As a teacher, I’m used to asking question designed to be answered by my audience. Here, I’m asking questions to which I don’t want you giving me answers. I want you to answer these questions for yourselves – in your own hearts and minds – and then you determine what you will do with your answers.
Also, “because the Bible says so” is not really an answer. First, that answer doesn’t reflect any thinking on your part. Also, the Bible is open to so much interpretation, this answer would seem to imply “because that’s what someone has told me that that’s what the Bible means to say, I guess”.
So, I’m asking you to think, to draw your own conclusions, and then to act on those conclusions.
I am talking about men and to women, but not in general. I’m referring to some men in positions of power, men who have or are seeking the power to do exactly what they say they will do. And I am referring to all women, even women who currently support and agree with the men who have or are seeking power.
There are currently men running for elected office and some who are already in Congress, as well as in state and local governments, who have stated that they will overturn Roe v Wade and outlaw all forms of abortion, even in cases of rape. My questions are – why would men want to outlaw abortion? What’s in it for men? What do men actually gain, how do men profit, by outlawing abortion?
Second issue: birth control. I will not lump abortion in with other forms of birth control, because it is being treated as a separate issue socially and many women who’ve experienced abortion understand the extreme decisions that go in to finally choosing abortion. Getting a prescription and buying birth control pills is a relatively easy decision in comparison. But the questions are the same as above. Why would men want to outlaw birth control? What’s in it for men? What do men gain, how do men profit, by outlawing birth control?
Now, for the issue of rape; rape is the act of forced sexual assault. It is not about having consensual sexual intercourse; it is always about someone having power and control over another human being. Both men and women can be raped and far fewer men report rape than do women. Rape in this country is defined as a crime. So, why would men want to change the definition of rape? What’s in it for men? What do men gain, how do men profit, by redefining rape?
Stop here and think about these questions before reading any further.
If enough conservatively religious men gain the power in this country to overturn Roe v Wade, to outlaw birth control, and to redefine rape, what else could men do? Could they repeal the Nineteenth Amendment, stripping women of the right to vote?
If enough conservatively religious men gain enough power in this country to repeal the Nineteenth Amendment, what else could men do? Could they reinstitute the supposed Biblical crime of witchcraft? Could they force women to be married to men and become pregnant? Could they force “undesirable” women to be sterilized and put in institutions?
If enough conservatively religious men gain enough power in this country to strip women of all their rights, power, and voices, to whom could these men be compared?
I can almost hear women’s thoughts: “that can’t happen here”, “there’d be riots” “we can’t go that far backwards”. The unfortunate truth is that it can happen here if we allow it to happen.
If you aren’t registered to vote, you will have difficulty making your voice heard and your wishes known, and you definitely won’t be able to choose whom you want to lead this country. If you are registered to vote, and you don’t vote, you are giving away your power to help yourself. At this time in history, you have the right to exercise your power as a woman. Are you prepared to give that away? Are you prepared for the consequences and the actions that might be taken against you if you don’t exercise your power now, while you still have it? What’s in it for you? How will you profit by keeping the hard-fought for rights that you currently have? Women (and men who demonstrate they can) must support other women, as well as children and the elderly – some men have demonstrated time after time, that it’s not profitable for them to do so. On the other hand, there are some men who can be in positions of power and will share that power with women. For whom will you vote? With whom will you stand?
As you’re thinking about the above issues, can you remember these names: The
Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein. Do you know how they demanded women be treated in their countries according to their interpretations of their religious beliefs? Are you familiar with the kinds of laws they instituted against women, children, and the elderly? What was in it for them? What did they gain and how did they profit while they were in power?