I know, I cannot speak for all women.
But I still have to speak.
I am a woman. I have a brain, a heart, a body, a mind. I have feelings and emotions. I can think for myself. I can support myself. I am educated, perhaps over educated.
I am a mother. I have also lost a child to a miscarriage.
I am a wife, but I lived single for more years than I ever had a partner.
I have been sexually molested, not rape exactly but molestation. I have only shared that story with a few. In addition, I have large breasts, and in my younger days they become objects of lust and ridicule. I have felt shame in my body, and fear because of my body.
I have been silenced and I have spoken up.
But no matter what has happened I have always believed that I have value and that I offer more to society then just the ability to give birth. I have always believed that women were equal if not stronger than men. I have always believed that women could stand against tyranny, if they could only learn to stand together rather than compete against each other.
I have always been grateful that we had moved beyond the time when a woman was property of first her father, then her husband. I thought that we were slowly coming closer to recognizing the value of all human beings, no matter what race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or any other defining characteristics.
I guess I thought wrong.
Every day, every piece of news I hear makes me weep or scream! I become angrier and more ashamed of who we have become with every ounce of injustice that is being introduced into our country, as hypocrites try to push us back in time where women are nothing but property and the only people who matter are the ones who look and act the same as everyone else.
Today I speak for women. Today I speak for gays. Today I speak for immigrants. Today I speak for anyone who is feeling oppressed by a government out of control and a group of righteous people who clamor for their rights to believe what they believe while trying to control anyone who believes differently.
I have had enough!
I decided to reread Lysistrata by Aristophanes, a play about women from different countries who unite together in withholding sex until the men of their worlds agree to declare peace.
After all, this fight has become about sex, religion and power.
What would happen, I wonder, if we gave into the demands of no contraception and no sex before marriage? If we said, okay, don’t give us contraception but then we will not have sex until we are ready. Well, some would argue, it is a wife’s duty to have sex with her husband. Okay, then we choose not to marry until we are ready to have children, until after we have created our careers and lived the lives want to live. We will not marry until after 30 or 35 or maybe we will choose never to marry, and we will not have sex before marriage. Having children will become more difficult, but at least we won’t be on birth control.
Is the next law going to be that women must marry before they are 25? Are we going to become nothing more than property again?
Now I am not foolish enough to think that anything like Lysistrata could actually succeed. The women in that comedy won, because they banished egos and overcame their own libidos to stand strong together for peace. That could not happen now, because there is too much disagreement between women, and because women compete too often against each other. Nor am I foolish enough to blame all men, or only men, for the craziness happening in this world.
The only thing that I seem to be a fool to believe is that somehow people will ever recognize that equality, justice, fairness and peace are more valuable than power, control, money, and war.
I have no answers, but I have a voice that needs to be heard. I can only hope the more I speak, the more I write, the more other people might join their voices.
We can only fight this insanity if we join together as a group, and agree that our diversity makes us stronger. We can only fight this insanity if we recognize that every person in society is valuable, and that nobody is more important than anyone else.
I am a woman, and today I speak for my daughter.