Women’s ‘Rights’? HAH!

Way back in the beginning days of this nation, women were not allowed to own property, nor were they allowed to vote.  Women were basically considered, as were African-Americans, to be chattel, possessions. women-property-rightsGradually … and I do mean gradually, ever so s-l-o-w-l-y … women gained a few human rights, such as the right to own property (1848-1895) and the right to vote (1920 – 19th Amendment).  It would be 1963 before it was decided that women should receive equal pay for performing the same job duties as men.

Women’s rights has been every bit as much a struggle as were civil rights for African-Americans, albeit not as violent.  By the end of the 20th century, most would tell you that women were now fully equal in the eyes of the law to men, that the barriers for women’s equality had been removed.  Remember back in the 1970s, the advertisements for Virginia Slims cigarettes, whose slogan was “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!”? virginia-super-slims-advertisement1.jpgBut in this, the year 2018, I would argue that we’ve still got a long way to go.  Two issues prove my point.

The first, is whether a woman has sovereign rights over her own body, and anyone but a fool knows the answer to that is that ‘no’. There is a push today, mainly by the Republican Party on behalf of the evangelical Christians, to deny women access to both birth control and abortion.  Strange, don’t you think, that there is no hue and cry about men obtaining drugs such as Viagra, but women and birth control is a different matter.

In 1973, the issue of abortion was settled by the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v Wade, and it was ruled that a woman has the right to seek an abortion if she so chooses.  But the ruling has been the subject of much criticism by Christian churches, and in 2016, when Donald Trump was campaigning for the office of president, he appealed to the evangelicals by promising to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v Wade.

Furthermore, access to birth control has been challenged and although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that employer-sponsored health insurance must provide coverage for birth control, again the Christian groups stepped in and the courts have ruled against women’s rights.  Newly-minted Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is partly to thank for that one.

There is much, much more I could say about these assaults on women’s rights, but I want to move on to my second point, which is the one prevalent in today’s news, and that is the right of women to be respected, to be taken seriously, to not be turned into a sex object and the brunt of male perversity.

The subject, of course, is Dr. Christine Blasely, the woman who came forth to tell of the time, some 30+ years ago, that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a party.  I won’t re-hash the details, for you’ve heard various versions likely hundreds of times in the past week unless you’ve been in a coma.  But my point is the abysmal treatment Dr. Blasely has been afforded ever since she came forward.  She has been called a ‘liar’, it has been suggested that she made up the story at the behest of the Democratic party, and she has received death threats.

Donald Trump and the members of our not-so-illustrious congress have cast aspersion on this woman and attempted every trick in the book to browbeat and bully her.  And in so doing, they have set women’s equality back decades.  Rather than jump to claim she is lying, why didn’t those in charge of the confirmation hearings order an investigation to bring the event into the open, to put to rest any doubts?  Why?  Because they know.  Somewhere deep down, they know that she is not lying.  They know that their esteemed Brett Kavanaugh is guilty as charged.  They know that this will likely, if taken seriously, be the nail in the coffin of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.  And they know the price they will pay from the ‘man’ in the Oval Office if they fail to complete their mission of confirming Kavanaugh quickly before the democrats find their voice in November.

  • Senator Scott Newman: “Even if true, teenagers! Frankly, I don’t believe her.”
  • Kavanaugh spokesperson/activist Josh Marshall says it’s not clear that the incident was attempted rape as opposed to just “rough horseplay”.

Remember in 2016 when the Access Hollywood tape came out with Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about his treatment of women?  His defenders, despite evidence that he was indeed guilty of multiple cases of sexual abuse, brushed it off as only “locker room talk”.

Tell me, folks … if the tables were turned … if a female nominee were accused by a man of having groped him, attempted to disrobe him, and clapped her hand over his mouth in order to keep him from calling for help, would the senators be so glib?  I think not.  I think they would pretend to be horrified and decide early on that she was not qualified to sit on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court.  But, the ‘good ol’ boys’ network is alive and well, and instead of horror, there is a wink-wink, a knowing smile, and ultimately a confirmation of a man with too little integrity.

But understand, please, that Dr. Blasely is not the first, nor will she be the last woman to be treated in such a manner.  Women throughout the ages have been disbelieved or expected to accept sexual abuse as their due.  Sure, we’ve “come a long way, baby”, but make no mistake … women do not have equal rights in 21st century America, and I despair that we ever will.

**  Here are links to two excellent timelines of the history of women’s rights, in case you’re interested:

43 thoughts on “Women’s ‘Rights’? HAH!

