an intrusive vaginal probe from an abortion bill. But then some are taking it to extremes; an ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’ bill was introduced in Oklahoma to keep men from masturbating and a law was introduced in Georgia that would outlaw vasectomies. Both these laws were introduced by female democrats, hopefully just to send a message.

Conservatives are hell bent on turning back the clock on the rights of women, or Feminazis as Limbaugh likes to call them. It has taken centuries for women to gain the semblance of equality, but even in the 21st century there are those who believe a woman’s place is still in the kitchen or that they should still take a back seat to the man.

I look at a woman from Iran that is stoned to death for cheating on her husband, a girl from Morocco who commits suicide to avoid being forced to marry her rapist, a place like Saudi Arabia where women aren’t even allowed to drive a car. It’s hard to believe that this is where we used to be.

I’m proud of the advances the West has made in the last hundred years in regards to women’s rights. Women of the 20th century fought hard to acquire the rights they have, but are now being forced to fight again just to keep them. Why would anyone living in a free country want to go back to the way things were? Leave them alone!


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