There are so many competitors for my anger these days that I am often simply overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. This one, however, robbed me of a night’s sleep and nearly wrote itself in my head last night as I tried counting sheep, counting backward by 2s from 200, and played countless games of Sudoku on my phone.
The target of my acerbic tongue today? Women’s rights … women’s rights that in the last two days have been set back by 100 years or more in the not-so-great state of Texas. No, folks, this isn’t just about abortion as many would have you believe … this is about women’s rights. Now that we are told we cannot decide for ourselves whether we are financially and emotionally ready to have a child, the rest of our rights will be as a house of cards.
The Texas legislature passed a draconian bill that was signed into law by the clown of a governor, Greg Abbott (the same man who is trying to kill the children of Texas by banning vaccine and mask mandates). This bill prohibits abortion after 6 weeks … many, if not most women do not even know they are pregnant before six weeks! And, long story short, if a woman has an abortion and a friend or neighbor report it, the reporter is eligible for a reward of up to $10,000 and the woman and the abortion provider can be sued by the state.
Worse yet … there are no exceptions in the cases of incest or rape. Imagine this scenario …
16-year-old Chloe comes home late one night from a party dressed … well, rather scantily. Her father, who has been tippling a few drinks, sees her, says he’s going to teach her a lesson, rips her clothes off of her and brutally rapes her on the living room sofa. Chloe screams for her mother, but the mother claimed she heard nothing. Chloe misses her next period but doesn’t think too much of it. By the time she misses the second and seeks a medical consultation, it is too late for Chloe to seek an abortion. With advice from her friends, she invests in a few packs of gauze and a pack of wire coat hangers, for she is not going to carry her half-brother or half-sister in her body for the next nine months. Long story short, Chloe is now dead.
Variants of Chloe’s story will play throughout the state of Texas in the coming months/years.
The United States Supreme Court, our last bastion of hope for protecting our rights, has refused to block the Texas law. Late last night, the Court announced it would not block the new Texas law while the legal challenge made its way through the federal courts. Amazing, even for this conservative court. It’s a sad day for women, but also for the rule of law. I was pleased that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the rights of women, even though he is not a fan of Roe v Wade. But the other five – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Amy Barrett, and Samuel Alito – took an axe to women’s rights, ultimately throughout the nation.
This is a dark day for women in the United States. If you think other states, emboldened by Texas’ easy success, won’t follow suit, then think again. What’s next on the chopping block? Our right to equal pay for equal work? Our right to vote? Our right to own property in our own name? Our right to divorce our husbands? All of these rights have come as a result of long, hard fights, and even today … the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that was first proposed in 1923, has not passed! This amendment would solidify women’s rights in many areas including healthcare, housing, and the workplace, but … it seems doomed to fail. WHY???
In 1972 Congress passed the ERA and it was sent to the states for a vote. Simple, right? Of course … 1972 … the world is enlightened, women have contributed in every area imaginable … a no-brainer! HAH! What happened? In a word, the dishonourable Phyllis Schlafly. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, Schlafly mounted a campaign to stop states from passing the ERA. She warned women that if equal rights were enshrined in the Constitution, the heterosexual world order would collapse. Morality would fall by the wayside and women would be at risk of losing their femininity and the opportunities presented by marriage.
If the amendment passed, she wrote, women would be forced to go to war, would lose their right to child support and alimony, and society would fall apart. “The women’s libbers are radicals who are waging a total assault on the family, on marriage, and on children,” she said.
Eventually, the now-expired ERA will come back into the limelight and someday it may even become a Constitutional amendment, but likely not in my lifetime or yours. Meanwhile, there is Texas and other states will follow. My response to the draconian law in Texas is this: Okay, fine, but no longer can a male walk into a doctor’s office and walk out with a prescription for Viagra. No longer will men be given penile implants to extend their pleasure at our expense. In fact, women should be much more discriminating about letting a man within 15 feet of her body! Keep your wee willy winkies to yourself … buy yourself an inflatable doll!
The Texas law and the Supreme Court’s refusal to block it are the first step in what I predict will be a major setback for women’s rights across the nation. What is it that makes us inferior in the eyes of so many – both men and women? Is it that we weren’t born with that all-important anatomical part? Is it that we don’t have deep voices and chest hair? Or is it just that all that testosterone makes the male of the species need to feel superior over someone? Either way … look out, guys, ‘cause one of these days we’re gonna rise above all this.