  1. it always torques me that the right insists on dragging out Rv.W, abortion rights, and now birth control during every election just t pacify the evangelical churches. Women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, period! With s many pressing things to talk about, can’t we admit THIS decision has been made and be done with it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Unfortunately, Sha’Tara is right that it is an emotional issue and the republican base is more interested in those sorts of things than in actual platforms and policies. This is what Trump’s campaign was all about … appealing to emotions and instilling fear, primarily of immigrants. So far, the strategy seems to have worked. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My response is predictable: women form 50% of the population which, by default must translate as 50% of the vote. Also, women have many means of making their views on such issues open and visible. So, where are Dr. Blasely’s millions of vocal and visible female defenders? Where are the incensed women ganging up against conservative politics? Where are the ones leaving their Fundamentalist churches in droves to make a final point? Where? The oppressor will always oppress as long as his victims acquiesce or blame other victims for his misdeeds. If women can’t be bothered to look after themselves when they are given, or have, the opportunity to do so, then what can anyone conclude? They don’t care, or perhaps they like it the way it is and the complainers are a minority. It’s a wonder women ever got the vote, or ever partially broke free of their chattel comfort zone. It’s time for “Women Spring” even if it’s Fall. But I’ll repeat this, again and again: Earthians, though they hate hearing it, are a programmed species, predictably following a pre-set pattern. When the pattern is broken the “System” rallies and repairs the fences so the sheeple don’t escape again. Each “gain” by the oppressed is but a temporary escape from the paddock and each one will be countered, even if it takes a few decades or even a hundred years or so. Check it out: it’s history. The more things change, the more they remain the same. If women really want to bring down the patriarchy they can’t clamour for parity (If he can rape me, I can rape him!) but they must endure a complete change of mind about literally everything. You will see real change when civilization collapses completely, never before, and that only if the re-builders are smart enough not to use any of the old blueprints in their new constructs.

    Liked by 2 people

      • They don’t need to be put to the wall, Kersten, they are already being slaughtered by the millions in predatory capitalism’s wars, starved to death or sent running for their lives as refugees. No, you are in error, it’s not civilization that holds the animal at bay, it’s civilization that empowers the animal. Let’s watch the bouncing ball, not the propaganda ads.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Four million retire in America each year but that’s not news , news is blood and thunder , gore and destruction. There is much made of Donald Trumps fake news but there is a sense in which all news is fake because it draws our attention to all the horror throughout the world.
          Of course all these things are happening but not only these things.
          The same game is played by the TV ‘ What is going on behind closed doors in the UK ‘ — well people are cooking ,sleeping , watching TV, playing on their computers etc , it is serious misrepresentation.
          Politicians are master’s of the art , those in power tell us how beautifully the country is being governed and those not in power that a dreadful crisis is about to ensue. Of all the great ocean liners that carried men and women across the ocean the most famous is the Titanic.
          Is civilisation perfect? — no but would is collapse be better ? were the good old days really the good old days ?

          Liked by 1 person

    • Actually there have been numerous protests for more than a week now, with just yesterday 50 women being arrested for protesting outside Grassley’s office. That said, you are right that the number of women screaming loudly is far too small, for there are too many who have been brainwashed by their churches, husbands and male family members to believe that they are, in fact, lesser beings and deserve what treatment they receive. Not long ago, a minister told a woman whose husband had abused her that she should submit and not to divorce him. With that sort of brainwashing, what can we expect. Even the two women in the Senate that we thought would have the sense to withhold their votes, Murkowski and Collins, appear prepared to vote to confirm. Yes, it is history, and we don’t learn the lessons of history, so this is a never-ending circle … for some, at least, although not all of us have drank the Kool-Aid.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I notice few women are making comments on this post. Have they not yet read it, or are they not wanting to speak to it. Their voice is needed here. Men can share all they want, but it needs a loud and proud women’s response to force men to listen. I am on your side, have no doubt, but I cannot speak to the experiences of women who have been sexually assaulted and abused and raped over their lifetimes.
    But, having said that, how many men can say they have not done something to even one woman in their life that would be considered criminal or st least despicable today. I myself could plead that I was brought up in a different time, when NO meant YES, and men were supposed to be sexual conquerers, but that would not forgive things I have done to women in the past. I may not have been a beast, but I am not without guilt. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that I truly came to understand that women should be treated as equal persons, and I have still had a few lapses since then. Even as an “enlightened male human” old habits die hard. I have to be always on the watch to ensure my actions don’t go against my beliefs. I admit this freely.
    I try, but I do not always succeed.

