Another week has passed. I don’t know about yours; but my own was an emotional, event-filled one. My father passed away. And, as often when death makes an appearance at our door, it got me thinking.
As one might expect; there was plenty of sadness, anger, and grief to fill a battle field.
Then, a funny thing happened. Another emotion stepped from behind the brush, and took command. It issued few orders, at first. But, once it gained it voice, it became so loud…that it drowned out almost everything else. Pride. Although my dad was the one gone, my heart was filled with pride for my mother. For myself. For women.
Young, dumb, and in love. We’ve all seen the Lifetime movie, right? Beautiful young lady meets handsome young man…..they fall madly in love…..they plan for the future…..and, you guessed it, girl becomes pregnant. In a perfect world, the happy couple marry and raise their family. They live happily ever after. In the real world, probably not.
My father was, in no way, shiftless. He went on to enlist in the United States military. He remained there for fourteen years before retiring. He served in Persian Gulf, along with many other brave men and women. Afterwards, he was gainfully employed by the United States Postal Service until about three years ago. In a perfect world, my mother and father would have been equal partner in life and child rearing. In the real world, not so much.
Last week, for the first time in many years, I thought hard about my life. I thought hard about my mom, and the millions of women like her. Their lives and struggles are whittled down to a few sound bites on the evening news. What people don’t seem to realize is that women’s issues are American issues. They are civil rights issues. Most importantly, they are legitimate issues. Our rights, as citizens of this country, are not meant to be handed out to us like Halloween candy. They are our birthright, just as much as any man’s.
As of 2010, 58.6 percent of women 16 and up were labor force participants—working or looking for work. Women may still be cooking the bacon. But only after they have brought it home. Ensuring equal opportunity and equal pay is critical to the growth of our country.
And we don’t have equal pay for equal work. In the long term, that hurts women (retirement) and our loved ones. Not to mention it’s just unethical and wrong.
What we wear and how much we drink…does not determine if we are rape-able. Our culture spends a ridiculous amount of time worrying about how a young rapist came to be a rapist. Yet, little time is spent worrying over how such a tragedy can change the trajectory of the victim’s life.
Women are perfectly capable of deciding if, and when, they start a family. Individual liberty can not be aborted simply because it is not universally agreed upon. Period. Besides..isn’t it kind of comical to stand guard with your AR-15, debating me over whether my body is my domain? Of course, it is!
I suppose all this is to say…my feminist soldier was bandaged up and sent back to the battlefield.
As long as women are not paid equally for the same work….RELOAD!
As long as a woman’s value is contingent upon whether she makes what society has deemed to be “good use” of her uterus….RELOAD!
As long as a martini and a skirt make a lady fair-game….RELOAD!
As long as society grants testicles more weight than ovaries….RELOAD!
Pride is a powerful thing. My mother, like millions of others men and women, worked hard. While raising me, she was able to work both a full-time and part-time job. She was simultaneously taking classes to get her degree in early childhood education. She hated every minute of it, but she used our country’s welfare system as a stepping stone. Without the help of a nation, I may not have had health insurance. She swallowed her pride so that I would have food in my belly.
My mother is an unsung American success story. She is my hero.
My father may have served in the military, but my mom battled every day of her life in America’s “Quiet War”, the one against women.
Some have attempted to marginalize the War on Women, but it is real. Discriminatory policies and laws stand in for guns and ammunition. Our policy makers are trying their best to hold the line. But women are advancing contrary to the culture that attempts to hold us down. Our work is exhausting.
Women come home to their children everyday stressed and frustrated. They are passed over for promotions. They are wounded and battle weary. But they soldier on–what else are we to do?
We soldier on.
Law makers… Be Warned. Women will not surrender. We are millions strong. We will fight you every step of the way. We may not win every battle, but will win the war.
So, give us liberty and trust us. We’ve been quietly holding down the forts and soldiering on for centuries–and that’s not changing.