As I’m sitting here at my desk, I have yesterday’s Boston (MA, USA) Globe newspaper next to me. These are some of the headlines, big and small, that I see:
“Abduction Suspect Faces Rape Charges”: A man who kidnapped a young girl, is now charged with raping her, as well as kidnapping her.
“NY baby’s Death Ruled a Homicide”: A man beats his 3 year old stepdaughter to death.
“Man Held in Woman’s Death Leads Police to 6 More Victims”: The headline explains it all.
“Woman dies in Dorchester Shooting”
“Mother’s Death Now Called Murder”: By her son, no less
“Fall River Man Held in Assault”: A sexual assault with intent to rape and indecent assault and battery.
Notice anything? I do and when I look at these headlines, I want to just hang my head and cry.
When did the lives of women become just so meaningless? From the youngest to the oldest, we are being assaulted, beaten, raped and murdered by men, men we know, men we don’t know.
If you notice, these are just a handful of articles in a big city newspaper. They do not include the women around the world who are raped as a part of war, who are handed over as children to be wed to someone 4 times their age, the women who are forced to undergo female genital mutilation. Over and over, we are barraged by these stories of women whose lives are being thrown away by men. These are not fiction, this is real life for women all over the world!
How did we get to this point in history? What happened to the world that was, in the words of Riane Eisler, “the Chalice”, the world of the Goddess, where women were revered as the representation of the Goddess on Earth? How did women go from being an equal partner in all to something that is seen as just war fodder or a sex toy in someone’s fantasy, something that they can do anything to?
We’ve come a long way, baby! But not as far as we need to. We are still fighting the same old battles over who has control over our bodies, we still do not get equal pay (although to be fair some women do make a very good salary). We have women on YouTube and Twitter who cannot wait to tell us why they are not feminists, what is wrong with feminism and why it is no longer needed. I want to just say, honey, take off those blinders, open your eyes, look at the world, SEE what is happening to women all over the world. Of course, in my experience, I have found that most women just do not pay attention; they are “just too busy” to be “bothered” by that, or “yes, I care, but I just don’t have the time to deal with it, it doesn’t affect me personally. Sweetie, of course, this affects you personally; you just don’t want to see it or admit it. It affects ALL of us personally, and this is when life jumps up and bites you in the nose. To all of these women, Maya Angelou says it best:
“I am a feminist. I’ve been female for a long time now.
I’d be stupid to not be on my own side.”
Got that? “I’d be stupid not to be on my own side”. Makes such perfect sense. Women need to be on the side of women, all women everywhere. It’s called Sisterhood, it’s called Solidarity, it’s called Justice, it’s called standing up and being counted. Again, Maya Angelou:
“Each time a woman stands up, without knowing it
possibly, without claiming it,
she stands up for all women”
The time to stand up is now; it has to be. Don’t be someone that lets someone else stand up for her. Be the one who stands up for someone else, and in doing that, you are standing up for yourself, our daughters, our granddaughters. One of the ways to stand up is to get out and vote, vote for those who support women, vote for women who stand for women.
In the words of the Rev. Karen Tate, “find your sacred roar”, use it, speak up, stand up. We are women, hear us roar right now!!