    Liked by 2 people

        • right here, burning in Bible Belt, making sure all and sundry, particularly my Christian friends, know exactly what I think. Just ended a stint as a volunteer with two evangelical groups: Mennonite Disaster Service and Word Renew (Christian Reformed based) and made myself very popular (!) by stating unequivocally that a woman’s body is a woman’s choice, including abortion if that is what she chooses. You should have been there, rawgod!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Would have been a “site” to see. Last year I “invaded” a few Mennonite communities selling my medical marijuana wares. Their first response was shunning, but that only lasted till a few of the braver people tried the products, and had their lives bettered. Now they are the best customer base I have, even knowing that I am atheist. Religion no longer enters the picture, except for a few of the ultra-conservative sects. Marijuana is now just another plant, more helpful than harmful. Now, if I could just convince white and aboriginal societies of that (some are on board, of course) life could be better for all.

            Liked by 1 person

    • As a rule, I have more men than women who comment on my posts, so that isn’t too surprising. But you are right … women ’round the nation should be incensed by this and be speaking out loudly. And I believe they are, for I’ve heard that there is a large women’s protest planned for … I think it was Chicago … tomorrow. How much good will it do? Who knows … I suspect none at the moment, but if women put their vote where their mouth is in November, then perhaps THAT will send a message.

      And I, for one, thank you for sharing your own words. We all make mistakes, but to me, what separates men of honour and integrity from jerks is being able to admit to past wrongs and learn from them, grow up and do better. You’re a good man, rawgod.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There are many issues to deal with, women’s rights being one of them… the problem at hand is a element of society ( in other countries as well as this country) who are closed minded, thinking of themselves only and live in fear of change because it might affect their way of life.. every so often along comes a Trump, a Hitler, a Stalin and others too numerous to mention who tell those unfortunate people what they wish to hear and they come into power to attempt to stop change… and as history can verify, change happens anyway… 🙂

    “For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Morning Jill. What bothers me is the republicans are not only insisting on no law enforcement agency investigation but that they claim they will be doing the investigation. So the republicans are going to investigate the accusation. Yet many of them, including the one who was charged with finding out about this have already said they believe Kavanaugh. They have already made up their minds and publicly stated they do not believe the accuser. They have repeatedly stated as fact that Kavanaugh is a wonderful, great, honest family man without a blemish on his record in his career. The ranking republicans, including the chairman who is demanding that the accuser scramble for the committee to including give her entire bio by Friday at 10 AM and has set up a basically she said / he denied situation, have said the accuser is confused and mistaken. Not biased at all are they. What the republicans want is to be able to trash her like they trashed Anita Hill, and at the same time claim the heard the accuser out and weighted the facts while still pushing the nomination through. I think one reason for the rush is they are afraid a lot more damaging stuff is going to come out about Kavanaugh. The republicans are not after truth, nor do they want to give an inch on anything, so they set up the accuser in a no win situation. She has no rights, and the entire republican party is protecting him. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with all you say, and in my opinion, their tactics reek of there being something to hide, that they are scared of what might come out of an investigation. As many have said, if Kavanaugh is innocent, wouldn’t he welcome the investigation in order to clear his name? Too much smoke for their to be no fire. And today, McConnell is telling people that Kavanaugh will be on the bench very soon. They aren’t even giving the woman a chance, imposing unrealistic and unreasonable deadlines for her testimony. She has been badly mistreated and I hope there are at least a couple who are not satisfied with the status quo and will vote against confirming K, for he is obviously NOT a man of honour and integrity!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    … and here is still the basic reality for women in the 21st century: ‘ Women throughout the ages have been disbelieved or expected to accept sexual abuse as their due. Sure, we’ve “come a long way, baby”, but make no mistake … women do not have equal rights in 21st century America, and I despair that we ever will.’

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Jill, good post. Two comments, one specific, one general. Why are people, even women, so adamant against the FBI looking into Ford’s allegations? Why would she be asking for an investigation if she was lying?

    In general, I have written often that religious texts were written by imperfect men. Even if divinely inspired, there is a male bias therein. So, the rights of women are restricted by too many religious leaders based an archaic bias. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • PS – Very good comments add to your piece. I have been thinking about the reference to teenage crime by a Kavanaugh supporter. First, the boys will be boys attitude does not cut it. He groped her and put his hand over her mouth. While he may have done the offense as a teen, he is lying as an adult. If he had said he did something awful as a teen, of which he is ashamed, but he learned from it and did his best to act better as an adult, that would be a more tenable defense,. To say it did not happen, may prove unwise if she is credible. The fact she took a lie detector and is asking for an investigation is telling.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, this one got some good discussion going. I’m with you … all that “boys will be boys” and “locker room talk” b.s. is infuriating! It reminds me of the Brock Turner case … remember that one? He got off with a slap on the wrist from 3 counts of felony rape, because a) daddy had money, and b) he’s young and it wouldn’t be fair for him to have this hanging over him for all his life. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

        Frankly, I fully believe this woman, though admittedly sans facts, because they are working so hard to discredit and disenfranchise her that my nose says where there is so much smoke, there must be a fire somewhere. Grassley, by the way, should have retired decades ago, for he is obviously suffering some form of dementia!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Keith! Exactly! Why would any woman put herself through that if it wasn’t true? And if Kavanaugh were actually innocent of any wrongdoing, don’t you suppose he would welcome an FBI investigation to clear his ‘good name’? And sadly, you are right … too many religious leaders still consider women to be second-class citizens. Remember the minister not too long ago who told a woman whose husband had been abusive that she should submit, and not to divorce him? Archaic ideas … what does it take …?

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Perhaps you have heard of the debacle at the corporate headquarters of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team. A study of the situation there revealed widespread abuse of women at the workplace. Apparently 70% of the employees were male and there were no females in positions of authority. Sexist practices were common including borderline assault. Sports Illustrated revealed the situation and it was followed up by a committee that recently released its report. The owner, Mark Cuban, has agreed to pay $10 million to various women’s organizations to pay restitution. Since then he has hired a women to oversee the operation which, as it happens, he paid little or no attention to over the years.
    It is simply more of what you are highlighting in this post: the more things change the more they stay the same!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, I had heard some of the story, though I did not know he had agreed to pay the $10 million. I believe that Cuban himself is also under investigation for a sexual assault accusation? You’re right, my friend … the more things change, the more they stay the same. I wonder if the #MeToo movement will change things for the better in the future, or if it, too, will fade into oblivion in a year or two?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. An excellent post and women’s rights impinges on the question of human rights. It has now been discovered that the sex of a child can be revealed at eight weeks with a blood test . This means some women terminate if they don’t get the preferred sex , and it would appear the preferred sex is male ; there is an irony in that fact alone but I won’t pursue it. Now we can pose this question have women’s ( sometimes couples rights ) presidence over the threat to unbalance society? In the bigger picture suppose my rights clash with another’s rights would the possession of greater position and power place my rights higher up the scale?
    There is an unpleasant revelation that is quite recent that inclines me to prefer women to men ( that’s not a sexual joke) , in the UK it is estimated that child pornography is being accessed by about 500, 000 people most of whom are believed to be men.
    The well known atheist Sam Harris decided that well-being was an objective yardstick with which we can measure our rights.
    That young highly intelligent man who goes by the title The Cosmic Skeptic claims well being is subjective , by arguments I cannot follow.
    I’m sure the Skeptic is right because my well-being might be sustained by another’s unpleasant life style.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are quite right … there is a huge irony in the fact that the preferred sex is male! I remember when my first child, a girl, was born … this was before the days when ultrasound was used to identify gender … and the first thing I remember my husband saying was, “That’s alright … we can try again.” Obviously, I have no answer to your question, but it certainly gives food for thought, and I could speculate, likely in much the same manner you would.

      I do hope that figure … 500,000 … is not daily? And it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the majority are believed to be men, for if you just look at the claims of sexual aggression, they are mostly against men. Why? My best guess is cultural … the man is expected to be high-testosterone, George of the Jungle.

      Sam Harris I have heard of, although I cannot recall reading any of his articles, but I’ve never heard of Cosmic Skeptic. I could probably understand the idea that well-being is subjective, for those things that give one person a sense of well-being may not be nearly sufficient for another. I suppose we each have our own standards for what defines ‘well-being’ for us, yes? Is well-being a state of mind, or can it be quantified?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. As yet I don’t know the truth of this case though I know my leanings are towards her story merely because of the trouble one party is going to to deride the story and to deride the woman. A thorough investigation would help find out whether Kavanaugh was at the party he denies attending and if that is proved then whether he is deemed guilty of attempted rape or no, it would prove the man a liar an not suitable for the job he seeks. If however no proof can be found that he attended such a party then maybe he can be given the benefit of the doubt. The Republican party reactions make him look guilty with their actions.

    Liked by 3 people

    • No, none of us can know the truth yet, and perhaps never will. But what galls me is that people started disbelieving and criticizing her the minute she came forward. She wasn’t even given a chance before people started calling her a liar, and yet they believe Kavanaugh when he brushes it off as “didn’t happen”. I hope that somebody intervenes to ensure that the truth is known before his confirmation process goes one single step further. Personally, though I have no facts on which to base it, I believe her, for why would she subject herself to this if it weren’t even true? Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

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